Tales of the Congaree

By Edward C. L. Adams; Robert G. O'Meally | Go to book overview
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The Little Old Man on the Gray Mule

Tad: Wuh you run in here like you guh bus' your brains out fer? Is anything atter you?

Bruser: I see sumpen en it frighten me.

Tad: Wuh you see?

Bruser: I have been passin theu the Big Pea Ridge woods en I seems to hear the leaf cracklin'. I ain' know if I hear um ur no, but I sho I see sumpen, en I ain' know how I feel, en when I look I see a man runnin', wid he clothes tored mighty nigh off him en he eye red en he tongue hang out like dog. He look like he all tored up. And while I look he pass out of sight. Before I can get myself straight I seen a houn' dog wid he nose to de groun' trailin', and he pass on. And I see a pack of dog en dey pass me en dey all look like dey barkin' on a trail, but dey ain't make no soun'. And atter while here come a little man wid he long hair on his shoulder, yaller, ridin' a gray mule, and he bent over he mule en he look like he whoopin' to he dog, and he pass on, and de moon look brighter, and de tree shadder look darker, and de frosts on de leaf look like snow. And I ain' move for a while and it look like my heart guh froze I been so frighten. And den I lef' and I ain't want stay no longer, and I ain't wan' go dere no more.

Voice: Who you reckon it been?

Bruser: I ain't know.

Old Daniel: Is dis de fust time you hear about de old man wid he gray mule and he houn' dog, and de runnin' nigger?

Tad: Tell we.

Old Daniel: Way back in slavery time old Marster's Daddy had a little yaller nigger. De old folks says he had heap uh nigger. He had nigger he raise, and he had wild nigger, and when dese niggers been unruly and git punished some of dem run off and de little yaller nigger wid de gray mule's business been to run um wid he dog. Dat been he juty and dat been he pleasure, to say he ain' love nothen but he mule and he houn'

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