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The coal miner

Ron Whitehead | Companion CD | Marathon Tour

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mama.wav (680 K)

Illustration by Sean Mount

Mama killed chickens. She popped their heads off. Put her foot on the little yellow hen's head, grabbed its legs and jerked hard. The head just laid there on the grass while the little chicken body went flopping all over the yard. Us kids ran like crazy dodging chicken blood. I liked it better when mama took the .22 rifle to the barn and would shoot a little hen off the high rafter up near the top of the barn where the chickens all roosted. Mama was a good shot.

One Christmas Eve there was a terrible storm. Daddy was off at the mines. Mama said 'come on' and all us kids piled in the back of the pickup truck. Mama had the shotgun. We drove slow through the storm with mama looking all round then she pulled over and said "come on." We followed. We walked a ways until we came up on a tree, a cedar tree, and Mama said "get behind me." We did and she took aim and shot the tree in the trunk with both barrels. Blew it clean in two. Mama said "ya'll get the Christmas tree and come on." Us kids let out a yell! We were so happy cause Christmas had finally come.

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