Sunday, February 16, 2014

Mrs. Chappell's Wild Ride

Well sir, yesterday was full of excitement over to Booger Holler and at the home of my Cousin Peanut Chappell! I was not there, but heard all about it over to Buster Hollen's Barber Shop when I stopped in to get a trim.

Seems Cousin Peanut's Mama, Mrs. Chappell (we pronounce it MIZZ in the hills, of course) had determined to face the 8 inches of heavy snow and get out of the house to get some root vegetables an' gather the eggs from her hens over in the henhouse. Now that henhouse is actually a shed sort of thing built onto the side of the barn and there is a door from the barn into it. This makes it easy to go into the barn, get some corn and step in to feed and gather eggs.

She put on her husband Vergie's worn out ol' work boots that she often wore in muddy or icy weather. She thought they had better soles than her day to day shoes an' they came up over her ankles. She sort of figured they would keep the snow off her feet better. As she left the house she grabbed a big ol' dishpan so she could gather the eggs in it an' carry in some taters an' other root vegetables from the barn to make supper later that afternoon.

Goin' out weren't no problem. She was careful an' grabbed onto the clothesline post along the way to steady herself. The deep snow was covered by a sheet of ice an' her feet crunched through as she walked.

Once in the barn, she shelled some corn off the cob and put it into her apron as she held the bottom hem up to make a pouch for the corn. Steppin' into the henhouse caused a flurry of feathers an' cluckin' as the chickens gathered round her to peck at the corn as she tossed it to the ground. Though there was a small door for the chickens to get outside, they hadn't ventured out much in the snow an' it had almost closed up their exit.

She was right disappointed that they was only three hen eggs in the nestin' boxes. This cold an' snow had put the layin' hens off for the last few weeks. She gathered the eggs into her apron and went back into the barn.

After she carefully laid them eggs in the dishpan, she went to the back of the barn an lifted the angled door that led from the barn into the root cellar. Vergie had been right smart to build the barn with the henhouse an' the root cellar built on. She stepped down the two steps an' turned on the flashlight that hung from some balin' wire just inside the door. It gave her enough light to grab some taters, carrots an' turnips before she went back out an' into the barn.

That is when things went from normal to excitin'. She put them root vegetables in the dish pan, went out the barn door, turned to make sure it was latched an' turned back to start to the house. She noticed that it had started snowin' hard again when she turned an' took a step.

It was that turn that did her in, I reckon.

Y'see, Vergie had got himself a new pair of work boots a couple years back because the old ones was worn out and the sole was rubbed as slick as a slate rock from years of work an' wear. When Mrs. Chappell stepped out an' turned around she lost her feet out from under herself an' went down on her backside.

She let go of one side of that dishpan an' the eggs an' root vegetables flew out. When she put her hands down to catch herself the dishpan somehow got under her backside an' she landed in that dishpan on that icy snow.

That was just enough to start her skiddin' over the yard an' toward their ol' Ford truck. As she saw it comin' up fast, she laid back like one of them luge sled fellers goin' feet first. She went right under the truck an' out the other side but went to her left an' right into the dry branch that runs along the yard.

Once she hit that dry branch it was all down hill an' feet first. She commenced to squallin' an' carryin' on to beat the band. Vergie is a good bit hard of hearin' an' he thought it was just the snow an' wind comin' down the mountain an' through the holler. He sat back in his easy chair, closed his eyes to take a little ol' nap, smiled an' just listened, glad to be in on such a bad day. He couldn't wait for the hot beef an' vegetable soup Mrs. Chappell was goin' to make that evenin' for supper.

Well, things weren't goin' so good for his wife. She was a goin' down that dry branch like a locomotive, squallin' into the wind, the snow hittin' her in the face an' beginnin' to cover her all over. Folks paused all over the mountain, wonderin' what they heard. Most thought it was just the snow storm that had hit.

Then her foot caught on the branch of a cottonwood tree an' she commenced to spinnin' round an' round in that dish pan! The spinnin' made her squeals an' squalls sound like some sort of police (pronounced po-leese) or sheriff car or fire truck. Ever' one knew they was no fire trucks close by an' a few, includin' Dr. Percival Poovey (a purveyor of potent potables - he made 'shine an' sold snake oil on the circuit), was hopin' the sheriff weren't comin' after them an' made themselves scarce.

Just imagine that sight! Some critter comin' down the dry branch, all white an' snow covered, spinnin' like a top an' bustin' your ear drums with its carryin' on. It scared several youngin's who was sleddin' behind Booger Holler Hard Shell Baptist Church. They ran inside the church, found the preacher an' confessed they had stole some cigarettes an' had a smoke! They wanted right there to get themselves right in case that was judgement that had screamed down the mountain an' by them

Mrs.Chappell commenced to doin' some very unladylike cussin' an' carryin' on as she continued her wild ride, twirlin' like one of them there dervishes folks read about in the National Geogramic. Snow had completely covered her an' she almost looked like a purdy white weddin' cake or some store bought sweetnin' spinnin' on display in a big ol' picture window.

Finally the branch started to level off an' she dug the heel of one boot into the snow to slow her wild ride down an' stop the spinnin'. She hit a log across the branch, flew into the air, still hangin' onto the dishpan an' landed on the hood of her middle boy, Walter Nutt Chappell's (Folks call him WalNutt) vintage AMC Gremlin. Her face smashed up agin the windshield an' the wipers started to clean the snow an' ice off her face.

WalNutt had been startled as a huge snowball landed on his Gremlin. Y'all can just imagine how shocked he was when the wipers revealed the face of his little ol' Mama, all squishy agin the windshield.

She blinked a few times, grabbed an' held the wipers and stared fierce like only a Mama can. She pointed a finger at WalNutt an' spoke quiet like, "Get me off'n here an' get me home.

He lifted her off the Gremlin, shook her good an' hard to get all the snow off an sat her down. She didn't take too well to the shakin' an' slapped him hard.

"I said GIT me home, boy! An' never tell anyone about this." She said to him as she looked up into his frightened eyes. She threw her dishpan into the back seat, got in the AMC Gremlin and sat starin' straight forward.

He swore he wouldn't breathe a word of it to anyone. He drove her home, helped her in an' went out to the barn to gather the eggs an' root vegetables. He was plain ol' shocked that not one of them hen eggs was broke. He took them into the house, woke Vergie to say "Howdy" and was on his way.

WalNutt Chappell went directly to Buster Hollen's Barber Shop an' waited till he was in Buster's barber chair to say, "Fellers, do I have a story to tell you!"

I didn't hear it first round. I was over to Knuckle's Dollar Store when I was told I needed to stop in the Barber Shop to hear about Mrs. Chappell's Wild Ride!

I heard it there and now have told it to you just as it happened. I wouldn't lie to you 'bout it! That is just how it happened. I'd rather eat fried chicken than lie to friends.

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