Hi again. This is Bud from Calders Draw way up in the mountains. My Momma and I live at the point of the draw in a log house. We can look down across the hills and valleys and watch the weather roll across the world from up there. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.
My Momma tells me I am 18 years old now...that is getting pretty old for a country boy to still not have a wife. I am pretty smart. I was 12 when I finished school, and I made it all the way to 3rd grade. I make some money cuttin' wood for the folks here about. And if the folks don't got any money then I trade for a fat possum or maybe even a coon if I had to cut a lot of wood. I gotta tell you I have the sharpest axe and the longest handle in the mountains.
My true love is Lula May Cratchet. She is just like Momma. She is big and soft and I can't get my arms around her all the way.
The other day after church Lula May and I was gettin' all heated up when her momma called her and she had to leave. I was sure disappointed.
And then skinny, ugly, little Cricked Trask showed up and pretty much ruined a perfectly good day.
Well I am just not gonna think anymore about it. I got some cooter huntin' to do.
Momma makes some of the best cooter pie, and cooter soup with big fluffy dumplin's. You just haven't had cooter until you have had Momma's cooter.
So anyway I was down at the crick where it empties into the bigger crick before it runs into the little river down at the start of the draw, and I was huntin' cooter. You don't want your cooter great big cause they might snap your fingers off. And you don't want them little cause then you got to catch a mess of them to get enough. You want your cooter just the right size for fixin'.
Did I mention cooters swim really fast and they are hard to catch. I am probably the best in the mountains at cooter catchin', and even for me it is hard work.
I needed a break from catchin' cooter, so I stripped off my coveralls and laid down on a big flat rock in the middle of the crick. After a while I was beginnin' to dry off and the sun felt good and the next thing I knowed I heard voices.
I had heard these voices before. It was the Trask twins, Cricket's older sisters by a year, Katy Did, and June Bug. They were just as skinny, and ugly as Cricket but only a year better at it.
So I figured if I just kept quiet maybe they wouldn't see me layin' belly up on the big rock in the middle of the crick. It got really quiet and I figured my plan had worked when I heard whispers. Now I got good eyes and can see nearly anything, although I still hadn't seen that Big Johnson Cricket had been talkin' about the last time we met. And I got good ears, so when the critter sisters started whisperin' I could hear every word.
"June!" Katy says, "Look what's out there in the middle of the crick on that big flat rock!" "Cricket was right!" said June, "That's a Big Johnson!"
I opened my eyes just a little and looked around at the crick bank and didn't see any Big Johnson. If there had been a Big Johnson anywhere around I could a seen him. I did notice the bug sisters were throwin' their clothes all over the bushes. I figured they was gonna take a little coolin' off swim before heading home. If I just kept my eyes shut maybe I wouldn't have to look at the ugly, skinny Trask sisters. I did my best to ignore them.
They were comin' my way...I kept my eyes closed. They were gettin' closer...I tried to ignore them.
Pretty soon there was one on either side of my flat rock in the middle of the crick.
"Do you think he is asleep?" June says.
I kept my eyes closed real tight.
"Who cares!" Katy said, "look at the size of that thing. Poke it with your finger June."
"Not me! You do it. See if he is really asleep." Said June
I felt a poke on Katy's side of my man thing.
"You do it June." says Katy.
I felt a poke on June's side of my man thing.
"He must have been huntin' cooter. That will wear out a man faster than anything." Says June.
"I'm gonna grab it." Said Katy.
I felt a boney, skinny hand grab my man thing. Then another skinny, boney hand grabs my man thing. Then another hand grabs it. Then another boney, skinny hand gets ahold of my man thing. I figured that was all the hand grabbin' I would have to tolerate...unless I had counted wrong.
"Look at that!" says June. There is still room for another hand or two.
"Yeah, and it is growin'!" Katy exclaimed.
I couldn't help it. Even the skinny, boney hands of the ugly bug sisters was makin my man thing swell up. It just got bigger and bigger. I tried to think of somethin' else so the swellin' would go down, but nothin' helped.
"I'm gonna pull on it." says June.
"Me too." says Katy.
And they did. They kept pullin' and tuggin' on my man thing until it just up and squirts all over the crick bottom. The bug sisters was gigglin' and laughin' and sayin "Oh, My!" and "Oh, Goodness!" and "Oh, My Lord!" And I knew right where this was goin'
June says, "I want to be first to get up on that!"
Kate says, "Why?"
And June says, "Cause I'm 5 minutes older."
Kate sounded disappointed when she says, "Okay, but leave some for me."
June says, "Are you kidding!!! Look at the size of that thing! I'm sure not gonna be able to use it all up."
The next thing I know June is standin' over me. I can tell because she is sheddin' water off her shinny, boney little body. And then she squatted down on my man thing, wigglin' and cooin' and sayin' "Oh, My this." and "Oh, My that." "She gets to wigglin faster and faster and now she is sayin' "Yes, Lord!" and "Praise be." She was really gettin with the spirit. And the whole time I am tryin' to think of Lula May instead of the ugly insect sisters.
Finally, June lets out a bellow that would have made any sow bear proud and just slumps down on my chest. She lays there for a minute and then I hear Katy tellin' her to get off cause it is her turn.
June just kinda rolls off into the crick and floats to the shore. While Kate drips water all over me and squats down on my man thing just like June did. And I had to put up with the whole thing all over again. Although I think Katy did a little more up and down instead of round and round like June.
The whole time I am thinkin' of Lula May.
Finally, Katy gets real still and through the slits of my eyelids I can see her just kinda starein' down the crick. Then she starts to make a sound like a big tree crackin' lose from the forest floor and fallin' down into other trees and taking a bunch of limbs and stuff along with it until it explodes against the ground. And then she slowly falls down against my chest, and lets out a long slow breath.
"Big Johnson..." she breathes.
I look around real good and still don't see anybody.