We’uns down in th’ holler don’ hol’ much with thet there wimmens liberashun. We thank a woman is a woman an’ should behave like they’s supposed ta. No shavin’ their laigs, under their armpits or even their bits. It jes’ ain’t right. Our wimmens don’ burn bras, cus they don’ wear them. They makin’ their boobies hang free, like God intended.
An’ thet don’ mean they gotta know their place an’ we lordin’ over them, oh Lordy me no! My paw oncet told my maw t’ clean up th’ cabin, cus we had folks comin’ t’ visit f’um th’ big city, an’ he din’ wanna be ‘shamed a hisse’f. She done given him a broom an’ said he wus welcome t’ clean it hisse’f an' ifn thet din’ suit him, he could go an’ sleep with th’ hawgs, cus he smelt like one.
So when Ardelle become the Lady Mayor, we all thunk she wus gonna change, cus when she wen’ up to Memphis t’ meet wi’ th’ Governor, she done shave under her armpits. Now I know b’fore the election, she done cut her armpit hair short, so as not t’ make th’ other wimmens jealous, but this wus shavin’, land’s sake!
Turns out she din’ have no ideas ‘bove her station, she had t’ shave t’ fit in wi’ thet there high society. She wus telling us the Governor’s mansion wus real fancy; this wus a double wide an’ then some! Li’l gate with a picket fence and half tyres with flowers in ‘em leading all the way t’ th’ front door a thet there trailer. She said it near tooken her breath away, it wus so beautiful. Hiram, he wusn’t as impressed as her, cus he done got hisse’f a college eddication, but my, she wus hangin’ tight onto his arm an’ lookin’ at all thet fancy stuff there.
They wus boxes an’ boxes a fancy wine on th’ table. Real fancy wine wi’ li’l faucets an’ all, an’ so much food a body could git sick jes’ lookin’ at it. Cornbread an’ cracklin’, the real stuff, made special like, not the store-bought stuff. It wus enuff t’ make her haid spin, she wus tellin’ us. Got them li’l hot dogs an’ hamburgers an’ sechlike. Fit fer a king, it wus.
So when she and Hiram come home all fancy like, her with her shaved pits an’ him with his big city Fedora, I kin tell ya, folks wusn’ impressed. But we foun’ out soon enuff thet Hiram, he din’ change none. An’ Ardelle wusn’ chawin’ baccy no more cus she wus pregnant, so ever’thang settled down real quiet like, whut with fall comin’ and the leaves fallin’ and it not bein’ so hot no more.
Abner an’ Buford, they come moseyin’ up t’ Hiram’s cabin, and’ Abner, cus he thanks he’s real clever, sings out, ‘Howdy Mr. Mayor!’, on account a Bubba a’ways callin him perfessor. Still, Hiram din’ seem to mind.
‘Take yorese’ves a seat outside there on the porch where it’s nice an’ cool, an’ I’ll bring y’all some cawfee.’ Well, them two din’ need no invitin’, I kin tell you. They sat their behin’s down on them store-bought chairs so fas’, it looken like they wus gonna break!
Well, they wus settin’ there an’ jawin’ when Ardell brung the cawffee out, an’ you could see straightaway there wus a woman in the house. She brung the cawfee out on a tray, with a little cloth on it, an’ sugar an’ cream separate like. My, my, my. Those two boys din’ know whut t’ do with theirse’ves. This wus jes’ too fine!
Purty blue enamel mugs wi’ li’l pitchers on ‘em, of like raccoons an’ squirrels an’ sechlike. They never done seen anythin’ so fancy in their whole lives! ‘He’p y’se’f, boys,’ said Hiram and they got stuck in there, puttin’ in six spoons a sugar an’ then cream, and man! thet cawfee tasted good. They din’ talk much, cus she done brung out dunkin’ biscuits an’ they wus mighty tasty, but when they finished, they sat back and sighed, real contented like.
‘So whut you boys bin up to?’ asked Hiram. Now thet he din’ see them so much, he wunted t’ know whut wus goin’ down in the holler.
‘We-e-eell’, said Abner, real slow like, ‘Y’know we like t’ fish down there in th’ crick, where there’s plenny a shade, an’ the fish bite enuff t’ give us some food t’ eat, an' when they don’, it goes us time t’ thank and jaw ‘bout different thangs.’
‘Yeah?’ said Hiram, knowin’ there wus some story comin’ an’ shore enuff there wus. Abner, he put down his mug an’ set back in thet there chair, so he could tell his story.
‘I done tol’ ya Hank’s got hisse’f airs an’ graces sencet he moved over yonder on th’ other side a th’ gap?’ Hiram nodded; he remembered. ‘Well now, he’ got hisse’f this thang called trout fishin', where you gotta climb inta th’ crick an’ walk aroun’ in it, so’ you kin catch yore fish.’ He shooken his haid. ‘Dumbest thang I ever heerd of, I kin tell you. But Hank tryin’ t’ be neighbourly, he invited us t’ go fishin’ with him, so we wen’ along, and you won’ b’lieve this! He put hisse’f on thesyere big rubber pants, called ‘em waders. So’s he could walk in th’ water ‘thout gittin’ wet.’
‘Me an’ Buford here, we ain’t no sissies, so we clumb inta thet there water with our dungarees. Wus real pleasant like, it bein’ so hot an’ all.’ Buford, he nodded an chewed on his dunkin’ biscuit, not sayin’ much. ‘But you won’ b’lieve whut Hank did! He ketched hisse’f a fish, real purty like, he called it a rainbow trout, then he tooken the hook outen its mouth an’ threw it back in th’ water!’
‘Thet’s whut they call catch and release,’ said Hiram, whut knowed alla these thangs.
‘Whut in tarnation is the poin’ a ketchin’ a fish ifn y’all gonna th’ow it back? Cus thet there fish is mighty fine eatin’.’
‘It’s whut they do fer sport, Abner.’
Abner shooken his haid, ‘Jes’ don’seem right. Airs an’ graces, thet’s whut it is, but we sorted it out proper like. Buford wus waist deep in thet there crick, when he farted, an’ four a them trout come up fer air, so I grabbed ‘em with my net. Hank said it wusn’ right to do stuff like thet, but I done tol’ him whut we did with our fish wus our bizness, an’ he got all sulky like an’ wen’ off by hisse’f. I tried t’ git Buford t’ fart agin, but they wus on’y li’l ones, so we din’ ketch us no more trout, but nex’ time we go, Buford’s gonna fill up on beans. Thet way, we gonna make sure it’s gonna be a good one.’
Well, they sat there jawin’ a mite longer, then Abner an’ Buford got up an’ said their howdy do’s, and wen’ off home.
‘I wisht you wouldn’ tell ever’body thet there story, Abner. It makes me look real bad.’
Abner looked at him, plumb amazed. ‘Make you look bad?! You crazy? How many folks y’know got a talent like thet?’ He shooken his haid. ‘No Buford, y’all oughta be proud a yorese’f wi’ thet there talent. Y’all could have as many fish as you wan’, jes’ any ol’ time.’
Buford, he smiled thet big goofy grin a his’n. ‘Ya really thank so, Abner?’
Abner, he nodded his haid real hard. ‘I don’ thank so, Buford, I kow thet fer a fact!’
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