The Little Orphan Granny begins his adventures in life
The Orphan has many memories of adventures.
One such adventure was following The Muddy closely while holding her dress hem as she trekked to a stream called The Branch where the big black cast iron wash pot, galvanized washtubs and buckets were located. The Muddy carried a “washing” over her shoulder wrapped in a bed sheet that required the use of both of her
hands. Otherwise The Muddy would have been holding the small hand of The Orphan.
At The Branch there was always a stack of cut wood under a big oak tree so that a fire could be built around the wash pot so the wash water could be heated. The Muddy would then haul numerous buckets of Branch water to the cast iron wash pot, where a roaring fire would bring the water to a boil.
The Muddy would then trim slices from the lye soap bar (which was made by The Father at “hog killing” time) and put them in with the clothes. The clothes were poked often with a stick to provide agitation. The clothes were then moved to a washtub where they were further scrubbed on a washboard prior to several
rinsings. After The Muddy twisted the rinsed clothes to remove excess water, they were arranged on the thorns of a plum thicket to dry in the sun. After drying, the clothes were folded, put back in the bed sheet and taken home.
The Big Momma, who knew the innermost magical real secrets of the universe, often gave The Orphan emptied sacks (previously used to hold a delightful confection called sugar), with a knot tied in the corner, to chew on. This device, for a reason never revealed to The Orphan at that time, was called a “sugar-tit” and
was much sought after by The Orphan.
The Big Momma knew things like when to construct small especially made clothes for a magical animal called an Easter Bunny to assure that this magical creature would, on a assigned day, visit The Orphan in the dark of the night - but only when The Orphan was in slumber - and leave delightful things - almost as good
as a “sugar-tit.”
The Big Momma would also regale The Orphan with stories of the time (always in the future) when there would be riches and The Big Momma would take The Orphan on a trip to a place called Town and have a magical party called a “Spree.”
Then there was The Other Grandmother and The Pappy (whose real names were Charlie and Sally Brown). They lived a fearsome distance away from the lair of The Muddy and The Orphan in an area remote from even villages and hamlets. The trails leading to the farm of The Other Grandmother and The Pappy were almost always
muddy since they were made of dirt and, occasionally, sand (but never smooth), so the fearsome distance of ten miles was seldom traversed.
Daily, except Sunday, The Muddy and The Forbidding Giant took The Orphan to the cotton fields, cornfields and vegetable gardens to play and crawl on a blanket in the shade of trees, while The Forbidding Giant would plow or harrow the fields with two huge mules named Kate and Eider. There were many yells of “gee,”
“haw” and “whoa-back” as the mules used their weight into the collar to pull the trace chains attached to single-trees thence to a double tree and then to the plow or harrow. The reins were knotted and looped around the back of The Forbidding Giant’s neck. When the mules did not obey well, The Forbidding Giant used other words and phrases that, later in life, The Orphan was
sorely chastised for using.
A dog also owned The Orphan. The playing and crawling by The Orphan was supervised by the dog Cuddles whose job it was to keep The Orphan within the edges of the blanket, out of the dirt, and to bite any snake or other critters that approached The Orphan without prior approval. When The Muddy and The Forbidding Giant would
see a recently demised snake they would say “good dog” and the supervising dog Cuddles would wiggle mightily and prance proudly.
Later in life a tragedy would change the path of The Orphan. This tragedy was caused by a huge fear of a creature called a “mad dog” which would attack other dogs and even people, bite them and cause horrendous, painful deaths. The solution, when the dreaded call from the hills or the “hollers” of “mad dog” was
heard was to kill all of the non-mad dogs, have a rifle or shotgun near and never let The Orphan outside until the mad dog menace was destroyed.
The supervising dog Cuddles was killed and The Orphan then subconsciously but later consciously vowed to never have a pet. Because of this vow, a pet that was loved and respected would never again be taken from The Orphan and killed, because The Orphan would never have any to be taken away. The rest of the world did not
greet this decision of The Orphan with approval - however The Orphan remained obdurate.
Occasionally, a chicken was executed to provide fried chicken for food for the family. The Orphan, still scarred from the execution of the supervising dog Cuddles, would scream and run to hide under the nearest bed. However, the Orphan would always eat the fried chicken as well as anything else on the table that did not
move. The Orphan remembered the early hunger in his life.
Such were the early adventures of The Little Orphan Granny.