Last week’s story ended with my mule going to Washington, but I had to have something to work my garden with, so I got me one of them mechanical mules. You know, the kind that has a big tire in the back and the little tire in front and a Briggs & Stratton motor on top.
The first time I used that thing, it worked fine till I got to the end of the row. Why, that thing didn’t know the difference between gee and haw. That rascal took off through the woods with me holding on for dear life.
I didn’t want to lose this here mule. Why, it pulled me through a hollow log that had two rabbits, a small bear, and a hive of bees in it, don’t you know. When I came out the other side, I was covered in rabbit fur, bear grease and wild honey. Them bees was a popping me pretty good so I headed that contraption down toward the creek hoping to get rid of them bees and to choke that thing down.
When we hit the creek, I looked down and some of them church folks was a having a baptizing. Why, that preacher had just put one of them new converts under and he was so surprised to see me that he almost drowned that poor fellow.
I thought that mule would drown out in the creek — but you ain’t gonna believe what happened next.
Why, that mechanical mule went right through the creek and over the next two or three hills where there just happened to be a C.S.X. Railroad track. You guessed it, here comes this high-balling freight train down the track and he was a blowing his whistle as hard as he could.
“Toot. Toot. Toot.”
It looked like that mule was gonna run right into the train!
I tried digging my heels in and pulling back on the handles, but it seemed nothing would stop that mule. You know, the good Lord works in mysterious ways. Why, that there mule ran out of gas about six inches from them railroad tracks. I won’t never so glad to see a train go by in all my life!
With all this running after that mule, I was plum tuckered out. I got my breath and was a looking around, but I was lost. I hadn’t never been in these parts before, but that didn’t bother me none ‘cause I had my redneck G.P.S. system in my back pocket. Y’all know what that stands for, don’t you? Guide Possum on a String! Why, I didn’t do nothing but pull that possum out of my pocket, put a string around his neck, and he led me right out to the nearest road. But let me caution you, turn that string loose before you get to the road ‘cause he’ll get you run over every time!
I finally got that mule back to the house and I got to thinking about how we have come a long way in technology for our gardens. We use fertilizer that cost $17 dollars a bag while the Indians used fish that didn’t cost anything. We buy expensive tractors to work our gardens; the Indians used their wives.
Raising a garden is a lot like making moonshine: it has to go through several stages before you have the finished product. About the time the moonshine is made, them Revenuers move in, drink what they want, and blow up the rest. About the time the garden is made, them deer, coons, crows, voles and moles move in and you’d think you were raising a soup kitchen for animals.
Last week, I was working in one of my gardens on top of the hill. Why, I looked down the hill and here came my neighbor. Tell you the truth, he don’t come around my garden very often ‘cause, let’s just say he’s a little laid back.
He says to me, “J.A., you got the nicest garden I most ever seen, there ain’t a weed in it.” Says, “What kind of chemical you use to keep the weeds down?”
I told him, “You can buy it at the hardware or Lowe’s.”
He says, “How do you spell it?”
I said, “Hoe,” and then I even spelled it out, “h-o-e, a lot of people got ’em, but not many people use them.”
You know, I’m getting tired and sweaty even talking about this here garden stuff. I hope you’ve learned more about managing your garden, but as for me, I think I’ll stick to storytelling.
J.A. Bolton is author of “Just Passing Time,” co-author of “Just Passing Time Together,” and just released his new book “Southern Fried: Down-Home Stories,” all of which can be purchased on Amazon. Contact him at email@example.com.