Yup, thish hyar ole hillbilly has dun got hizzeff a nuther ward. Thish hyar ward iz the Inner Peas Ward. Hit wuz giv to me bah Ms. Marlyn Suarez Exconde, hooze got herseff a fan blog naim of Kintal.
Now hoal on jiss a minnit. Ah kin hyar awl of yawl. Yore awl a-yappin lack a room full of rich fellers at a kuntry club, kumplainin bowt tacksiz hwalst a pore gal er feller is a-servin em ten-doller dranks. Yore awl a-sayin, “Ole hillbilly, jiss hwin have ewe evver had yoarseff a ward afoar? An hwut wuz it foar ennywaze? Moast mash drunkt up in a day?”
Well, hits the God’s onnist truth. Thish hyar ole hillbilly did wunst git hizzeff a ward.
Ah member it lack hit wuz yestiddy. Hit wuz muh fith tam goin thoo foarth graid. Ah warnt but sick-stain yares old. Atcherly, Ah wuz hickzackly sick-stain yares an wun day old.
Ah wreckin iffen Ah am a-gonner tell yawl bowt it, Ah naid tuh kummince at thuh beginnin. Hwich was the day afoar Ah got the ward, an at wuz muh berthday.
Ah rattled in late to skool at day. Ah hed bin down at the dravvers lassinz stayshun, taikin the dravvin test, an hed dun got me muh dravvers lassinz.
So Ah shoad up at skule rown bowt levven er levven-thirty. Ah wint on down thuh hawl tuh muh class, oapind the doar, an skwaized inter muh desk.
Ah member Ah wuz sittin bah thish hyar gal naim of Debby Hail. She lookt up at me an sed, “Bowt tam yew got hyar, ewe big ole nukklehaid. Ewe dun mist the rithmuhtick test.”
Thet maid me rat prowd. Ah didden keer nuthin fer no rithmuhtick tests, an far as Ah kood tell, rithmuthtick tests didden keer nuthin fer me.
Jiss then the taicher cawed out. “Boy, jist hwat in tarnayshun er ewe dewin hyar?”
“Ah was spectin tuh larn sumthin er nuther,” Ah sed.
The taicher lookt at me. Her naim wuz Mizz Hatfield. She moas jinrully traited me lack Ah wuz a McCoy.
“Ain’t ewe dun turnd sick-stain?” she axed.
“Jiss rat now tuhday,” Ah antsered, rat promp lack. “At’s hwah Ah didden git hyar till now. Ah wuz down gittin muh dravvers lassinz.”
Mizz Hatfield kanly goggled at me. Thin she wint oaver an cawlt summun on the innercom.
Liddle Debby lookt up at me. “Ewe aint got no dravvers lassinz,” she sed. “Ewe caint raid good nuff.”
“Shoaz hwat ewe no,” Ah rupplad. Coarse, she didden no it, but moast evverbawdy down to the dravvers lassinz stayshin wuz a-purchissin air likker fum muh daddy.
Ennywaze, bowt then thuh printispull waddled into the room. He wade bowt fore-hunnert an fitty powns.
He lookt rown an seen me. “Less go down tuh thuh offiss,” he sed.
Ah maid muh way outten muh desk, an we wint down. Ah figgered Ah wuz in fer a nuther paddlin. Hit didden maik me no nevver mand. Ah hed bin swattid too menny tams. Muh behand wuzz callussed up lack a senator’s soul.
But the printisipull, Mister Statler, didden taik down his paddle. He jiss lookt at me a hwal.
“Aint chew sick-stain now?” he fanly axed.
“Hats rat,” Ah sed. “Ewe foaks is jiss rat on top of that. Mizz Hatfield menshunned it two. Yawl is jist offal kand-harted.”
“Kand-harted,” he sed. “Ah wreckin.” Then he staired at me sum moar. “Ewe no,” he sed, “wunst a feller terns sick-stain, he aint got to go to skool no moar. Ewe kin jiss taik off on out of hyar.”
Ah shook muh haid. “Ah am hurt,” Ah sed. “Jiss plum hurt. Mah daddy didden raze no kwitter. No, Ah sand up tuh grajjy-ate, an Ah wreckin Ah’ll jiss keep a-hammrin away till Ah git mahseff grajjy-ated. Ah plan on bein the furst of mah fambly tuh grajjy-ate. Ah no mah mamma is gonna be prowd. Mah daddy will be to, pervadded he aint too drunkt up.”
Mister Statler’s ah-bawls bowt bload outten his haid. “Grajjy-ate! Grajjy-ate! Yore a-plannin on grajjy-aitin!”
“Ewe aint got tuh yell. Ahm rat char in frunt of yuh.”
He wapt his haid. “Ewe dew unnerstan that ewe aint but in the foarth graid, and yore dun turnd sick-stain yares old.”
“Corst Ah no that.”
“Yore labble tuh be fitty er sicksty yares old foar ewe grajjy-ate.”
“Ah no,” Ah sed. “But Ah am in it fer the long hawl.”
“The long hawl,” he sed.
Ah lookt rown. “Thaze kanly a ekko in hyar,” Ah hobbserved.
“Day in, day owt,” he sed. “Showin up. Sellin mash tuh foaks rat char in skool.”
“Ah doant sell it tuh nobawdy seppin sum of the taichers,” Ah sed. “An thuh sooperintindint.” Ah giv it a thunk. “An moas of the skool bored.”
He jiss sat stairin at me fer a hwal, not sayin nuthin. Thin he oapened up a desk droar an pullt owt a Mayssin jar.
“Well, lookee thar,” Ah sed. “Ewe got choreseff a kwart of muh daddy’s fannest mash rat char.”
He didden say nuthin. He jist unskrood the lid and taikin hizzeff a drank. The too-pay wint an bload offen his hed, an hit got stuck on the seelin fan. But he didden do nuthin. He jiss sat air, an evver now an en he taikin hizzeff a sip of mash, hwalst his hare wuzz a-goin rown an rown on the fan.
Ah set air a hwal, a-watchin im drank. Ah thott bowt askin fer a sip muhseff, but he didden look lack he wuz intristed in shairin. Ennywaze, Ah hed dun drunk a kupple of kwarts at moarnin on the way tuh skool.
After a hwal, Ah wint on back tuh Mizz Hatfield’s class.
The next mornin, Ah droav muhseff tuh skool agin. Muh daddy had dun give me the fitty-thray GMC flatbed thet Ah still drav.
Ah parkt the ole flatbed and wint in, an thay wuz a hole passle of foaks waitin fer me in the lobby. “Suppraz!” they awl yelled.
Mister Statler come up an grabbed me bah the arm. “Jiss come on in the odditoaryum,” he sed.
Ah wint in, an they had banners, an the band wuz playin, an awl tuther stoodints wuz a-sittin in the blaichers. Thay wuz a red carpit roald owt, a-laidin up tuh the staij on tuther sad of the odditoaryum.
Kwick as ennythang, Mister Statler an a kuppler of others thoad a cap an gown on me an kummincet tuh pushin on me. “Go on up the al!” thay sed. “Go on!”
The band wuz a-playin at song they allus play fer grajjy-aishuns, “Pumpin Circus Dance.”
Ah lookt back down the al. Mister Statler an Mizz Hatfield wuz air, waivin air hands at me. “Go on! Go on!”
Ah lookt rown. The banners awl red, “Con-Agra Layshuns on Yore Grajjy-Aishin, Young Hillbilly!”
Ah win on up the al an clambed up on staij. The sooperintindint wuz air, an the skool bored, an awl the taichers Ah hed evver had, seppin too er thray hwut wuz still lockt up in the loony bin.
Mister Statler ran up behand me. He wuz purdy sprah fer a feller hoo wade bowt as much as a bale of cotton.
He wint up tuh the lecturn an started a-tawkin inter the mackerel-foan, tellin evverbawdy how much Ah hed larnt, an how Ah hed dun passt a test thet shoad Ah wuz brillyunt–a jeenyuss, in fack–an so thay kooden taich no moarn thay hed awreddy dun tott me, so they wuz a-onner giv me muh diploamer, an Ah wuz gonna be fray tuh persoo hwatsumevver cawlin Ah seed fit tuh persoo.
En ay stuck the diploamer in muh hand, an thay wuz awl a-shaikin muh hand, an sum of em wuz a-crahin.
An ay giv me a ward, too. Ah dun kep hit awl eze yares. Ah taikin a pitcher of it fer yawl. Hits got a liddle plack on hit with sum rattin on it: “MASTER DEBATER,” hit sez.
So now Ah dun got me too wards, an Ah aint but fitty-sicks yares old.
Mebbe Ah’ll fand at air Debby Hail an tell er.