Th’ weather wus real nice, whut with th’ summer almost gone an’ the June bugs makin’ their way down t’ Mexico. Yup, fall wus on th’ way. Abner an’ Buford wus jes’ settin’ on a rock, alookin’ at th’ countryside, an’ she sure wus purty. Ever’thang wus still green, and it wus warm, but not sticky hot.
They heard a rustlin’ in th’ grass an Hiram happened along. He bin out here a while now, so he din’ need no shoes no more. ‘Mind if’n I join you boys?’
‘Grab y’self a rock, Hiram,’ said Abner, a’ways takin’ th’ lead. Hiram pulled hisself up onto this big ol’ rock and lay back, lookin’ up at the sky with them big puffy clouds.
‘Whut’s doin,’ boys?’ asked Hiram.
‘Nuthin’ much. We’all jest enjoyin’ thisyere weather.’
Hiram nodded at that. It shore wus pleasant.
‘Mary Ellen jes’ come back fum the big city, an’ got herself some mighty strange ideas.’
Abner looked roun’ at him. ‘Whut sorta strange ideas?’
‘She come here all high ‘n mighty, thankin’ she’s better than other folks, smellin’ like I don’ know whut, but it shore set the houn’s t’ howlin!’
‘Y’mean she stanks?!'
‘I don’ rightly know: them big city wimmen, they like t’ put on that there smelly stuff, cause they think it smells good, but I ain’t so shore.’ Hiram sighed, real deep. ‘I kin tell you boys, I don’ miss the big city none!’
‘Soun’s t’me like the big city ain’t no place f’ folks like us,’ said Abner.
‘Shore ain’t,’ said Hiram. ‘Y’know whut theseyere big city wimmen do? They shave!’
‘Ah kin unnerstan’ that,’ said Buford. ‘My grammaw had a powerful red beard, an’ she used t’ shave it on special occasions, like weddin’s and sechlike.’
‘No, I ain’t talkin’ ‘bout beards; they’re shavin’ their laigs an unner their arms and even some a them, their bits.’
Buford, I tol’ you he had big eyes, but his eyes looked like they wus bigger’n saucers when he heard that. ‘What in tarnation would a body wanna do sumpin’ like that for?’
‘They thank it’s more hygienic,’ said Hiram.
‘How in tarnation can it be hygienic t’ shave yore bits?’
‘They say things get stuck in that there hair, an’ it ain’t right, cause it can git real dirty down there,’ said Hiram.
‘I don’ rightly see how,’ said Abner, who din’ wanna be kep’ outa any conversation too long. ‘Oncet a week, my maw takes a pair a scissors to my paws behind an’ snips off all the dangly bits, an’ he done the same f’ her. It can get clogged up sumpin’ fierce down there ifn you don’ do reg’lar groomin.’
Buford piped up hisself now. ‘Sally done trims her underarm hair b’fore the hootenanny! She says when she wears thet purty pink dress, the hair hangs down too far.’
Abner sniffed at that. ‘She a’ways wus fulla airs an’ graces, thet one!’
‘I thank she’s purty!’ pouted Buford.
‘I din’ say she wusn’ purty,’said Abner. ‘I said she’s got ideas above her station, tha’s all. Th’ other girls look jest as purty, but they don’ thank they gotta cut that hair that God gave ‘em!’
‘Whut I cain’t unnerstan’,’said Buford. ‘Is why a body would go to so much trouble to put on smellin’ stuff. Specially ifn it makes the hounds nervous.’
‘Well,’ said Hiram, his college eddication showin’ agin. ‘These big city folks thank a bit o’ honest sweat ain’t right, but you gotta smell like a garden, even ifn you don’ work in one.’
‘Don’ make no sense,’ said Abner. ‘What in tarnation is a body supposed t’ smell like? I thank the smell o’ carbolic soap is real good, long as you don’ use it too often.’
‘How in hell you ever gonna catch sumpin if you smell like flowers an’ sech. Ifn you smell natural, them critters cain’t pick up yore scent. Tha’s probly why the houn’s started howlin’ when they smelt Mary Ellen.’
‘Jest ain’t right,’ said Buford. ‘It jest ain’t.’
‘Some a them big city wimmen don’ go with all that malarkey,’ said Hiram. ‘Why there’s this one woman, kin use a computer an’ all, she don’ do none a that stuff.’
‘Well,’ said Abner. ‘She should come down here, she’d feel right at home.’
'Yep,’ said Buford, ‘She shore would.’