Bad Behavior

May 1, 2017

Hillbilly Rhetoric

Bad Behavior

By Russell George

I had a bad day in school on Monday. The teacher gave those in my class an English test. I knew I didn’t do good on the test. After the noon recess the teacher came to my desk and scolded me. She said “Rusty, It looks like you didn’t even try. I know you can do better than that.” I just shut my mouth and didn’t say nuthin. I was embarrassed cuz I knew every one in the room heard what she said.

At the afternoon recess one of my friends came to me and said, “Rusty you shouldn’t let the school mom sass you like that. You need to get even with her. When schools out why don’t you go out and let the air outen all her tires? I double dare ya to do it.” I said, “Well that sounds like a little much. Why don’t I just do it to one of her tires. That way she can go home on the spare.” My friend said “Ok. I won’t tell anybody who did it.”

As soon as school was out I left right away and went out to the far side of her car. I got out my pocket nife and screwed out the do dad in the valve stem. It made a hissen sound. I ran up the road to catch up with the other kids and went home. I was almost sure some one musta seen me do it.

Well I didn’t sleep good that night. I was scared of what was guna happen next mornin when I went to school. I didn’t know what to do. Before it was time to get outa bed I had figured out a plan. When Mom called me to get up I said “I don’t feel good. I don’t wana go to school today.” She said “Why? Where do you hurt? I said “I do no. I just don’t feel good.”

When Dad came in from milken the cows Mon said to him “Rusty says he don’t feel good and don’t want to go to school.” He said, “Well maybe I better take him to the doctor. I need to go into town today anyhow to get some chiken feed.

After him an Mom ate breakfast Mom got me up n dressed. By that time Dad had the car at the door. I was scared again. I thought “Whats the doctor guna say?” After Dad bought the chiken feed he took me to the doctors office. While we were waiten to go in to see the doctor I kinda scotched down in my chair to make it look like I didn’t feel good.

The first thing the doctor said was “Well son, I’m sorry your sick. Where are ya hurten? I said “I do no.” He laid me down on a table and started pushen on my tummy. He asked me again and again “Does it hurt there? Each time I said “No.” Then he set me up an took my temperature and said, “He don’t have a temperature.” Then he took his flashlight and looked in my ears and said, “Nuthen wrong there.” Then he pulled a flat stick out of a drawer and asked me to open my mouth. I said, “Wait a minute. I gota itch a scratch before I can do anything else.” I unbuttened my shirt and itched my belly. Then he stuck that stick in my mouth and asked me to say ah. I said to myself “What kinda language is that? That don’t make no sense.” Again he said “Say ah.” Well I said it. He threw the stick in a trash can and said to Dad, “The only problem I find is that he has an itch.”

He sat down on a stool and asked to Dad, if we had any eggs at our house. Dad said, “Ya, every day our chikens lay a few.” Then he said. “Well heres what I wantcha to do. Break open an egg and seperate the yoke from the white. Then I wantcha to smear that egg white all over his tummy twice a day.”

That’s what Mom did to me when we got home. I couldn’t put my shirt on the rest of the day cuz it woulda stuck to my tummy. It’s a good thing I didn’t have to itch a scratch on my tummy cuz all that egg white woulda stuck under my finger nails.

I did a lota thinkin duren the day while I was layen on my back with my tummy painted with egg white. Along tords evenen I decided I was guna hafta go back to school the next day. I decided I was guna hafta make it right with my teacher. I told Mom that I was feelen better and wanted to go back to school the next day. She sent me to the bath room to take a bath and wash the egg white off my tummy.

The next mornin, after we said the pledge allegiance to the flag, I sat down at my desk. Tears started comin to my eyes and runen down my cheeks. The teacher saw I was crien and came and said “What’s wrong Rusty?” I was too ashamed to look her in her eyes. I kept my head bowed and said “I’m sorry fer what I did to ya on Monday. I shouldn’t have done it. I wantcha to forgive me. Ok?”

The teacher put her hand on my shoulder and said “Rusty I love you. I’ll forgive you if you promise never to do anything like that again.” I said “I promise.” Then she said “Now get out your book and start studying. Let’s just both forget about what happened on Monday.” Then she reached down with both hands and gave me a hug.

I pulled the book out of my desk and opened it but I found it hard to read it cuz I had tears in my eyes. I was sure relieved. I thought, “It’s true that she scolded me in front of everyone in the school, but she also forgave me and hugged me in front of everyone.” That sure changed my opinion of her. She said she loved me. I thought “I love her too, but I do no how I’ll ever be able to tell her that I do.”

(8)

A Cow’s tale

May 1, 2017

A Cow’s Tale

By Russell George

Jersey is my pet cow. Dad bought her at the sale barn one day when she was just a little caf. At first we had to feed her milk with a bottle. Then she got so she would drink her milk out of a pail. Every night it was my job to feed her. She kinda took a liken to me. We became friends.

Jersey was what they call a jersey cow. She was kind of a yellow–brown color. The rest of the cows we had were what they call her fords. We kept jersey in a pen in the barn with other baby cafs. I felt sorry for jersey cuz she was cooped up in that pen all the time. One day I put a rope around her neck and took her out for a walk around the corral. She liked that so I did it most every day.

When jersey got a little bigger I broke her to ride. That is what they call it when they teach a horse to let you ride it. I was able to stradle her back and let her carry me around. They don’t make bridles for cows so I wasn’t able to tell her where I wanted her to take me. Most of the time she didn’t wanta take me anywheres. I had to kick her in her flanks with my heals to get her to move.

Dad had a thing they called a cury comb. It is like a steal brush that is made to brush a cow’s hair. I guess it’s to get the dirt off their hide since cows don’t take a bath. Jersey liked it when I brushed her with that.

When jersey got about 6 months old she got to go out to the pasture every day and eat grass with the other cows and cafs. It was my job to go to the pasture every evenen and bring the cows home to be milked. When I got the cows headen towards home I’d jump on jersey’s back and let her carry me. Some times when the cows saw that I wasn’t chasen em theyed stop to eat grass. I’d have to jump ofen Jersey and chase them again.

Jersey musta been a round 2 years old when she got pregnant. A few months later she had a baby caf. Her and I were real proud of her baby. Her caf got put in the pen in the barn where we kept jersey when we got her. I taught her baby how to drink milk outen a pail like jersey did when she was little. Jersey got to go in the barn ever night n mornin to be milked. In the evenen it was my job to carry water to the pigs. One evenen I saw Dad let jersey outen the barn after he milked her. I was on the way to the pig pen with 2 buckets of water. When I came back I saw that jersey had laid down by the fence. As I was goin back to the pig pen with 2 more pails of water I got a bright idea. I thought, I’m guna play a practical joke on jersey and tie her tale to a fence post. After I finished watern the pigs I went to the shop and got a piece of cord about 10 feet long. I tied it to jersey’s tail . Then I tied the other end to the top of a fence post. She never paid a bit of attention to what I did. I guess she was tired and was fixen to sleep there all night.

After that I went to the house for the evenen meal. I just finished seten the table for mom when Dad came in. I could see right away that he had a stormy look on his face. He said, “Rusty, you come out here.” As I followed him out the door I saw he had a piece of cord in his hip pocket. He took me by the arm and led out to where I had tied jersey’s tale to the post. She wasn’t there any more. He said, “Rusty what you did to jersey is called cruelty to animals. So you can learn what it’s like I’m guna tie you to the post. He tied the cord tight around my rist and then to the post. I’m sure he woulda tied me by my tale if Ida had one. While he was duin that he said, “Jersey is your pet, but she is my cow.” I’m guna leave the cord long enough so you can lay down and sleep here tonight.” I said “Do you mean your guna leave me here all night?” He said, “Well that’s what you was guna do to jersey wasn’t it?” I said, “But I aint had nuthen to eat yet.” he said, “That’s alright. Youl be ready for a big breakfast in the mornin.”

With that he went of an left me there. He went to the house. After about an hour he came back out where I waz. He said “Yer mother wouldn’t stand fer leven you out here all night.” He untied me and said “I hope you have learned what it’s like to be cruel to animals. I thought about sayen, “But I aint no animal,” but then I thought I better keep my mouth shut. When I got to the house I saw that Mom had a plate of food set out on the table for me. She didn’t say nuthen. I ate the food and went up to my room and went to bed.

The next day I realized that I owed an apology to jersey. I don’t even know if she realized that she had her tale tied to a fence post. If she did, that’s all the more reason why I needed to apologize to her. That evenen, when I went to the pasture to get the cows, I went to jersey right away. I put my arm around her neck, gave her a hug, and said “Jersey, I’m awful sorry fer what I did to you last night. Will you forgive me?” Of course jersey couldn’t talk to me, but I could tell by the look on her face that she was listenen. I’m sure she forgave me because she was still my friend after that.

From that experience I learned to be careful about what I did as a practical joke. I thought, “It might be a lot of fun fur me, but it might be cruel to the one I did it to. We need to be kind, even to our animal friends.

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