Snuff Bucket

Gary and I were suppose to go dove hunting in southern Georgia, up around Hoboken.  I had to work on Saturday, so he went up ahead of me, to set some feed out in the fields to bait ’em, up.

My job was to bring the drinks and snacks.  Instead of beer, I filled the cooler with sodas and got three bags of Bar B Que chips and pretzels.  Driving up US 1, I munched down on some chips and pretzels and realized too late, that I had drove off and left the cooler.  Nothing to drink after eating all that salt.  No sweat, I’ll just stop off at the store at the crossroads by Racepond and get more. ………. You know that durn store was closed on Sunday and I was thirsty too.

I drove past Racepond towards Hoboken looking for a rag tied to a tree branch, our signal so I would know which dirt road to take.  I missed it.  Parched as I was I drove around for an hour looking, finally I came upon an old house in the middle of nowhere, with a large, very old black woman sitting in her rocker on the porch.

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She was holding a dripping spit cup and had dried snuff caked on both sides of her mouth.  Dry mouthed, I said “Granny have you heard any body doing any shooting this morning, I’m looking for my friends and they are suppose to be nearby.”  She said that she hadn’t heard a sound and dribbled a mouthful of spit in her cup, off of her bottom lip.

My mouth was so dry that I could barely speak, I asked her if I could get some water to drink?  She said “Yeah, but you’ll have to get it out of the well”.  I went over to the trough and there was a cast iron pump, the handle was so long on the pump that I couldn’t pump the handle and cup my hand to drink at the same time, so I reached for a nearby bucket.

Can you believe that old rusty bucket had snuff, dried all around the rim?  Now I was so thirsty I could croak, but I just couldn’t drink out of that bucket.  Then I noticed a gourd hanging from a nail.  This gourd had been carved out into a handy little dipper, but one problem though.  The rim of the gourd had dried snuff all around the edge. Whew man, that looked nasty.  Holding the gourd full of water, I noticed that water was seeping out of a crack in the bottom, I held the gourd higher and pressed my lips against the bottom and started slurping up that dripping water like no body’s business, gulping it down.  “Man o Man”  Even the “iron” taste in the water tasted good, I sucked down two gourd fulls before the old gal came up behind me and said “That gourd been hanging there for five years and ain’t nobody ever drank out of that hole like that, ‘cept for me and you.”

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