Now to begin our story...
A long time ago, my Ma was in the canoe my Pa gave her, rolling along the long
Mississippi River singin' a song our family used to be a singin'. There I sat,
next to her in a pile of clothes so I would be a hidden.
It was during the Civil War. We was in the South, tryin' to get over to the
North to find jobs. I and her was mighty scared, in case soldiers were huntin' us
blacks to turn us back into slaves. Mama was a stoppin' at land to have us
some of that might tasty soup of hers. We were a sittin' down an' eatin' our
soup, when outta no where comes a big ole fat wolf a growlin' and a snarlin' at
us. I jumps up and throws a big ole' fire rock. The big ole' wolf just stays
there snarlin' and a showin' his big ole yeller teeth.
Mama lost her wits and froze, her face was blue as ice. But I wasn't scared,
not me. I wasn't yeller. So I's start a yellin' and a screamin'. That wolf
shies away, and I feel kinda sorry for 'er. It goes away and comes back again
wit' a tiny pup. I can see the sadness in 'er eyes, as she pushed the pup
towards me. "Why me?"
I kinda felt that I was special. This same wolf was growlin' and a snarlin'
one minute, now she's scared of me. Then I remembered somethin', Mama!
Good, Mama was fine, gatherin' her wits. "Ma, are yas ok?" says I. "Billy,"
she says "I gotta go."
So mama goes and gets firewood. I throws Wolf bits of meat. Wolf, that's
what I named my wolf.
A few days later Wolf is as tame as a dog. I named her pup Fred, the name of
my Papa. I loved my Papa very much and when he died, Ma and me used the canoe
to try to get to the North. That's what Papa would have wanted.
But now, here we was in the middle o' nowhere. I look out across the
fog-filled sea. I sees a boat, oh no! a boat! I sees some faces. White
faces! Ma's over there, behind that bush. I knows I can't yell, they'd get
bot' o' us. I quietly climb behind the nearest boulder.
I couldn't bear t' look, through the wind and rain of last night it was
impossible to look for my dear mother. I heard screams and yelps from the spot.
I had to close my eyes, holding back the tears for my dear Ma. Finally all was
quiet. They left with her, my mother. That night I couldn't sleep; I didn't
hear her soft humming through the breeze.