Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Ghost of Cooter McGee
I was visiting my grandparent's farm one spring break and just soaking in the beauty of the dogwoods in bloom when my grandfather walked out onto the back porch holding a box of various odds and ends. My curiosity was peaked when he calmly sat down and began to assemble the pieces together.

"Umm, Grandaddy? What's that?"

"What's what?"

I pointed to the box in his lap. "That."

"Oh this? It's a catywampus."

"A catywhat?" I had never heard of one of those before.

"Catywampus. It makes weird noises."

Now my grandfather is a smart man. I look up to him and respect him immensely, but at this point, I was wondering if he was slipping into senility early.

"A catywampus. OK. So what are you going to do with this catywampus?"

He looked at me with a glint of mischief in his eyes and smiled.
"I'm going to scare me somebody."

"Well, Grandaddy, you coulda scared me, but now I know."

"Oh no, it isn't for you," he stretched a rubber band over the small box,
"no, I have someone in mind. Someone deserving."

Uh oh. Have my grandparents been fighting? They have the best marriage. I couldn't imagine them arguing over anything.

He looked up at me, "Can you keep a secret?"

Of course I can keep a secret. Does Kudzu climb? I nodded eagerly and sat up in my rocking chair.

"I'm going to scare your Uncle Bill until he squeals." He stated it with such assurance that I felt sorry for Uncle Bill before I even knew why he was targeted by one of the sweetest old men on the earth. It must be something bad.


"He's been doing your aunt wrong lately and I decided he needed taking down a peg. Yep, he needs a little lesson."

"But what's he done?"

"He's messing around with another woman."

What! I was shocked.

"Don't you tell your aunt what I'm doing here. She won't like it." He went back to stretching rubber bands.

"Granny won't like it either, Grandad. You might as well give up." I have never seen my grandfather so vindictive before. He's so straightlaced. I think it's rather cool. He didn't answer.

"Can I help?"

"Naw. You just go back to your book. It won't be until tonight anyway."

I was still puzzled. "But, how does it work? What are you going to do, Gramps?"

"Well, this here's how it works. You see, your Uncle Bill is mightily superstitious. You know how he is always claimin' that the ghost of Cooter McGhee is hauntin' the woods behind his house?"

I nod. Uncle Bill can be quite a nut sometimes.

"Well, I'm a gonna introduce him to ole Cooter tonight with this here catywampus. Maybe it'll scare him so bad he'll get up and leave town. I plan on hiding in the pines and using ole Caty here to make her sounds. If I'm lucky, Bill will think it's Cooter. He he!"

I shook my head. Granny was gonna flip. She runs a tight ship and is matriarch of the family. What she says goes and I was about to tell on Grandaddy.

*** To Be Continued....

Copyright Dana 2005
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Name: Dana
Location: Chicago, and if y'all call me a Yankee, I'll have to cyber-smack ya'!

I'm just a mom of two, a crafter of jewelry, and to keep my sanity among the Yankees (kidding)I write southern-themed poetry, short stories and memoirs. I have been published on the web on sites such as USA Deep South, Southern Humorists, Muscadine Lines - A Southern Journal, Mosaic Minds and Long Story Short. I am also a contributor in Dew on the Kudzu and Weight-Loss where I write dieting humor.

And this is my blog... Kudzu, funny family stories, poems, family ghosts, snakes, sun-kissed southern memories all inside! Plus some travel reviews, recipes and more! I also make handcrafted jewelry! Check out my jewelry blog - Colors of the Woods

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A Tennessee man and an Alabama man were both fighting in a war and were captured by the enemy.
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