Tales of the Congaree

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

Frank: Seems to me I hears sompen comin'.

Scip: 'Tain' nothin' but Tad.

(Tad walks up)

Tad: Yes, it ain' nothin' but Tad, and that ain' nothin'.

Scip: Wuh make you say dat? Ole Taddy! Nigger, you does sometimes tell the truth, even ef you ain' means to; but watch out, a lie is comin', I'm tellin' you, my buddy.

Voice: Tad, where you been?

Tad: I lay down back there in de swamp wid my head on a log and drapped asleep, an' I ain' wake up 'till I hear somebody laughin' and talkin', an' when I open my eye, one of dese here owls been settin' on a limb of a dead snag right by me, an' he look right down in my eye and laugh an' say, "Brother, is you restin'?" and I say, "I is been restin', but I done wid res' now. I is leffen' here." An' he say, "Brother, hole on a minute." An' I look at him good, an' I see he ain' no owl, but he been people, an' I get more intent on leffen. But dat old bird look like he helt, an', my brothers, he looked dried up and weeked, an' then he say he been a friend of my grandpa way back in slavery.

Voice: Great God, dat's when I would er tored out.

Tad: You thinks you would er tored out. You wouldn't er tored out no more en I done, an' I had a mind to, but I ain' been able to. Dat ole bird tell me when he been in dis world, he been ole man Smart Daniel' daddy, en he say he don't res' none. He spen' he time flyin' aroun' in de night an' talkin' most of de time wid other spirits, an' sometimes he makes heself known to humans. He say he ain' live right in dis world, an' he an' none un um can stand the light of day, an' he main pleasure is meetin' de chillun of he ole friend and dey chillun, when dey pass out of dis world an' take on de same shape he take on. An' he say some un um takes on other shapes an' lives in de form of different birds and animals, an' when dey is 'stroyed dey changes dey shapes. He say one shape don't recog

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