“Once upon a time,” said Lina, “there was a beautiful maiden and she was in love, but her wicked old parent wants her to marry a rich old man threescore and ten years old, which is ’most all the old you can get unless you are going to die; and the lovely princess said, `No, father, you may cut me in the twain but I will never marry any but my true love.’ So the wicked parent shut up the lovely maiden in a high tower many miles from the ground, and made her live on turnips and she had nothing else to eat; so one day when she was crying a little fairy flew in at the window and asked, `Why do you weep, fair one?’ And she said, `A wicked parent hath shut me up and I can’t ever see my lover any more.’ So the fairy touched her head with her wand and told her to hang her hair out of the window, and she did and it reached the ground, and her lover, holding a rope ladder in one hand and playing the guitar and singing with the other, climbed up by her hair and took her down on the ladder and his big black horse was standing near, all booted and spurred, and they rode away and lived happy ever after.”
“How he goin’ to clam’ up, Lina,” asked Billy, “with a rope ladder in one hand and his guitar in the other?”
“I don’t know,” was the dignified answer. “That is the way it is told in my fairy-tale book.”
Changing the Ethiopian
Billy and Jimmy were sitting in the swing.
“What makes your hair curl just like a girl’s?” asked the latter. “It’s ’bout the curliest hair they is.”
“Yes, it do,” was Billy’s mournful response. “It done worry me ‘mos’ to death. Ever sence me an’ Wilkes Booth Lincoln’s born we done try ev’ything fer to get the curl out. They was a Yankee man came ‘long las’ fall a-sellin’ some stuff in a bottle what he call `No-To-Kink’ what he say would take the kink outer any nigger’s head. An’ Aunt Cindy bought a bottle fer to take the kink outer her hair an’ me an’ Wilkes Booth Lincoln put some on us heads an’ it jes’ make mine curlier ’n what it was already. I’s ‘shame’ to go roun’ folks with my cap off, a-lookin’ like a frizzly chicken. Miss Cecilia say she like it though, an’ we’s engaged. We’s goin’ to git married soon’s I puts on long pants.”