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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.

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