There was a time when there was a king somewheres. It might've been 'round here, or it might've been back up there in Virginia; no matter about that, it was somewheres. That there king was one of these here old timey kings. He been sitting up there kinging over 'em so long that his hair done drop out, and his toothies got loose, and his hand shake with the palsy. When the folks see that, they say that it's in about time for that king to stop kinging, and let some other somebody do some kinging. But the old king he held on, like tick on a cow. He just kept on a-kinging.
By and by the folks get tired, and they meet together and choosen another king. The old king ask who is he; but the folks refuse to give his name out. They feared the old king going to whirl in and make way with 'im. The old king ask is he old man. The people respond that he older than some folks, and lots younger than some others. 'Cause he mighty mean man, and they know that if they tell 'im they done choosen a old man, he'll send out and have all the old folks killed; and if they tell 'im they done gone and choosen a young man, they know he'll never rest tell he done massacreed all the young people. Yes sir! That exactly the kind of man what he was, and them folks what he been kinging over, they know that they had to step mighty thin if they want to keep their hides whole.
Then you ought to hear that old king talk biggity. He just fairly pound the ground. He rip, he rave, he fume, he fret. Yet it ain't do no good. There was the folks, and they just stood their ground and kept their eye on 'im. By and by the old king sort of cool down. He seed it weren't no use for to be cutting up no didos, so he pick up his hat and his handkerchief where he done drop 'em, and got back on the place where they sit when they do their kinging, and he allow, says he, "You all got the idea that 'cause I'm old and shaky that I ain't got no sense, but I'm just a-going to show you. Go and tell the man what you done choosen that 'fore he can be king he got to send me a beef. It ain't got to be no bull, and it ain't got to be no cow. When he do that, he can be king; 'cause then I'll know he got sense 'nough for to do the kinging for you all just same as I been doing it."
The folks look at one another and shake their heads, and then they go off and hold a confab. They don't know what they going to do. The man what they choosen for to be their new king was a young man, and they scared he can't do what the old king say. By and by some of 'em went and broke the news, and the young man sort of raise his head and wink one eye. He allow, says he, "Go back and tell the old king that I got a fine steer fattening in my pens, but he got to come get 'im; but he ain't got to come in the day nor neither in the night."
When the folks hear this, it make 'em feel sort of help up, and they went back and told the old king what the young man say. He sat dar, he did, and sort of study, and scratch his head. Then he ask 'em if they be so good as to give 'im a chaw tobacco. He took a big chaw, and then he pick up his hat and his cane, and grab his carpet-bag, and tell 'em, "So long."