a specific piece of work required to be done
It was Sunday after church and all my
chores were done.
small porch or set of steps at the front entrance of a house
I was sitting on the
stoop of our home trying to think what to do.
carry with difficulty
“I warned them they had to check out those new-free folks better, and now somebody’s accidentally
toted some of those horrible creatures up here.”
begin or get started
“Listen! And, my young brothers, you better listen good! This may save your lives. Once they’ve bitten their tails, they form the shape of a circle then stand up like a wheel or a barrel hoop and
commence rolling after whatever they’ve decided to kill!”
internal organs collectively
The Preacher said, “You swell so much that after exactly seven and a half days the pressure in your body becomes too great and you explode like an overheated steam boiler! In seconds your stomach and your lungs and your other
entrails are flung around you for miles and miles!”
a large number or amount or extent
“Those tracks were fresh, looks like a momma and poppa and a
slew of babies! Which, God bless us all, means we’re too late, they’ve already started breeding! And from the way those tracks were going, I’d say they’re hungry and have started up a hoop snake hunting party!”
a sheath for carrying a handgun
The Preacher throwed his knife into the ground where the tracks use to be and put his hand on the fancy
holster and mystery pistol he always totes.
informal or slang terms for mentally irregular
Ma looked at me like I was
easily broken or damaged or destroyed
There ain’t nothing in the world she wants more than for me to quit being so doggone fra-gile.
a disorderly outburst or tumult
Cooter was whistling and still laughing every once in the while and, doggone-it-all, I saw how unfair this whole
commotion was turning out to be.
cut small bits or pare shavings from
Ma was back to working on that sweater and Pa was
spiny-finned freshwater food and game fishes
“She done some baking too, say she hoping to trade for two of them big
mature male goose
“Well, Elijah, seem to me what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the
worry unnecessarily or excessively
Ma says even back then I was a fra-gile child, and the more he tossed me, the more she was
dig with a tool with a flat blade
Life’s gunn be a tough row to
hoe for you if you don’t learn you caint be believing everything folks tell you, not even growned folks.
the side between ribs and hipbone
Two more horseflies landed on Old Flapjack’s
flank and it was a chance to make up for the mistake I’d just made.
so surprised or shocked as to be unable to speak
That meant I hadn’t hit ’em hard enough to break no fly bones or nothings but I had hit ’em so’s they were gonna be a little
having a difficult and contrary disposition
The Preacher’ll tell anyone that listens that the biggest, most
ornery horseflies in the world live right here in Buxton.
have a positive impact on
The Preacher liked waving his arms ’round whilst he was talking, and he was really going at it to try to
impress these new folks.
summon into action or bring into existence
The Preacher said, “I saw you, Elijah. I saw what you were doing, and I’m afraid it has the look of
conjuring to it.”
a loud and disturbing noise
I’d always pictured that there’d be so many rattling-snakes hissing and shaking in these parts that you’d near ’bout go deaf from the
racket they made.
speak of in an irreverent or impious manner
I’d been meaning to ask our Sabbath school teacher, Mr. Travis, if it was
blaspheming to say this, but seemed to me if this rock chunking really was a gift from Jesus, it would be the sort of thing that would be there forever, and for me it waren’t atall.
disturb, especially by minor irritations
This would get the little fish
riled up, they’d bump at the flies and try to pull ’em under and would raise a ruckus that’d make the big fish wonder what the commotion was for.
the act of making a noisy disturbance
This would get the little fish riled up, they’d bump at the flies and try to pull ’em under and would raise a
ruckus that’d make the big fish wonder what the commotion was for.
frenzied as if possessed by a demon
There’s something ’bout the way those half-wit horseflies move on the water that scares the small fish away and drives the big fish
pay a tenth of one's income, especially to the church
He said, “A fine Christian thing to do! Now I was also wondering, Elijah, if you know anything about a word called
the mathematics of points and lines and curves and surfaces
I said, “I’m tolerable good long’s it don’t get stretched into
a proper fraction whose denominator is a power of 10
I moved the
decimal point without using pencil nor paper and said, “One tenth of a hundred and twenty-two years comes to twelve full years and two-tenths of a year, sir.”
an expression of lack of regard
I didn’t mean to show no
disrespect but I couldn’t help frowning.
something intended to deceive
I’d started with ten fish and now I was down to six, and even though I ain’t particular worthy at my schooling, it still seemed it’d take a whole lot of doggone
humbug algebra and some trickaration geometry to make ten percent of ten come out to four.
the mathematics of generalized arithmetical operations
I’d started with ten fish and now I was down to six, and even though I ain’t particular worthy at my schooling, it still seemed it’d take a whole lot of doggone humbug
algebra and some trickaration geometry to make ten percent of ten come out to four.
listen without the speaker's knowledge
I couldn’t ask Pa what that meant without him knowing I’d been
eavesdropping on growned folks’ conversations, but I was catching on that it waren’t a good thing to be.
unpredictably excitable, especially of horses
The only sound was birds, and you wouldn’t never think that birds singing would be something to make you
skittish, but hearing ’em singing all by theirselves like that, they might as well’ve been haints or ghosts singing.
a restraint that confines or restricts freedom
Pa told me that one of the Settlement’s white friends from Chatham had come busting in on horseback and warned that there were two American scallywags with pistols and
shackles and chains asking questions ’bout the best way to get to Buxton.
an edge tool for cutting grass
A little ways from home the Preacher came running at us holding on to a long sharp blade from off a
being in a tense or nervous state
Everybody was still a little
jumpy what with them paddy-rollers ’round somewhere and the Preacher not being seen for a while so Ma and Pa were up in a flash!
Pa said, “Were it one a our’n? You think someone leaved the barn door
uncastrated adult male horse
I told him, “No, sir. ’Twas a big white
stallion with a saddle, nothing like none of ours.”
pull up by or as if by the roots
His head was leaned down over their picket fence and he was chawing on bunches of flowers,
uprooting most of Mrs. Highgate’s black-eye Susies.
capable of stirring enthusiasm or excitement
And everybody knowed it would be near impossible for the Preacher to keep a story as
rousing as that all to hisself.