BENJAMIN RAM PLAYS the FIDDLE
This here Mr. Benjamin Ram, was one of these here ole-timers. They tells me that he was a fiddler from away back yonder—one of them there kind of fiddlers what can't get the tune down fine unless they pats their foot. He stay all by he own-alone self way out in the middle of a big new-ground, and he such a handy man for to have at a frolic that the other critters like him mighty well, and when they took a notion for to shake their foot, which the notion took and struck 'em every once in a while, nothing'd do but they must send for old man Benjamin Ram and he fiddle; and they do say that when he square hisself back in a chair, and get in a weaving way, he can just snatch them old-time tunes from who lay the rail. And then, when the frolic was done, they'd all fling in, them other critters would, and fill up a bag of peas for old Mr. Benjamin Ram for to carry home with him.
"I'm Mr. Benjamin Ram, and I done lose the way, and I come for to ask you if you can't take me in for the night," says he.
In common, old Mr. Benjamin Ram was a mighty rough-and-spoken somebody, but you better believe he talk monstrous polite this time.
Then someone on the other side of the door ask Mr. Benjamin Ram for to walk right in, and with that he open the door and walk in, and make a bow like fiddling folks does when they goes in company; but he ain't no sooner make he bow and look 'round till he begun to shake and shiver like he done been strucken with the swamp-ague, 'cause, sitting right there before the fire was old Brer Wolf, with his toothies showing up all white and shiny like they was brand new. if old Mr. Benjamin Ram ain't been so old and stiff I bound you he'd've broke and run, but almost before he had time for to study about getting away, old Brer Wolf done been jump up and shut the door and fasten her with a great big chain.
Then old Miss Wolf, she talk out loud, so Mr. Benjamin Ram can hear, "To be sure I'll fix him some supper. We are 'way off here in the woods, so far from company that goodness knows I'm mighty glad to see Mr. Benjamin Ram."
Then Mr. Benjamin Ram hear old Miss Wolf whetting her knife on a rock—shirrah! shirrah! shirrah!—and every time he hear the knife say shirrah! he know he that much nigher the dinner-pot. He know he can't get away, and whiles he sitting there studying, it come across he mind that he just might as well play one more tune on he fiddle before the worse come to the worse. With that he untie the bag and take out the fiddle, and begun to tune her up—plink, plank, plunk, plink! plunk, plank, plink, plunk!