Warm weather, rains, green growing things, frogs singing and — mosquitos! I am one of those who taste good to skeeters, one reason I mostly enjoy the outside from indoors . . . love the bay window view and listening to the frogs from behind a screen door.
reminded me of a couple of my dad’s stories . . . take warning and don’t get eaten.
Skeeters He’p Grandpa Clear Land by “Uncle” John Fussner
Ah recken you be thinkin’ that were a powerful lot of work fer one man in such a short span o’ time. Ah gotta hadmit it were, but you see, he had some hep. ‘Twere a strange sorta he’p, hit were.
When the warm weather hit, hyar come the dad-blamed skeeters. Big, powerful critters they be! Well sir, long ’bout sundown, Grandpa would carry a big ole blacksmith hammer down to the woods whar he be clearin’ land.
“Now, how you gonna clear land with a hammer?” you ask.
Grandpa had hit all figgered out, he did. He stood ‘side a likely-lookin’ tree he wanted moved, and waited fer a skeeter to buzz up. That old skeeter ‘twould smell Grandpa, take aim, and hyar he come. Jest afore he got to him, Grandpa ducked behind the tree. That skeeter ran his beak right through that thar tree, and Grandpa would take his hammer, and with one mighty swing, he clenched that thar skeeter’s bill. Wharupon the skeeter ‘twould take off, tree an’ all, mostly toward whar Grandpa was buildin’. ‘Bout time them skeeters got to the cabin, they’d be plumb tuckered out. Down they’d come, skeeter meat fer hogs and dogs, and logs fer buildin’ an’ burnin’.
Skeeters Ate Grandpa’s Cow by “Uncle” John Fussner
Grandpa made good use of the skeeters clearin’ land, but as always, hit sort of back-fired on him. One mornin’ he went out to do the chores an’ Old Bessie the cow war gone, and so was the calf. After a light breakfast of a half-pound slice of home-cured ham, a half dozen cackle berries, followed by a goodly stack of hot cakes, and washed down with a couple of big mugs of coffee, he allowed as how he’d best be goin’ to fetch old Bessie home.
About the time the sun was noon high, Grandpa came up through the pasture, leadin’ the calf. Grandma went out to meet him, asking, “Whar be Old Bessie?”
Grandpa said in a sorrowful voice, “Old Bessie hain’t with us no more. She strayed over to Moonshine Cave, up Skunk Holler, and them dat blamed skeeters done ate her up. Hain’t nothin’ left of Old Bessie but a pile of bones. This yare calf got fur ’nuff back inter the cave to whar hit were a leetle tight fer them thar skeeters, or they likely would of got to her, too.”
Well sir, that left Grandpa ‘thout a cow. He and his brother went off to the sale barn to fetch home another one, but seein’ as how neither one had near ’nuff cash to come close to buyin’ one, they put all thar eggs in one basket so to speak, and bought one cow fer the both of ’em.
Grandpa’s brother havin’ put in the bigger share, he ‘lowed as how the rightful thing to do were to let him pick what half be his. Grandpa was thinkin’ that since a cow has a right side and a left side, with a back bone markin’ whar they be jined, he ‘lowed as how ‘twould be fair ’nuff.
But as often happens when two people look at the same thing, Grandpa’s brother didn’t see right an’ left, but front an’ back halves. You all’s seen ’nuff cows to know which end is by far the better half. Well sir, the brother ‘lowed as how he hankered fer the back half.
Grandpa fed and watered his half fer more’n a month, and come sunup or sundown his brother took a pail of milk out’n his half. One day Grandpa had all of hit he could take. Instead of feedin’ his half, he killed hit and dressed out the meat. Well sir, would you believe hit, his brother’s half up and died, too.
More of my dad’s stories at https://storytellermary.wordpress.com/daddy-john-stories/ and https://storytellermary.wordpress.com/category/stories/daddy-john-stories/