New Parson Story
Now the Parson always do
what he says he do, (often not as 'spected)
and promisin' a story told be no dif'rent,
though when and where sittin'
be open fer guessin'.
So nobody say nuthin',
when right t'middle Ferkis complainin'
'bout the price of vittles down t'hallow,
ol' Parson set off 'bout predictin' the weather.
In hind spect it makes sense, I recon,
as in trade and hagglin' you often
get what ya deserve
rather than expect or be wantin'. (ma told me that)
Seems' this farmin' feller down ta flatlands
got a reputation 'bout tellin' 'bout the weather.
Now I cain't say 'tis true 'cause Parson
also be tellin' how this young man
grows more corn in a longish field
that this whole mountain do in patches.
But, it bein' the Parson doin' the tellin',
I knows the truth be in there shore,
like he be remindin' us 'bout Bible thumpin',
and tryin' to squeeze grape juice from
gravel or wise thoughts from a politician.
Any hoo, this farmin' feller named Ruffus
started growin' better and more righteous
vegetables and grain that his neighbors,
just like his pa always did afore --
which folks thereabouts 'llowed 'cause
the ol' man had been a God fearin' man
and bit-time tent preacher.
But this Ruffus di'n't hold fer that
and never 'tended church er nuthin',
and even nosy extention university 'ficals
couldn't rightly say how he done it.
Came ta be though, from watchin' close,
neighbors came to know that Ruffus always
made the right decisions when it came to weather --
and when ta plant and furrow and cut or run.
So other folk began to copy what he do,
and soon enough the whole county be 'tractin'
attention from reporters and big city TV doin's.
They comes down fer to interview Ruffus
and discover the secrets of his 'powers'
of predictin' so good and practical.
Seems Ruffus to be kinda shy
and don't hanker much to sharin' stuff,
and folks be saying' he gotta tell by right --
and he be saying should be enough
that folks be gettin' better crops
and easier times and more time fer readin'
and proper child raisin'. (he didn't have none yet)
The folks come to be insistin',
and claimin' he cain't be no Christian
ifin he don't do right by folks --
else he must be talkin' with the devil,
or else be sinnin' fer refusin'
charity to needful people there.
So Ruffus tell he what he learn't from his pa --
how he had a piece a rope a hangin'
offin ta'side the south porch-back
that he could reach from the window crack
behind the kindlin' stove afore sunrise
each morning barefoot cold and all.
Now if that rope be wet he knows it been rainin',
and ifin it be swayin there's a wind about --
and if it be stiff then a freeze be near,
and 'stead it be limp and dry then ya
better be a watchin' fer drought.
Well, them folks laugh at first --
then decide Ruffus be funnin' with them
and hiding some secret, magical ways,
fer they ain't stupid a'tall --
and that Ruffus was 'simple like'
and not to be trusted.
So they went back to there old ways,
with faith in almanacs and radio prediction,
and Sunday meetin' prayin',
rather than riskin' their souls
to un-natural suspicious stuff.
Now that's a pretty strange story (even fer the Parson)
and we be talkin' 'bout it some
after Parson done amble way after eatin'.
Chester thought he might be tryin' that rope thing
his-self, but his old lady calls out laughin'
from the boilin' pot how then Chester
would have ta git up early afore
the dogs and start plowin' right off,
working and fetch breakfast later on --
and we knew that was one bit of predictin'
that was truer that sunrise magic.
And I be thinkin' how my corn
might be a bit taller ifin I spent more time
plowin' than story listenin'.