Tales of the Congaree

By Edward C. L. Adams; Robert G. O'Meally | Go to book overview

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'

-30-

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Tales of the Congaree
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction Masks of Edward C. L. Adams xi
  • Notes lxv
  • Congaree Sketches 1
  • Contents 3
  • The Big Swamps of the Congaree 5
  • The Hopkins Nigger 6
  • Jonas 8
  • A Freshet on the Congaree 9
  • Hell Fire 11
  • The Rattlesnake 14
  • Sunning on the Golden Stairs 15
  • Judge Foolbird 16
  • Old Sister 17
  • Old Sister's Friends 20
  • Old Sister in Heaven 23
  • Old Sister in Hell 26
  • The Settin' Up 29
  • The Little Old Man on the Gray Mule 30
  • The Lake of the Dead 32
  • Aunt Dinah's Cat 34
  • Murder Vs. Liquor 35
  • Old Dictodemus 37
  • Fragment of a Negro Sermon 42
  • His Day is Done 45
  • Ole Man Rogan 48
  • Big Charleston 50
  • The Yellow Crane 53
  • White Folks is White Folks 56
  • Wild Goose Nest 58
  • Transmigration 60
  • Belton's Spirit 62
  • The Animal Court 63
  • Ole Man Tooga's Chile (a Tale of the Chain Gang) 65
  • Fine My Chile 68
  • The Falling Star 70
  • Jay-Birds 71
  • Jack-Ma-Lantern 72
  • Ole Man Rouse 74
  • If You Want to Find Jesus 76
  • The Ghosts of Elm Savannah 78
  • The Crow 79
  • Primus 80
  • Jumping-Gut 81
  • Cazenova 83
  • Spirit Dogs and Barking Snakes 84
  • Death Owl 85
  • De Law Got Simon 86
  • A Fool Nigger 88
  • The Two Ducks 89
  • The Mule and the Ox 90
  • That Quart Kept on Beckoning Me 91
  • Don't 'sturb a Houn' 93
  • Don't You Play Wid Married Wimmens 94
  • Tad's Advice to His Son 95
  • Old Sister's Advice to Her Daughter 97
  • Jesus Had Trouble All Over the World 99
  • Nigger to Nigger 103
  • Contents 105
  • Foreword 109
  • The Swamps 111
  • Nigger to Nigger 131
  • White Folks 179
  • Ghosts and Angels 219
  • Bur Rabbit 233
  • Preachers 257
  • Slavery Time 275
  • Funerals 287
  • Glossary 303
  • Appendixes 313
  • Act I 329
  • Act II 357
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