Lee Sam and Abner were settin’ on the porch drinking ice-tea one day when the Yankee from Boston come running his Toyota Prius up the road to the house. He stopped, and as it was July and hadn’t rained in a month, the dust kinda poured over his car when he stopped.

He got out a coughing and fussing and fuming, as most Yankees do, as they’re always in a hurry and so always got something botherin‘ ‘em.

“Why can’t you pave this road?” He coughed.

In this case the dust was botherin’ him. Lee Sam and Abner turned and looked at each other conveying an obvious thought (to them) that if he’d drive half as fast he’d get choked ‘bout half as much.

Abner Scratched his ear and pointed at the flock that was settlin’ after the Toyota had scatterd ‘em . “If we was to pave it, them chickens wouldn’t have near-bout as much peckin’ room.”

“Well, Hell why don’t you at least put down some gravel?” the Yankee said.

“Gravel cost money. Dat dirt come wid de land.” Lee Sam said. Besides, chickens can’t peck through gravel. And Abner jus now told you ‘bout de chicken situation.”

“Well, why don’t you buy chickens and eggs at the store? Then you could have a nice yard.”

“Don’t want a nice yard. What’d we do with a nice yard?” Abner said. “Then we’d just have to water it. Hose water cost money. Rainwater don‘t.”

“Besides,” Lee Sam took over the persuasion, “ Dem chickens keep de termites away.”

The Yankee stepped up on the porch and handed the pair a package, too big to have fitted in the mailbox at the end of the road, which is the reason he had to drive down the road in the first place. “Well, you can get chemicals to get rid of termites.”

“You gotta keep on buying chemicals. Chickens can redo themselves,” Abner said.

“Say, wuz you a mailman when before you wuz here?” Lee Sam asked.

“Indeed, I was. I’ve been a mailman for ten years.”

“Why den, did you leave New Jersey or whatever it wuz up there you wuz livin’ in?”

“Boston. It was Boston,” he said.

“Well, wad you come down here for?” Abner asked. He glanced at Lee Sam.

“Well I got tired of the cold winters; the crowds everywhere; everybody pushing and a shoving and in a hurry; the smokestacks with the toxic fumes pouring out; and food prices were so high. And freeways and parking lots was taking over everywhere. I just asked for a transfer so I could go south where there’s blue skies and warm weather and not so many people to bump into. I needed to live a more relaxing life you might say.”

“Got time for a glass of tea?” Abner asked.

“No thanks. Got to hurry and finish my route.”

The Yankee and the Toyota sped down the road in a cloud of dust.

Paul H. Yarbrough

I was born and reared in Mississippi, lived in both Louisiana and Texas (past 40 years). My wonderful wife of 43 years who recently passed away was from Louisiana. I have spent most of my business career in the oil business. I took up writing as a hobby 7 or 8 years ago and love to write about the South. I have just finished a third novel. I also believe in the South and its true beliefs.

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