LulaBelle's Young'Un

LulaBelle lived on Bayou Manchac with her Maw and Paw. Lately, her constant squalling and moaning had 'bout driven Paw to distraction.

"She wants a young'un," said Maw. "To git a young'un," said Paw, "ya gotta gits a fella. We loves her, but ya gotta admit ain't no fella gonna regard her that way...with her withered arm, crippled legs an' all."

"More'n one way to cook a mess a sweet potatoes," said Maw.

Next morning at sun-up, LulaBelle squatted on the porch to shell peas for supper. A-weeping and a-wailing something fierce, she shed enough tears to flood the Amite River.

Coming through the swamp, she saw Maw and Paw. "Wotcha got?" she hollered.

"Hold up a bit," shouted Paw. "We'll be wit' ya directly...ain't as spry as we used ta be."

Maw handed LulaBelle a sweet-smelling bundle asleep in a blanket covered with yellow ducks and blue bunnies. "A young'un!" shrieked LulaBelle, her one good eye bright with happiness.

"You's grandparents now," she proudly told Maw and Paw.

"Ain't that a caution," remarked Paw.

Maw squinted over the tall cypress trees toward old man Schexnaider's trailer park 'bout two miles yonder.

"Look-ee there," she said, pointing to the heavy cloud of black smoke. "You'd think folk in mob-eel homes would be more careful with them new-fangled kerosene burners." She grinned at Paw and spat out a stream of tobacco juice.

"Yup," agreed Paw and then didn't say much else. He were just glad LulaBelle had finally quit her mewling and bawling.

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