Yep, Beau and I had to sleep outside for three days. It weren't much fun 'cause of all the baths we had to take, but that's what we had to do after meetin' ole' mama skunk. We had to sleep outside with nothin' but our underwear. Beau said we would freeze off our “you-know-whats” but his mama said, “I don't give a diddly-squat.” She weren't givin' no more clothes or blankets to be torn up or stunk up.
Soon as he could, Beau got rid of his underwear. Said he weren't gonna let any stinkin' underwear let him keep from sleepin'. My sisters said he sure looked dumb in his ole' birthday suit. They laughed and said God musta taken Beau out of the oven too soon 'cause he looked half baked. Said his skinny ole' tan legs and arms sure looked strange next to that bony ole' white body. Beau said that didn't bother him none and he just climbed out on a limb and hung upside down scratchin' his chest for fleas. Faster than a rabbit chased by hounds, Beaus mama found him some more underwear. “I don't care if'n there ain't neighbors around,” she said, “but my boy ain't gonna run around buck naked like a wild animal.”
Beau's mama made us take two baths every day. I thought the water felt good but Beau said only girls or sissies took more than one bath a week. Said his brother, Leon, sometimes went 3 weeks without one. Maybe that's why my sisters didn't like him. Beau's mama said that when Leon got home from trappin' she was gonna make him take one too. Beau said he didn't want to be buck naked in no tub with Leon 'cause he was a pervert, whatever that means. “I'm gonna wash your mouth out with lye soap Beau Bordeleon,” said his maw, “unless you quit all that nasty talk.” Beau thought it was bad enough havin' to use that lye soap on his body and he weren't about to put none in his mouth so he just shut up. After Beau's mama left he said he didn't know which stunk most, having to take 2 baths a day or that ole' stinkin' mama. I sure hope he was talkin' 'bout that black and white critter what got us in this mess and not his own mama.
I said we could pretend we were in the jungle and cannibals were gonna make a good soup out of us but Beau said he didn't want to play. Said his mama was gonna be sad she made him take so many baths. Said that water was too hot and it was gonna make his skin crinkle up and fall right off his bones to the bottom of the wash tub. “Maw sure is gonna feel sorry for having a skeleton in the family,” he said. I said his mama would probably hang him in the smokehouse and have lots of bones to make soup with. Beau poked me in the stomach and made me spit up all over him. So he spit back and I got mad and we started to fight.
We started rollin' and jumpin' all over the yard buck naked with mud and stuff all over us. We fought so much that we knocked the wash tub over and spilled lots of water all over my sisters. They began screamin' for our mama and said they wished we'd never been hatched 'cause we'd been nothin' but misery all our born days. Betsy said, “I wish that ole' water would boil your hides so we could stretch it out to dry and sell it
with the other animal skins.” That's when Beau knocked the wash tub over again and it hit me in the head makin' me see stars.
Beau's mama boiled some more water and made us take another bath with lye soap while she stood near with a switch in her hand. She said Beau was lower than a snake in a wagon rut.
At night Beau and I slept in the tree house and told ghost stories. But mostly Beau. Said he had one that would scare my dumb ole' sisters the rest of their born days. “Them sissy girls will have gray hair before they're old enough to marry,” said Beau. “Won't nobody want them when they see how old and ugly they become. Not even brother Leon,” he laughed. Said he couldn't wait to tell them his story since they made fun of his birthday suit. Beau stood up and began to act like a wild animal swingin' his arms about as he told about the “Sniger”. Said the Sniger was striped like a tiger and was purple and white. It stood 10 feet tall and had eyes and tails all over its body. It would stalk the swamp lookin' for children to eat. I smiled and pretended I weren't scared 'cause I couldn't let Beau know that I might have gray hair too, even before my sisters. Beau's story made me shiver so much I thought my underwear would drop off and my you-know-what would too. Beau said if'n I didn't stop that shiverin', I was gonna knock the tree house down and the Sniger might get me. I shook harder as I moved to the middle of the tree house, holdin' tight to my underwear. I said I was just cold and missin' my blanket. Said I was movin' to the middle to get warmer. Beau laughed so hard, he fell on his bottom, sayin' I was just scared 'cause the tree house was only 8 feet off the ground and the Sniger was 10 feet tall. I hit Beau so hard he fell out of that tree house. I told him he was crazier than any ole bugger and I weren't scared. “Besides, I told him, “any ole' bear could sneak up on that ole Sniger and make Sniger stew if'n he wanted to.” Beau said nothin' could sneak up on the Sniger. “Beau, you're crazy,” I said, “'cause somethin' could sneak up on it when it was sleepin'.” Beau said it never completely slept 'cause it always made one eye on each side of is body stay awake to be on watch. When it found something near it, it would take one of its 12 tails that were attached under each eye, even on its head and wrap it around the critter like a snake. Beau said it would squeeze the critter until it went limp, then eat it. Beau then proceeded to jump on me and started squeezin' me around my middle with his legs. I said I had to go to the bathroom. Beau laughed louder sayin' he scared the pee out of me and was gonna tell my sisters, but I let him know I was just waitin' for a good time to go 'cause I didn't want to upset his story. Beau kept on laughin' and then curled up in the middle of the tree house using his underwear for a pillow and went to sleep. I couldn't sleep 'cause I was wonderin' which one of those eyes that ole' Sniger had lookin' at me or if'n he wanted two ole' stinkin' boys for his supper. After sittin' awhile I decided to have some fun of my own to keep me awake and started to wrap some ole' rope around Beau's legs making him think that ole' Sniger had wrapped it's tail about him and was squeezin' him limp. Beau suddenly stood up and started walkin' about with his arms flailin' everywhere. “Beau,” I shouted, But Beau kept going in a circle and bumpin' into
everythin'. Beau was either asleep or that mean ole' Sniger had done flung a spell on him. My maw had told me that if'n I ever saw someone walkin' in their sleep that I'd better not ever try waking them 'cause they might be dangerous. She said they usually had a spell cast on them for being so bad and could even kill a person if disturbed. Maw said no one was supposed to wake up somebody like this or they might be crazy in their minds the rest of their born days and would have to be locked up for protection. Beau sure looked funny with his arms flailin' about walkin' in circles with nothin' on but his birthday suit. But I weren't gonna wake him. No sir'ree. Not me boy! Lands, I didn't know what to do. I couldn't stay in the tree house 'cause Beau was all over it and I could be killed and I couldn't go leavin' it 'cause that ole' Sniger might be waitin' for me to climb down and I might be killed. I knew one thing for sure, I weren't 'bout to wake Beau up 'cause I didn't want him to be crazier than he already was. So I just kept walkin' about the tree house keepin' out of Beau's way the rest of the night. I was so dizzy walkin' in circles that I was about to pass out when Beau headed for a limb and climbed on it, stretchin' out like an ole' mama couger with his legs and arms danglin' down and started to snore. I stayed up all night waitin' and watchin' but that Sniger never came and Beau kept on sleepin'.
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