Katrina

I'm lookin' fer a shortage 'a akerns this fall, from what I'm h'yearin' from my folks over in Miss'ippi. It taken'd awhile fer th' word t' git th'ough th' woods an' acrost th' big river, but we fin'ly run up on a mighty sorry lookin' ol' boar that floated acrost on 'a rotten log som'ers down b'low Natchez.

He said he'd lit out more'n a week before that, when he h'yeard all th' high wind comin' in an' th' trees 'a poppin' way back down aroun' Liberty Miss'ippi. He left in a high trot when he seen Jerry Clower's third cousin Elroy's trailer house sailin' th'ough a bare spot where they was 'a purty heavy pine saplin' thicket not too long 'fore sunup that day, 'a trailin' a TV satellite dish draggin' from a long antenner w'ar, unhinged plastic water pipes, 'n a clo'se line full 'a over'halls draggin' a row 'a li'l ol' pickets ripped plum' up out'a th' ground an' still nailed on t' th' side 'a that trailer. (If you hap'n t' know a Elroy Clower, this wad'n him. It's th' other'n.)

I taken'd a right good squint at that ol' boar b'fore I rekanized 'im. But when I seen th' twist 'a th' right tush that's jis' like my maw's, I knowed it was ol' Rufus Rooter, kin t' me on my maw's side, that had stayed in Miss'ippi when th' rest 'a th' folks moved on west t' Lou'ziana. He was all wild-eyed lookin', his ears was draggin', an' most 'a th' hair was scrubbed off 'a his hams. He said he'd been 'a runnin' th'ough all kind 'a rough country gettin' away from all that wind, climbin' over busted up trees, an' watchin' fer a bite t' eat when he could. They wadn' much 'til he got over around Frogmore and run up on some purty fine corn in th' field, and et hisself a bait an' rested awhile. Then he come on over t'wards th' hills lookin' fer some 'a th' fam'ly t'hole up with 'til he feels like hoofin' it back t' Miss'ippi and see what kinda shape his waller is in after all that rain. He said they was a harrikin named Katrina that done all that blowin' an' rainin' but I didn' really know what he meant b' that. I've seen lots 'a wind a'blowin' but I ain't never seen none that'd blow away a pine saplin thicket an' rip up a trailer house and blow it th'ough th' woods.

I felt kinda bad about ol' Jerry Clower's cousin's trailer blowin' away, but ol' Rufus said ol' Elroy weren't in th' trailer when it left. Jis' 'fore daylight, Rufus seen Elroy workin' fast t' git all th' beer outta th' trailer an' into a couple 'a big ol' plastic boxes full 'a ice, and lash it down in his ol' pickup truck. Elroy grabbed up his ol' hound an' th'owed 'im on th' back 'a that pickup, strapped 'is shotgun in th' cab, an' hollerd t' his wife t' come on purty quick 'er he's li'ble t' run off an' leave 'er. She come out with a load 'a stuff in a big pas'board box. Elroy hollered, "Leave that durn box! They ain't no more room on th' truck! I done got th' beer an' th' dawg, so come on an' git in right now!"

Well, she drug that box up in th' cab and barely slammed th' door, with that stuff crammed up in 'er lap. Elroy showered down, an' that pickup left out a' blowin' blue smoke an' diggin' dust, with Elroy hollerin' "What in thunder you got in that box anyhow? Cain't be nothin' important? Why we takin' that junk . . . " goin' outta sight.

I rek'n whatever it was in th' box'll be what them folks sets up with next' time, 'cause that trailer prob'ly ain't hit th' ground this side 'a Tupelo.

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