That alligator meat sure was good. Beau's mama fixed us up some in a gumbo. There never was any better eatin', the way Beau's mama cooked up things, lessin it was my mama's cookin'.
After eatin', Beau and I decided we would mess around the swamp some more 'fore goin' to take a swim. But Beau's mama said no. She said it was time to start quiltin' and for us to go get the quilt frame from my mama. I hated it when it was time to quilt. Beau's mama and my mama and sisters would jus' sit and laugh and sew and tell stories forever, and bein' as we were too young to go trap with our paws and Beau's brother, Leon, we had to do most of the work around the house since they were too busy. Leon thought that wasn't fair that I got to stay. Said he'd be glad to quilt with my sisters. Beau said he was sick in the head and a sissy. Leon said, “Ifn' I were you Beau, I wouldn't talk 'bout who was a sissy since you are the one wearing them flowery ole' women's britches.” Before they could start a fight, we were sent to fetch the quilt frame over our sheep shed. I hated climbin' over them sheep to get the frame down 'cause of that mean ole' ram. But Beau said he'd help since he liked climbin' over the sheep. Said they looked like nice little fluffy clouds floatin' near the ground waitin' to be jumped on.
When we were inside the shed, Beau said that them ole' quiltin' frame sticks sure had to put up with a lot, what with havin' to hear them women giggle and talk 'bout everybody. Beau said one day he was gonna be one of them sticks and when my sisters started to talk 'bout him he was gonna jump up real fast and swat them up side o' their heads. Beau started to swat just to show me how and swatted his hand up side a yellow jackets nest and got stung. I reckon God was tellin' him he shouldn't talk like that.
Well, when Beau got stung he jumped so far that he fell out of the top of that shed and bounced head over heals, swattin' and yellin' 'bout them yellow jackets, straight down some boards my paw was savin' and landed face first right in the middle of a fresh sheep patty. His bouncin' caused me to lose my balance, too, and I followed him down. But good ole' Beau was lookin' out after me 'cause he saved me from fallin' in the same place. Only trouble was, when I landed on Beau, it caused him to fling his face in the sheep patty again, which made Beau shout so loud that the sheep got scared and started runnin' and leapin' everywhere, even on top of me and Beau.
Beau sure looked funny in them ole' flowery overalls covered in sheep stuff while he clung to the neck of the ole' ram who had decided we were after his ladies and proceeded to butt us. Butted Beau so hard that he was flung up side the boards paw was saving' causin' them to break and fall on his head. It was then that I saw some red on Beau's face mixed with all that sheep stuff. “Beau, you been hurt,” I said and ran to get my maw. At first Maw just laughed and said that sheep stuff ought to make them flowers on Beau's overalls grow some more. Said that she never seen two boys get into so much trouble over nothin' and made me clean Beau's face 'cause he was too banged up and stunk. Beau always had a way of getin' out of doing things for himself.
I leaned Beau up side the shed and proceeded to clean his face when all of a sudden he started twitchin' and flitchin' and bouncin' himself all over the ground. “Maw, Beau's hurt bad. He's havin' a fit,” I shouted as Beau flung himself at me, shoutin', “Ants! I'm covered in ants, you idjit.” How did I know that ants wanted to be in the same spot Beau wanted to sit on?
Maw said she could tell Beau was all right now 'cause he acted like a dog chasin' a possum on a full moon night. When he was cleaned up, Beau didn't look much better what with a black eye on one side of his face and a swollen eye on the other from the sting. Not to mention all them ant bites up and down his body.
Beau just laughed and said he was goin' home and tell his maw that he and an ole' bobcat were learnin' to dance and he didn't learn too well. Said she wouldn't believe the real truth anyhow. How could he blame his troubles on an ole' quiltin' frame.
Well, Beau's maw didn't believe that story 'bout the bodcat 'cause Beau's overalls weren't torn to shreds. Said Beau musta got into some other kind of trouble and didn't want to tell her 'bout it 'cause he was covered in mess and stunk. Said Beau was tryin' to make her old 'fore her time and that he musta been tryin' to get rid of them overalls. Made him put on one of her ole' dresses again and go out back and pound them overalls clean before she put the switch to him. Beau said that sheep stuff was good for flowers but Beau's mama said water was better.
Beau sat there poundin' his overalls wishin' his brother, Leon, would hurry up and grow out of his britches so he could get rid of those flowery ones for good. "Maybe his maw could use some of those pelts daddy trapped to make him some new overalls," he said, even though he knew better 'cause his maw sure could use some of that money for new material for dresses for herself, 'specially since he was usin' them dresses up faster than she was. Just the same, Beau was getting' mighty tired of wearin' them ole' sissy flower pants.
Beau was in the middle of his poundin' and fussin' when his paw came over and said he had heard how Beau broke my paw's boards from bouncin' down 'em and that when Beau was through poundin' his clothes clean he'd have to get out of that dress and go help me and paw cut some new boards. Said that Beau should clean out our sheep shed to help pay for the trouble he caused. Then he just laughed and said Beau was lookin' more like a girl everyday.
When Beau got to my place, my paw said that he'd rather Beau just cleaned up the sheep shed instead. Said Beau would probably cause the tree to fall in the wrong direction or split it in two or somethin'.
So me and Beau had to clean the shed. Funny how Beau never got to do these things by himself and that I always seemed to be handy to help him get out of trouble.
Not only did we have to clean up all the sheep mess and get the quilt frame down, but paw said that all that trash and boards and such should be cleaned out, too, and burned. I said, "Maybe our maws could quilt Beau a pair of britches."
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