Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Why God Made Stickers

5. Why God Made Stickers

Told by Mrs. Ethel Barnes, Hot Springs, Ark., March, 1938. She had it from relatives who lived near Hot Springs in the early 1890’s

One time there was a drummer wanted some gravels for his goose, but he couldn’t find nothing only a girl named Lizzie that worked in the tavern. The folks told him Lizzie wasn’t much good, because she ain’t got no spring in her tail, and nobody likes a woman that just lays there like a turd in a dead eddy. But poor nooky is better than none, and travelers has to make the best of it. Soon as the supper dishes was done, him and her walked out to the pasture back of the corncrib.

When they laid down on the ground Lizzie acted kind of sleepy, but soon as the drummer climbed aboard she just went plumb crazy. You never seen such wiggling and kicking and flouncing around in your life. She give several loud yells too, but the fellow stayed right in there till his gun went off, and then he let her up. “My God, Lizzie, you’re wonderful!” says he. The girl didn’t pay him no mind, but just stood there with both hands behind her. Come to find out, Lizzie had stuck her ass down in a bunch of cockleburs. That’s what made her so brisk and lively.

Lizzie spent most of the night a-grumbling, and putting witch-hazel on her bottom. But the drummer was feeling fine, and he says, “I never could understand why God made weeds with stickers on ’em, but I see it now.” There was a story went round how he always carried prickles in his buggy after that, and the folks claimed you could trail him clear across the country. Whenever they come to a town where the girls have all got scratches on their ass, the boys knowed that drummer has been there with his goddam cockleburs.

Vance Randolph, Pissing in the Snow and Other Ozark Folktales (1976; reprint, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986), 11–12.

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