Voice: Sorter slow. Wuh's de time, Ber Leck?
Leck: Time ain't so much.
Voice: Wey you come from?
Leck: Jes come out of de Congaree swamp.
Voice: How come time ain't so much, Ber Leck?
Leck: Jes come out de Congaree swamp and de ole river sho' is ragin'. I never is seen a wusser freshet. De logs spin 'round a hundred feet long and roarin' 'gainst de big trees like dey guh tear de heart out de earth wey de go,--varmints a settin' on limbs and ridin' on logs, and I seen er drove er cow swimmin'. Each one had a head a restin' on de tail of de other cow. Den de call come and de first cow sink and all de other cows sink. After while I see 'em whirlin' over and over. Sometime day feets in de air, sometime dey horns, and de river been mess up de cows' horns and foots and it th'owed 'em every which er way, and I see hog cut dey own throats tryin' to swim out of dis torment and de river, and it look like God Almighty must a wrop he arm 'round de flood and whirl it back in He anger. Every which er way I look I see 'struction. I see sturgeon tangle up in a wire fence and de birds quit singin' and went to hollerin', and I look down on de yaller water and I see wey buzzard cast his shadow. Everywhere I look I see buzzard. I been prayin' to God to help me and I been fightin' de angry waters and 'struction been rollin' at me and I been lookin' death in de face. And God save me dis time, and I reckon I'll stay 'way from de big swamp and try and don't do nothin' to defy Him.
Brother, when de Congaree gits riled, it mighty nigh look like Jesus hisself forgits de poor critters, it look like he stan' back and give de devil a chance to do he do. And if your heart ain't right, my brother, de big swamps will 'stroy it. Dey 'stroy your body and if dey ain't 'stroy it, look like dey' 'stroy your soul.
Voice: Did you hear Ber Leck? He ain't tell no lie. I see a
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Tales of the Congaree. Contributors: Edward C. L. Adams - Author, Robert G. O'Meally - Editor. Publisher: University of North Carolina Press. Place of publication: Chapel Hill, NC. Publication year: 1987. Page number: 9.