Mom's pet trick for finding out what we'd been up to was to tell us that a little birdie had told her we'd been doing something that was forbidden. We all believed her, because we had heard of parakeets that could talk, but we had never seen one. We thought they lived in the "wild" and they only talked to Mom.

We would knock green apples off the trees and eat them until we got belly aches. We had twenty or more apple trees and we ate a lot of apples. She could always tell what we'd been doing because of all the leaves on the ground under the trees. Then, somebody would spill her guts and we were in for a good thrashing ourselves with a big, keen switch.

When the men sat on the porch to shoot the breeze, they would lay their cigarettes and matches on the porch banister. Eventually, they would get knocked off by one of the men who put his feet upon the banister. We'd be under the porch ready to grab them and take a few out of them. We'd try not to take enough to arouse suspicion, but there were at least a half dozen of us to share the smokes. We always threw the cigarettes and matches right where they fell and, when the men saw they were missing, they accused us of taking them until they saw them lying in the yard where they had fallen. We got away with that one clean, except that we all - except Tracie - got hooked on tobacco. At least, Mom didn't get to use her "birdie" trick on that one.

Mom used to forbid us to take corn from the garden when she was gone, so we'd have enough for supper. Needless to say, the minute her back was turned, we'd each get an ear of corn and boil them for corn on the cob. We hid the cobs, but the "little birdie" always told on us because Mom would find a few stray shucks and corn silk. I guess the reason we did this was because there were never any "treats" brought back from the store, but truthfully, we did it just to see what we could get away with and, unfortunately, never learned a lesson from it.

Luther G. Eldridge©
All Rights Reserved


"Yes, We Have No Bananas"
Sequenced by Frank Schober
Grandpa Schober's Original Midi Files