Compleat Redneck

Commentary from the boondocks. If it makes any sense, it is just by chance.

Friday, October 24, 2003
Redneck Werewolf Part IV

Cletus came in this morning and had what can only be described as an evil grin on his face. He started into his story.

The Ledbetter place was a mess. Billy Jack was missing and Mizz Ledbetter had done a mess of shooting. Mr. Elmer noticed that she seemed to have hit the outhouse a bunch. They had been arguing about getting indoor plumbing with him saying there weren’t nothing in the Bible about indoor plumbing and if an outhouse was good enough for Delilah, Sarah and all them women, then it was good enough for Mizz Ledbetter. He knew he was losing the argument, but about a dozen 16 gauge shotgun shells had pretty much settled it. “Why’d you shoot the outhouse?” “Well, I didn’t want to shoot throught the screen and when I run out that big old dog was running by the outhouse and went in and I just shot it. Funny thing, he was wearing overalls.” “See Pa, I told you it was a Werewolf and it is most likely Jack Lee. He was over in Yurup and probably got bit by one of them Pennsylvania demons and now he is a Werewolf.” Mr. Elmer just sat down on the porch and held his head which was beginning to hurt an awful lot lately.

Suddenly there was a loud howling sound that made everyone’s skin crawl. It was the most beautiful sound you could imagine. The loudest, deepest coonhound voice ever heard in these parts. “What did that dog look like?” Mr. Elmer asked. “It was a big old coonhound, nearest I could tell.” Mr. Elmer looked at Earl Lee. “See I told you it wasn’t a Werewolf. It just some over grown coonhound and I still think some boys killed those cows.”

The rooster crowed and they noticed that it was time to get up even if they hadn’t been to bed. Around the corner of the house crawled Billy Jack. He was a mess. His overalls was torn half off and it looked like he had been hit by some birdshot, bitten by a bunch of dogs and then thrown down the outhouse hole. Mr. Elmer looked him over. “What happened to you?” “I was watching the house like you said. I needed to go and headed for the outhouse when Mizz Ledbetter stepped out the kitchen door and started shooting at me. Then this bunch of dogs run me over and one tried to drag me off, but I made it to the outhouse and jumped in because Mizz Ledbetter had reloaded and with all the noise, she didn’t hear me yelling and she dern near kilt me.”

As he was finishing his story, Bobby Joe Smith drove up and said a big dog had tried to kill some of their pigs, but his old 500 pound boar hog had fought him off and the dog had gone by Mizz Vessey Jones’ and kilt her sheep. Bubba looked up over his coffee. “I thought we had agreed that there were never any sheep around here.” “ I checked with Mama and she said that Mizz Vessey Jones always got a lamb every year for her manger scene and then cooked it for Christmas dinner and that was the one the Werewolf ate. He would have started with the sheep if’n he had known about it way back at the beginning of this story.” Bubba was beat. No good Southern Boy ever questions what his Mama says.

Cletus got back to his story.

And one of Calvin Jones’ daughter Sissy was missing! Mr. Elmer figgered she had finally run off with that Seigler boy since she had been mooning over him something fierce, but maybe there was a werewolf around.

Earl Lee was real happy. “If Billy Jack got bit by the Werewolf, then he will turn into one unless we get him exhorted. We got to get us an exhortation.” Mr. Elmer didn’t think that sounded right, but he thought to himself (now how do you not think to yourself?) that Earl Lee knew more about this werewolf business that he did. “Where do you get one of them?” “Well, you usually get a Priest, but since we don’t have any Catholics here, I guess we’ll have to get Brother Starnes to do it.” Brother Starnes was the Preacher at the Church they attended. He was a righteous Preacher although they mostly didn’t have a clue what he was talking about, but he could preach and if Billy Jack needed an exhortation, then Brother Starnes was the man to do it.

Brother Starnes said he wadn’t real sure if he could do one of them Catholic things. Most of his sermons were built around the evilness of the Godless Papists. His faith had been recently sorely tested when he found out his best buddy at work down at the Huntsville Arsenal was Catholic. Brother Starnes had looked for the horns and tail, but he couldn’t find them and the feller seemed to be pretty much a Christian. Sorry, seem to be getting off the subject.

Brother Starnes asked Earl Lee how one of them exhortations was supposed to go. Earl Lee said they sprinkled holy water around and said some things in Latin and made the demons leave the person. Brother Starnes said that as a good Church of Christ Preacher, he wadn’t about to use no “holy water” and if the King James Bible was good enough for Paul and Silas, it was good enough to exhort Billy Jack and he set it to preach to that boy. Mr. Elmer had to step back it was so intense. Everything was going good until Brother Starnes got to the part about them demons getting out of Billy Jack and going into the swine. “Just a dern minute, Bobby Joe. The only swine around here is mine and you better not put no demons in them. That old boar is already too mean to be around.” They argued about it for a while and agreed that the demons would be driven into the rabbits that were eating what was left of the vegetable garden.

By the time Brother Starnes finished his preaching, Billy Jack surely felt exhorted. He asked Brother Starnes if he could baptize him right there. It was a good day for the exhorter.

Mr. Elmer had been thinking about the whole thing. “Exorcise! It’s exorcise you idiot!”

Thursday, October 23, 2003
Elroy says Cletus' scary story is so obvious that he don't care to listen anymore. You can already see that Billy Jack is the Werewolf. Any good storyteller should be able to get farther into the story without giving away the ending halfway through. Cletus told him to just go ahead and not show up tomorrow if he is so smart. Elroy said he might not. Of course he does have access to the Internet up at the Electric Coop between the complaining oldsters so I bet he reads it from there. He will be missing some mighty good coffee though.

Redneck Werewolf Part III

Those Roman numerals up there in the title are pretty impressive doncha think? Learned those in the third grade at the old three-room schoolhouse before we had educators instead of teachers. Well back to the story. Elroy has been a little unhappy about the cow stuff, but he started it. I was going to make it sheep since that is normally what wolves go after in stories, but he insisted on calves so now he is upset that Black Angus yearlings are being killed off since he thinks they make the very best steaks and he does purely love his steaks. I told him that since this whole story took place 50 years ago, it is doubtful if the werewolf really affected the current beef market.

Mr. Elmer wasn’t at all happy about the mystery and he wasn’t about to buy into the theory that it was a werewolf since any dern fool knew that werewolves were Yurpeen and he doubted that any had emigrated to Alabama since if they did, they shoulda showed up by now. He got his best coon dog and went tracking those big footprints and darned if they didn’t disappear after a few hundred feet. He thought that maybe it was some boys fooling around and playing tricks even though it was a few months to Halloween and the boys usually waited until then to do their most destructive things and he couldn’t believe that they would kill people’s stock.

Just like before, there was just the one night of stock killing and then nothing until the next full moon when Mr. Elmer hisself lost another yearling with about a hundred pounds of beef gone from the carcass. Mr. Elmer said that this was getting out of hand and called the sheriff who sent out a deputy who looked at the dead calf. “Yep, its dead, whacha want me to do?” I think this is the introduction of the stupid official who does all the wrong things and gets half the village killed before the heroic young scientist shows up to save the day, but Deputy Clyde was just being hisself (stupid) and we ain’t got no brilliant young scientists or any other types since this was back before all the rocket scientists came here and about the best we had in the way of a scientist was Robert Earl who graded the cotton at the gin and Mr. Holloman who was about 80 and taught biology at the high school. Mr. Elmer told Clyde to go on back to town, that he would take care of the problem. Clyde said he didn’t want to see any vegil… vigile.. anyone taking the law into their own hands. Mr. Elmer said he didn’t see how shooting a bunch of wild dogs had anything to do with the law. This was back when you could shoot anywhere you wanted on your own land and on your neighbors' too if’n you hadn’t had a falling out with them in which case it was a good ideer to stay off their land since they might shoot anywhere they wanted to.

Well, so much for the cultural education. Back to the story, another month passed and Mr. Elmer waited for some calves to be killed. He had noticed that the killings were always at the full moon so on the next full moon he and Earl Lee climbed up in trees near his pasture and waited to see what would happen. He had him some rat shot for his .22, his 12 gauge and his 30.06 just in case it wasn’t some boys. The 22. rat shot was for marking any boys who might show up. His hired man Billy Jack Smith wasn’t with them because he had put on considerable weight and Mr. Elmer doubted that he could climb a tree so he left him back at the house to help Mizz Ledbetter if’n she needed it.

They was sittin’ in them trees when about midnight there was a big ruckus down toward the house and several gunshots. Earl Lee and Mr. Elmer fairly flew out of the trees and hied down to the house where they found Mizz Ledbetter reloading her 12 gauge. She said the biggest dog she had ever seen had tried to get in the kitchen and she let him have all six shots. Mizz Ledbetter favored one of them six shot shotguns and didn’t bother with the plug since she never hunted and figgered that the kind of things she would shoot didn’t have a bag limit.

They checked around and found a trail of blood leading up to the hills. Billy Jack was no where to be found.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Redneck Werewolf Part II

You could see Cletus was fit to be tied. He sat down and said we would just have to wait to see what happened. He came in this morning already fired up. Seems that there was a question from Dave who reads this stuff (Cletus says that just goes to show that he ain’t too smart) asking what kind of cows they were. Cletus grumped that the never said they were cows. He said calves but if it was so derned important, most of them were yearling Black Angus. Elroy said that would make them at least 600 lbs and that must have been some Werewolf or pack of dogs to bring down one of those babies. Cletus asked if we wanted to hear the story or keep smacking our gums. Everyone quieted down and Cletus poured himself a big mug of coffee and continued.

The first dead animals were over on the Ledbetter place and got some of Mr.Elmer Ledbetter’s prize herd of Angus. He was sorely upset and him and his boy Earl Lee set up that night to kill themselves some wild dogs. This was before the coyotes came to Alabama but we did have some wild dog packs and old Doc Tucker said it looked like dogs had killed the calves. The calves were about half eaten which meant that there must have been a big pack of dogs. Earl Lee said they really needed to weed out the dogs before they hurt one of the younguns. Funny thing was no one had seen any dogs around that they didn’t know. Elmer, Earl Lee and their hired man, Billy Jack Smith who had just got out of the Army after WWII hunted all night and never saw a single dog other than their own huntin’ dogs. There wasn’t any more killings for a month and then the Smith place next door lost their milk cow (a dang big old Jersey cow) and their old Bluetick Hound, Babe, was scairt to come out from under the porch for three days. Doc Tucker said it was real strange how the pack had ripped out the cow’s throat in one big long gash and had eaten the best cuts. Earl Lee said he bet it was a bunch of Gypsies who were stealing the cows and making it look like dogs to cover their tracks. His Daddy asked him if’n he had seen any Gypsies since they should be purty obvious in their funny clothes, big wagons and all that fiddling and singin’ they were known for. Earl Lee hadn’t seen any Gypsies so his next idea was that it was a Werewolf. Mr. Elmer give him one of his you must be the traveling salesman’s youngun looks and said that any dern fool knew there was no such thing as Werewolves. Sure, he believed in haints and lost soldiers and had even seen some funny lights over at the old Watts’ house after it had fallen down, but there was no such thing as a Werewolf and he thought Earl Lee had been goin’ to too many moving picture shows. Well they all had a good laugh at Earl Lee’s expense, but no one had any idea what was killing the animals. About then, Doc Tucker yelled from down by the creek that he had found some tracks. They all hurried down to see the biggest dog tracks they had ever laid eyes on. Earl Lee said that it had to be a Great Dane. He had seen a picture of one in the National Geographic (where he never looked at any of the pictures of native women) and it was about the biggest dog there was. Someone said it could be a Russian Wolfhound which is a pretty big dog. Mr. Elmer asked just how a Great Dane or Russian Wolfhound got to the Alabama woods. Doc Tucker said he thought the tracks were too big to be either of those breeds and he wasn’t sure what they were. Earl Lee said maybe the Gypsies had put on special shoes to make them think it was a dog what killed the cow. Mr. Elmer said he had to go on home and ask Mizz Ledbetter why she had to go take up with that traveling salesman.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003
Cletus says his Redneck werewolf story is so long that it will have to be stretched out over about two weeks. I think he is planning on finishing it about Halloween for dramatic effect. He started telling it to the BBQ Emporium denizens (good word for a scary story) this morning.

It all started with the sheep being slaughtered each full moon. “Where did this happen?” asked Bubba. Cletus looked a little upset and said it happened right here. Bubba said there had never been any sheep around here so how could there be any sheep slaughtered. Did the werewolf import them? Cletus said that werewolves always started with sheep and then after a couple of moons moved on to people usually around Halloween. “Ain’t no dern sheep around here and never have been!”

Cletus was fairly bouncing in his chair by then. “Okay, how about it all started with the slaughter of the pigs?” Bubba allowed that he didn’t mind it being pigs but what effect was this going to have on the BBQ business if the pigs got eat by a werewolf. Elroy said that was scary enough for him so could we just get on with the eatin’ and forget the story.

Cletus was right red in the face by then and said he just wouldn’t be telling any stories anymore to cretins who couldn’t appreciate a good scary story when they heard one. I said that he needed to tell this one since he had already promised to tell it and Mizz Indigo said she was looking forward to it. Cletus got a little redder and said “okay’ he would try if the cretins would be quiet. I think Cletus is a little sweet on Mizz Indigo although she lives way up in North Carolina somewhere and the old F250 doesn’t know the way.

Elroy had been sitting with a funny look on his face. “What’s a cretin?” Well, none of us really knew, but we all assumed it wasn’t a good thing to call people. Bubba asked if it was Greek or Russian and if it in any way involved his Mama. Cletus said he was referring to the lack of intelligence and if “cretin” didn’t meant that it should and was he going to get to tell his story or not. It seemed a good idea to let him tell some so the boys sat back with their coffee.

“It all started with the slaughter of the pigs” Cletus looked around the room to see if anyone was going to interrupt, “everyone was losing a few pigs each time the moon was full and Bobby Ray Tucker said that he thought it looked like they had been killed by a pack of wild dogs. Elroy asked if this was the same Bobby Ray Tucker what was the Vet back when we were boys and Cletus said it was. Elroy said he seemed to remember his Daddy talking about something like this but it seemed to him that it was calves that were being killed. “Okay, you want calves, it was calves. It all started with a bunch of dern calves being killed each full moon”

Monday, October 20, 2003
Cletus says he has been doing research into scary stories and expects to win the grand prize in the Second Annual Axis of Weevil Scary Story Contest. Bubba asked how you research scary stories and since when was there a contest. Cletus said he remembered reading scary stories last year and he was sure he could do better (Maybe he can. His mind works kind of scary) and he had been asking the older folks for good stories and thought he just might write about the Redneck Werewolf. Don't ask me. I never heard of him and Cletus is probably making it up as he goes.