Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Man in a Turnip Patch #T

Axie Wells come over ta see if I was okay, meanin' he come over lookin' for the borry some money.  Axie is not the village idiot; I mean he is smart enough to know he is not very smart, but he is not smart enough to keep his mouth shut.  You know what I mean; he expresses an opiinion on ever'thing, even if he actual knows nothin' about whatever is the topic of conversation, or especially if he know nothin' about it.

Ever'one don't know him think Axie is a nickname for Axel, but that hain't hit. J'ever notice thet all four his fingers on his left hand are ''zackly the same length? Waal, he was once't splittin' sticks for the farr, and waal, you know. So Axie come over and say, "Heidy, Jephtha! How's tricks?" Now Axie always pronounce my name real careful-like, makin' the 'eff' sound where the  'ph' is.  Most folk don't do that, but he's not wrong!

"Slicker'n goose grease on a grain grinder," I says.  "Jest about got this single-tree refitted to like new."

"Kin I he'p you any way?"

"Oh, no; no.  I'ma hammer this last rivet and it is done."  I complete the task whilst Axie stands there agawpin', the timothy stem he's achewin' on twistin' and bouncin' whilst he think on how to get at his purpose.  When I lay the hammer on the anvil and hang the contraption on a peg, he says, "Jeptha, you reckon I could get the loan of two dollars?  Now, Axie get some gummint dole for his inability to provide for himself, but it never quite reach from one check to the next. Partly his own fault, and partly it hain't none too big, anyway

"Axie," says I, "I don't have two dollars in my pocket. I don't mean to be unkind, but my ends don't always come together with enough string left to tie a knot."  Now, I know thet Grace have a stash in her cookie jar, and we'll be fine.  But I'm not askin' her on behalf a Axie.  She's the kindest woman on earth, but she know the man's habits.  Waal, so do I, so I say to him, I say,
"If you're runnin' short on groceries, please to help yourself to some a them turnips in the third row yonder.  It's the best I can do right now."  The man's eyes light up, and he says, "Oh, thank you ever so much! You are a gentleman.  I do need something' to eat, and if'n you were to give me the two dollars, I'd like as not drink it rather than eat it, knowin' me.

So Axie go over to the garden and pull him up eight or nine nice, plump turnips, happy as any man you ever see.