Thursday, July 31, 2014

Coonrod, Coon Hounds, and the Congressman

Did I ever tell you about Coonrod Smithers ‘n the Congersman?  I know Coonrod when we live over to Virginny, ‘twoulda been, oh, 1888 thereabouts when I first met him.  I, a boy, ‘course was always attracted ta dogs, ‘n a' course huntin’ was a big thang, too.

Now Coonrod’s real name were Rodney Smithers.  He breed ‘n train Redbone Coonhounds,’n more, he would drop ever’thin’ to go a huntin’, so ever’one call him “Coonrod.”  He tell me one time thet he was born a couple ridges yonder, ‘n down in the holler, thet his birth name was Rodney Smith.  But he grow up to fin' thet ever’one thereabouts was name Rodney Smith, or so it seem to him.  Why, he said, I could pick up a rock, shut mah ahs, give hit a heave, ‘n hit a Rod Smith whutever way she went.  Anyways, he think on a way to solve the prollem, make hisself more unique, ya mought say.  He first think to change his first name, but he was afeard he mought need ta pick one a them Bible names, you know, that no one else have never heard of, like Hophni, or, Zeruiah.  Nah, he din’t like thet.  Too unique, mayhap.  So then he thought, Why, I shoulda thunka this afore.  I’ll jes’ add “e-r-s” ta th’ enda mah las’ name.  Fum this day for’d I’ll be Rodney Smithers!  An’ thet work fer him.  So like I say, ever’one call him “Coonrod.”

Waal, Coonrod raise Redbone 'hounds, train ‘em, run ‘em.  An’ he hev a few other hounds aroun’, too, you know, beagles an’ the like.  Kep’ a brace a big ol’ bloodhounds, Ezra an' Nehemiah was they names.  Kep’ 'em fer the sheriff who use 'em right frequent in thet region, I mean a man could get lost an’ hid out twel the resurrection, were he a mind to.  Anyway, people come fum all over the Cumberland, even fum as far away as Washington Dee Cee.  No, really.  He one time had a senator or such-like drive all the way down to see his animals.  Man drive inta the burg an’ ask aroun’ where kin I fin’ Redbone Coonrod?  Like he think that is Smithers’ name.  Well, people thereabouts moughty suspicious people in tailor cut duds ‘n drivin’ a carriage with a pair hosses woulda cost a king’s ransom anywhere on earth.  

Waal, Ed Markham, you shoulda known Ed.  Whut a character!  Ed had been around some, an’ he not on’y had seen the elephant, he could tell the tale twel tears run out your eyes fum laughin’!  Or f'um cryin', for thet matter, if'n hit were a sad tale.  Ed Markham know this dude, re-cog-nize he is the Yewnited States Congersman fum the next district to th’ north.  So the man’s bonafides is establish.  An’ he din’t really drive thet rig all the way fum Dee Cee; he were home durin’ campaign time, take a day off fum stumpin’ to clear his mind, he tell Coonrod.

Waal, this congersman know his hounds, ‘n excited?  I guess not.  He tell Coonrod he never see purtier dogs anywhere, ‘n he been lotsa wheres.  So nothin’ would do but thet the gentleman stay over ‘n run some dogs with Coonrod thet night.

Waal, Smithers have a pair a hounds he like ta run together, on account one has the better nose, yet t'other is better at tree.  An' atween 'em, no coon gonna escape.  The sun set; darkness settle on, slow-like, then the moon rise, 'n the hunt is on!  Coonrod an' Alfred, the guest's name is Alfred, walk up the ridge 'bout a mile, Jack and Jill to leash.  Jill have the nose.  They settle aneath a huge beech tree, unclip the leashes.  Away!  Soon enough, Jill excitedly cries "Scent!" then settles into bay as she and Jack follow the quarry through the woods.  Coonrod, listenin' carefully, know ever' meanin' of ever' yip 'n beller, know right where the dogs are at ever' moment, and soon know right where they headin'.  He and Al, they are now "Al" and "Rod" to each other, begin the long night walk, knowin' that at the end the prey will be high up a tree.

Then, Jill still speakin', Jack cries, "Tree!" and the arrh! arrh! arrh! that signals the end of the chase continues until our stalwart hunters join the hounds at the base a huge sycamore.

© 2014 David W. Lacy 41

6 comments:

Vee said...

Totally off topic, but when I read, "Jill have the nose," I said to myself, "Of course she does. A male would not be able to smell smoke even with a house burning down around him." Just sayin'.

Grace said...

LOL @ Vee...

Sharkbytes said...

Love this story- one of my favs so far, I think. Especially "he been lotsa wheres." I may have to remember that.

vanilla said...

Vee, ha,ha.

Grace, that Vee; she is a regular comedienne.

Sharkey, feel free to appropriate the "lotsa wheres," for I know you have been there. Hope you will enjoy the next installment.

Shelly said...

Ha! I love this~

vanilla said...

Shelly, how wonderful to see that you are back! Uncle Jep has gone on with his tales, but we have sorely missed La Tejana.