Rogue Row…Folklore and Fancy!

Folklore and Fancy!

There’s folklore and fancy, fiction and fact, if you have to stretch the truth be sure to use some tact! In this area the telling of “whoppers” used to be an art in itself. Around the woods bunkhouses, kitchen parlors, quilting bees, and barn-raisings. Real stretches of “the imagination” and/or a genre all to themselves. I’ve tried to keep track and share a lot of them over the past many years. Here’s a couple that I hope’ll gain a grin or two. Spring-pole – a small tree bent over hard and held down by something, usually a much larger tree, that’s fallen across it. When the tension is released it springs back toward upright with considerable force.

     Porcupine Tale

The truth, they say, is stranger
Than fiction any day
And from my own experience
I’ve found that is the way,
Now, the porcupine’s a mammal
Not too small, nor big
Erethezon dorsatum
Also – thorny pig,
It has erectile spines, or quills
A defense against its foes
Very painful to the flesh
As any dog’s snout knows!
Anyways, you see, it happened
When we was cuttin’ wood
Getting ready for the winter
Preparing best we could,
We saw a porky chawing
On some tender slender bark
But, it was a “spring-pole”
And, as the whittling made a mark,
The tight-bent sapling’s snapping
Meant the tension was released
And threw the porky through the air
A good five feet at least,
It struck hard against a popple
About seven inches thick
The force then stuck it to it
And to it it did stick,
We had no choice but help it
So we carefully cut it out
We could tell that it was angry
By the twitchin’ of its snout,
We gently set it on the ground
And off it tried to run
We found it very humourous
Though it didn’t see the fun,
It slowly rambled out of sight
And we finally lost track
As porky went down thru the woods
With the block still on its back!

D.C. Butterfield

You know, we’re “middle of July” and haying is in full swing, or first cut is done! The tater rows are filling out, the hazel nuts are formed, apples are getting bigger and loads of wood are going past, in pick-ups and two/three cord trucks. Thoughts are drearily starting to turn to preparing for the seasons ahead. (That sounds better than writing ‘winter’!) Mother would be “putting by” skeins of yarn to knit mittens and socks soon’s the preserves were down. Which reminds me …

    The Torch

In early eve, there came reprieve
From the hot and humid day
Pulling weeds on knees, and shelling peas
And from putting in the hay,
Twas a time before that’s now no more
When there was no lawn to mow
Each day was planned and done by hand
With lots of rows to hoe,
Their home was blunt but ‘cross the front
A porch ’bout eight feet wide
With a rocking-chair for weather fair
And a swing to rest aside,
Says he to her, “What a day it were
I’ve strained from dawning sun
And though I know you cook and sew
It’s mine that’s never done!”
“Well”, she said, “I keep you fed
You don’t miss too many meals
I bake your bread, I share your bed
That’s just the way life wheels,
But if you think, from work I shrink
I’ll fetch my knitting needles out
And you, ole Scotch, can sit and watch
For reproof – beyond a doubt,
Just for fun, see how its done
Then you can eat each word
But first I must, pick one I trust
From among our friendly herd!”
As sheep did pass that ate the grass
She scrutinized the pack
A chosen one – a short quick run
And she landed on its back,
Like a flash, round the house they’d dash
As she threw him – the torch
With woman’s pride – “You like my ride!”
And a mitten – struck the porch,
With time to spare, she’d knit a pair
He’d much regret his talk
And with a smile, every little while
She’d hit him – with a sock!
The moral here I hope is clear
At day’s end, count each blessing
Use compliment – not argument
Nor … with a woman’s mind be messing!

D.C. Butterfield

Somewhat appropriately, from ‘An Overworked Elocutionist’ – “If you’re waking, call me early, to be or not to be.” And, as in driving through life, remember … the steering wheel is in your hands!
Have Pen – Will Write



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