Tuesday, December 18, 2018

C116. The Foolish Woman

11: The Foolish Woman. Text Source: Daddy Jake, The Runaway by Joel Chandler Harris. Online at Hathi Trust. I have removed the frame material and standardized the spelling; click here for notes to the story.

One time there was a black man what took and married a black woman. They married, and they went home to housekeeping. They got 'em some pots, and they got 'em some kettles, and they got 'em some pans, and they got 'em some dishes, and they start in, they did, just like folks does when they going to stay at home.

They rocked on, they did, and it seem like they was having a mighty good time; but one day when this here man was gone to town after some vittles, the woman she begun to get fretted. This here woman, she begun to fret and to worry, and by and by she got right down mad.

She was just like other women folks, and she got fretted 'cause the days was long and the weather hot. She got mad and she stayed mad. Every time she walked across the floor the dishes would rattle in the cupboard, and the more she'd fix 'em the worse they'd rattle. Course, this make her lots madder than what she was at first, and by and by she took and holler out, "What make you rattle?"

Dishes they keep on a-rattling.

"What make you rattle so? I ain't going to have no rattling 'round here!"

Dishes they keep on a-rattling and a-rattling.

The woman she holler out, "Who you rattling at? I'm the mistress of this house. I ain't going to have none of your rattling 'round here!"

Dishes they rattle and rattle. 

The woman, she holler out, "Stop that rattling. I ain't going to have you sassing back at me that way. I'm the mistress of this house!"

Then she walked up and down, and every time she do that the dishes they rattle worse and worse. Then she holler out, "Stop that sassing at me, I tell you! I'm the mistress in this house!"

Yet the dishes keep on rattling and shaking, and by and by the woman run to the cupboard, she did, and grab the dishes and fling 'em out in the yard, and no sooner's she do this than they was busted all to flinders. Women folks is mighty curious. They is that, just as sure as the world. 

By and by the man come home, and when he see all the dishes broke up he was astonished, but he ain't say nothing. He just look up at the sun for to see what time it is, and feel of hisself for to see if he well. Then he up and holler, "Old woman, here some fish what I bring you. I expect you better clean 'em for dinner."

The woman, she allow, "Lay 'em down there."

The man, he took and lay 'em down and drawed a bucket of water out of the well. 

Then, by and by, the woman, she come out and start to clean the fish. She pick 'em up, she did, and start to scrape the scales off, but she sees their eyes wide open, and she allow, "Shut them eyes! Don't you be a-looking at me!"

Fish, they keep on a-looking. 

Woman, she holler out, "Shut up them eyes, I tell you! I'm the mistress of this here house!" 

Fish, they keep their eyes wide open. 

Woman, she squall out, "Shut them eyes, you impudent villains! I'm the mistress in this here house!"

Fish, they held their eyes wide open, and then the woman took and flung 'em in the well. The woman took and destroy the dishes, and then she flung the fishes in the well, and they just naturally ruined the well. I don't know what the man say, but if he was like the balance of 'em, he just sat down and lit his pipe, and took a smoke and then lit out for bed. 

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