Uncle Josh's Punkin Centre Stories

Uncle Josh Invites the City Folks to Visit Him

I DIDN'T s'pose when I wuz gittin' ready to go home, that all you folks would be down here to the depo' to see me off. Wall, now, that's purty good of ye, I'll be durned it it ain't. Yes, I guess I'll have to be goin' home now; I've stayed here this time 'bout as long as I kin afford to. I must say, some of you folks have made it purty warm fer me since I've bin here in New York; but I guess I've enjoyed it 'bout as much as you have.

I'd like to have you all cum down to Punkin Centre and see MEE some time this summer, if you hadn't got nuthin' else to do. Lots of fun down thar on that farm of mine, huntin', fishin', and shootin', and other things. Wall, I never shot but one bird in my life, and that wuz a squirrel; yes, sir, a flyin' squirrel.

I had a feller workin' fer me on the farm last summer, and he was cross-eyed, and I sent him out in the paster to dig a well fer me, and what do you s'pose? Wall he dug it so tarnal all-fired crooked that he fell out of it and sprained his ankel. Then one day I sent him out in the garden to plant some pertaters and some unyuns fer me, and it jist seemed like that feller didn't have good hoss sense. He planted them unyuns and pertaters right alongside of each other, and the unyuns got into the pertaters' eyes and they couldn't see to grow. Oh, yes, lots of fun down home onct in a while. I calculate I've got the funnyest lot of chickens you ever heerd tell on. I've got sixty old hens and they lay an egg every day; but they don't lay any at nite, cos when nite comes every one of them is roosters. I had one old hen, she went into the woodshed and sot down on the ax and tried to hatch-it. I had another one sottin' on a door knob, tryin' to hatch out a house and lot, but she didn't. While she wuz a-sottin' there along cum a rooster, and he sed, "We're having a little party down behind the barn; will you dance with me this set?" and she sed, "No, sir, I'm engaged to his nobs for this set." Gosh, I wuz afraid to go out in the barnyard one while, cos one day when I wuz out thar I heerd a hen say to a rooster, "Thar's that old gray-headed cuss we've bin a-layin' fer."

Guess that's my train; s'pose I'll have to be a-goin'; good-bye; cum down and see me some time if you kin, ev'ry one of ye; cum down about apple-butter time and jist butt in—good bye.

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