Happy tuh make yuh’ qwain’tince, Mistah James Eah’l Crow.  A’hm a Jurraff heah’ in thuh Picayune Pettin’ Zoo, heah’ in Puh’l Rivah Cauwnty, Miss’a’ssippeh.

        Mah name’s Miss Skylah’.

        A’hm a fowah’an’a’haff-yeyah’ ol’ guh’l Jurraff.  Well, silly me, ah’cawss A’hm a guh’l Jurraff, else I be Mistah’ Skylah, hyah-hyah-hyah.

        Oh, you ah’ so sweet tuh say so.

       Lookeh oveh’ heah’s mah fren’ Mistah Trunky.  He’s ah Eleffunt.  We was both bowh’n togethah’ heah’ in the Picayune Pettin’ Zoo, Puh’l Rivah Cauwnty, Miss’a’ssippeh.

        Yeah, we weah’s these heah’ ahrn-shackles on ahr legs at naht tahm.  They unlocks us when the childh’uns show hup an’ we get tuh go greet them all.  They ah’ all so sweet.

        An’, my Lawd, theah ah’ sho’ ah lot uh childh’uns heah’ t’day, Mistah Trunky, wouldn’ y’say?

        Mistah Trunky he say, “They all keep sayin’ they love us and they gonna miss us.  Miss Skylah’, jus’ wheah’s evah’body fixin’ tuh go?”

        Ah say, “Don’t know, Mistah Trunky, don’t know.  It is peculiah’.”

        The childh’uns lahk tuh ride upawn Mistah Trunky, they sho’ do.  An’ Mistah Trunky he is so kahnd an’ gen’nul with’um all.

        Do yuh know they Picayune Pettin’ Zoo has a stuhft cloth dawl a’ Mistah Trunky hisself that y’all can bahy fo’ the little childh’uns?  They shawly do an’ Ahm not lyin’.

        Hyah-hyah-hyah.  Guess they’all figgyah me A’hm too tall’n’skinneh tuh be a cuddl’eh dawl, hyah-hyah-hyah.  Poke yuh eye raht out, hyah-hyah-hyah.

        Well, no, I hasn’ seen Boss Man Trayluh fo’ while now.  Boss Man Trayluh’s owah boss-man fo’ th’ whole pettin’ zoo.  Fact, I been wundah’n if’n he’s feelin’ poh’ly.

        I seen this new fellah ‘round.  Mistah Trunky tells me he heah’d that this new fellah’s a duh-vel-up-ph’ah.  Bawt th’ Picayune Pettin’ Zoo, he did.  An’, well, yuh know, with them big ol’ eah’s lahk Trunky’s got you jus’ gotta’ figgah’ Mistah Trunky be heah’n things right, hyah-hyah-hyah.

        I jus’ don’ know whut he’s gonna be duh-vel-up-ph’n ‘round heah’.

        Mistah Trunky he say “Thuh duh-vel-up-ph’uh don’t say much.  He jus’ whispuh’s tuh people.  Ah do thaynk he’ll be duh-vel-up-ph’n a betteh’ place fo’us.”

        Ah says tuh Mistah Trunky, “Well, that maht be fine, but Ah lahk it heah’ fine enuff t’way t’is.  Long as we get’s tuh eat th’ saym fahn, fahn food we has been.  I lahk cawh’n-bread, muh’self, ‘cayshun’ly.”

        Mistah Trunky lahks alfalfa,…all th’ tahm, hyah-hyah-hyah.

        See how thuh childh’uns lahk tuh pet Mistah Trunky’s nose?  Oh, how they laffs when Mistah Trunky takes a p’nut from’em.

        Now, y’all heah’ thaht?  Them’s the lyuns all growlin’ when they feeds’em.  I don’ rahtly lahk lyuns, I s’pose, but them childh’uns sho’ do.  Look at ‘em run tuh see the lyuns eatin’.  The childh’uns maht lahk lyuns but they jus’ don’ know.  They jus’ don’ know.  Lyun’s jus’ as soon eat childh’uns.  A’hm jus glad they stay in they own neigh’b’hood.

        Why, sho’, Mistah James Eah’l Crow, you ah welcome to some o’ mah cawh’n-bread.


        I be sayin’ now, “Mah, mahy, wheah’ does thuh day go, Mistah Trunky?”

        It’s gettin’ on eve’nun-time heah’.  Mistah James Eah’l Crow you ah welcome t’stay with me this naht.

        I be sayin’, “Mistah Trunky, heah’ they come tuh take us to owah’ beds.”

        Mistah James Eah’l Crow!  Whut is th’ mattah’?  You is all jumpy.  No, I don’ know who that man maht be wi’th’ ahrn-rod.  Yeah, sho’ is.  He’s a’fahll’win Mistah Trunky.  You whut?  You seen a man wi’th’ ahrn-rod a’foah’?  Whut?  That ahrn-rod can throw sharp rocks?  You seen it?  Well, was y’all stealin’ food when the ahrn-rod throwed sharp rocks?  No?  I jus’ don’ see whah they’d throw sharp rocks if you was up a tree mindin’ yuhr own.

        An’ why is the man wi’th’ahrn-rod a’fahll’win’ Mistah Trunky, anyway?

        Well, Mistah James Eah’l Crow, I gotta weah’ these heah ahrn-shackles at naht tahm.  But y’all are welcome tuh rest anywheah’ heah’.

        Whut th’ Devil was that?

        Some childh’uns settin’ off fahr-works, I s’pose.

        Now whut is that?

        Sawin’?  R’they fixin’ tuh fix somethin’ t’naht?

        Oh, Lawd, do you heah’ that, now?

        Whut is makin’ those lyuns so excitable?

        Mistah James Eah’l Crow, kin you be so kahnd as tuh fahnd out whut is go’win’ ahwn ’round heah’?


        Well, Mistah James Eah’l Crow he nevah’ did come back.  Sometimes Ah jus’ don’ know.  Ah jus’ don’.

        It’s mawnin’ an’ now A’hm a’waitin’ foah’ Mistah Trunky.  Wheah’ can he be?  He nevah’ late foah’ his alfalfa.

        And wheah’ is Mistah Trunky’s alfalfa anyhow?

        Whut is goin’ on?

        An’ wheah’ ah’ all thuh childh’uns?

        Now heah’ come some men.  An’ they with that man wi’ th’ ahrn-rod.

        Now why is that man with th’ ahrn-rod a’throwin’ cawh’n-bread at muh feet?

        Now who be that?  Some ol’ black lady wearin’ a fuh’-coat, Lawd.  She be sayin’ things t’thu’ man with th’ ahrn-rod.

        Thuh man with th’ ahrn-rod’s a’shakin’ his head.  He’s pointin’ his ahrn-rod at me.

        Now thuh old black lady with the fuh’-coat has pulled out a fist full’a green leafs an’ she be shakin’ ‘em in the face uh thuh man with th’ ahrn-rod.

        Lawd, thuh man with th’ ahrn-rod’s puttin’ down his ahrn-rod and takin’ the fist full’a leafs foah his self.

        A’hm so glad.  Ah woulda’ lahked some a’them green leafs, too.  But he mighta’ hit me with a sharp rock.


        Well Ah jus’ don’ know sum’tahms, Lawd.  I jus’ don’.  Now I be livin’ on thuh land’uh thuh ol’ black lady in the fuh-coat, call hehself Miss Marius.

        But Ah do miss all the childh’uns.  Ah do.  Now, Miss Marius got a nice fam’ly an’all, fo’ shoa’, an’ they’s nice to me, but ah do miss all the childh’uns used tuh come tuh th’ Picayune Pettin’ Zoo.

        Once ah think ah saw Mistah James Eah’l Crow ovah-head.

        But I really miss mah fren’ Mistah Trunky.  Miss Marius say Mistah Trunky gone someplace bettah’.

        But I do sorely miss mah fren’ Mistah Trunky.



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But, the most ancient scrolls are kept on: THE TABLE OF MALCONTENTS


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