Fishin’ and huntin’ can become a might tiresome, so Abner and Buford was a settin’ on the banks of the crick with their fishin’ poles in their hands, just thankin’ ‘bout thangs. Flies was abuzzin’ round their straw hats and life was purty good all roun, but sumpin was botherin’ Buford.
‘Say Abner, you larned how t’read, dinya?’
‘Why shore! I went to school up until the teacher ran away with Marylou. I read purty good.’
Abner paused a moment, thinking deeply, his brow creased in thought. ‘D’you thank it’s true what them city folk say, we come fum monkeys?’
‘Well, Bu, that ain’t zackly right. They ain’t sayin’ we come fum monkeys, it’s a bit more complicated than that.’
‘But that there preacher man, he done tol’ us that God made us. I don’ have no tail!’
Abner looked at him in exasperation. ‘I jes tol you we din come fum monkeys! What in tarnation’s wrong with yer ears?’
He put down his fishin’ pole and put his foot on’t, so the fish wouldn’t be draggin’ it away if they bit.
‘Lookee here,’ he said, leanin’ a bit toward Buford. ‘A long time ‘go, even before the Bible was writ, there war’ big ol’ swamp, and these two thangs called meebas, was floatin’ there in that there mud, when one a them said, “I’m gonna get outa here an’ mosey roun a bit.” T’other one said t’him, “Y’all doggone crazy? You ain’t even got no eyes! What if sumpin comes along that wants t’eat ya?’
“Well, I’ll jes quickly grow me a flat-eye.”
“What in the hell is that?” t’other one asked.
“It’s a simple light sensin’ organ, so I can detect when sumpin’s comin’ “
“You kiddin’?” said tother one. “Where in tarnation you gonna find that?”
“It’s gonna grow on me: it’s called eevolution.”
“Eevolution? That’s the craziest idea I ever heard!” He sank down into a swamp sulk. “You go on, get yoresel’ kilt. Ain’t my business nowhow.” ‘
Buford held up his hand. ‘Now you stop right there. I know you thank I’m dumb, but I ain’t that stupid!’
‘I never said you was stupid: I’m tryin to ‘splain sumpin to you, but if you don’ wanna hear it, that’s fine wi’ me.' He picked up his fishin’ pole and half-turned his back on Buford.
‘Hey, I’m sorry man, but you got me mighty confused. Where in tarnation that meeba gonna find a eye?’
‘I tol’ ya, Buford, he din’ find one, he eevolved it!’
‘I’m tryin to ‘splain to you, ifn you give me half a chance!’ Buford nodded and assumed his listenin’ position again. ‘A flat-eye ain’t a proper eye, it’s a eye that ony detects light. Get it?’
‘So he din find no eye?’
‘I tol’ you he din’!’ said Abner in frustration. ‘He eevolved one!’
‘’kay, ‘kay, I’m sorry, carry on,’ said Buford.
‘So this here flat eye, it’s like a piece of film fum a camera. Cain’t see nothin’ but light. And this here meeba was getting’ a tad worried, cus maybe sumpin wanted ta eat him, and he could ony see light and shade.’
‘So what he do?’
‘He done bumped inta sumpin’ and that there flat-eye bent, so he could see direction. See how yore eye’s roun’?’
‘That’s why ya kin see in different directions.’
‘Ya mean like a chameleon?’
‘No, you dang fool, I don’ mean yore eyes go roun’ and roun’: I mean the shape of yer eye!’
Buford nodded in understandin’.
‘So the, this here meeba, he wanderin aroun’ seein’ a bit, when a drop o’ water come in front of him, and jes like that, he could see, proper like, so he run off ta tell all his friends there in the swamp whut happened. And they all come crawlin’ out and eevolved them some eyes and found some water drops an’ they could all see.’
‘But that don’t explain the monkeys, Abner.’
Abner sighed, heavy like. ‘I jes told you the story and I tol’ you we don’t come fum no monkeys! Why you carry on with that damnfool question?’
‘Cause that’s whut them city people’re sayin’!’
‘No, they ain’t! I a’ready tol’ ya ‘bout the meebas. I ain’t finished yet!’
‘Sorry, Abner,’ said Buford, leanin’ forward again. ‘I won’ interrupt ya no mo’.’
‘So these here meebas, they eevoloved into itty bitty dinosaurs.’ He seen the puzzled look on Buford’s face, and said, ‘Ya know ‘bout dinosaurs? Right?’
‘Yeah, yeah, I’m jes puzzlin’ sumpin.’
‘These meebas, they purty small, right?’
‘And dinosaurs, they purty big…’
‘Yeah, yeah, I get it! Dinosaurs wusn’t big to start, they eevolved big.’
Buford nodded slowly, as understandin’ came to him. ‘So eevolution means small become big?’
Abner scratched his head some. ‘I guess so, but no, that cain’t be zackly right.’
‘Why you say that? You jes done tol’ me that’s whut it is!’
‘Jes wait up a bit!’ said Abner. ‘I gotta think!’ He frowned in concentration, his head hurtin’ sumpin awful, when his face cleared. ‘I got it! I remember now. There wus this feller on the TV, real clever, a p’fessor or sumpin, an’ he explained it all.’
He leaned forward now, real excited. ‘Them meebas, they mighty small, and they divide in half and grow again. But this one meeba, he only half divided, so he eevolved hisself legs. T’other meebas, they thought this wus might clever, so they eevolved theirselves legs as well.’
‘So there ain’t no more meebas?’
‘No, ya see, some of the was lazy, an’ stayed right there in the swamp. So we still got meebas.’
‘So these meebas eevolved theirselves into itty bitty dinosaurs?’
Abner nodded, mighty enthusiastic like. ‘That’s zackly right. Then the dinosaurs eevolved bigger’n bigger, till they wus too big, an’ they all died, an animals come along.’
‘Where in tarnation did t’animals come fum?’
‘God made’em, jes like the Bible says.’
‘So we don’ come fum no monkeys?’
Abner shook his head. ‘Take a real dang fool to b’lieve that!’
‘Tha’s right. Real dang fool.’ An’ picked up his fishin’ pole again. ‘Real dang fool.’
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