12 / CHRONICLESnstreet, a thing my other grandmother would never do,n”Hold up your shoulders, grandson,” and I would straightennup. This was in front of Mr. Rufus Hayne’s house, whonconjured some warts from my hand. He just took out hisnpocket knife and ran it over the warts, mumbling words Indidn’t cateh. In a few days they were gone.nHalf a block towards town lived Miss Carmine Collier.nShe was a miser, and she dressed well, in a mustard-coloredncoat suit, a big hat with a bird of paradise rooshng on hernhead. I looked hard to see what a miser was. Any differencenfrom other women was in the eyes. Round-like glass eyes,nthey were steady as a hawk’s. She never married. One lovernsaid, “Carmine, I’ll put down two dollars where you putnone, if you’ll marry me.” He said later a glassy film closedndown her eyes, just like a chicken’s. With that he gave up. Inwas playing on the hearth when Miss Carmine came tonthank Mammy for the posey her mother held in the coffin.nMammy said, “Now Carmine, you can’t live in that bignhouse all by yourself Buy you some hats, go to Florida innthe winter and the springs, in the summer, and get you anman.” “Miss Kate,” she replied, “I’ve thought about it. Butnsuppose I was lying in bed with that man, and he wouldnwant the window up and I would want it down. They willnhave their way, and I’d freeze to death.” “Get cold in bednwith a man?” Mammy said. “I had to take a fan to bed withnRobert.”nCountry boys were usually tougher than town boys, notnin meanness, necessarily, but just better-natured. A cousinnonce told me about his litde brother Micajah. He said henwas hard as a pine knot and tough as a horse mule colt. Hendidn’t waste no time. He came into the world a-bouncing,nhollowed once, and then made for the teatty nighest him.nLooked like Ma never could wean him. She complained, “Incan’t git my washen and ironing done. Ever whar I go it’snteatty this, and teatty that. A body can git too much teatty.nA woman needs to dry up like any creature. He pulls sonhard, and now he’s got teeth, I declare …” Aunt Marthynsaid to her, “I’ll tell you what to do. Sister. Look at Othel. Inweaned him in the dark of the moon, and look what a mannhe made.” “Dark or light, it don’t make no difference tonMicajah.” “Do this then. Go to the storehouse and git younsome quinine. You’ve got cayenne pepper and lard. Mixnthem ingredients good, grease yourself good, and when hencomes in, offer it to him.” She done it. She and pappy werensettin’ on either side of the farplace when in he bounced.nRight off, “Mammy lemme have it.” “Well, here tiz, son,ncome git it.” He squared himself, grabbed it like a snappingnturtle, and jumped back like a snake had bit him. “Pappy,”nhe called, “Gimme a chaw of tobacco. Mammy’s beenneating bitter weed.”nAs a child, I don’t remember any fears or real distress. I’mnsure there were the usual threats to innocence, but therenwere plenty of warnings from that back room where allnauthority was. There were Gypsies of course. They werengiven to stealing away boys from their families. It was andreadful thought. Once a year they came from all over thencountry to bury their dead in Nashville, at which time anshiver would run through the galloping herd of boys. Anyndark-featured stranger would get covert glances. L.W.nColeman, my playmate, and I were on the Square as ancontingent of Gypsies passed in their wagons. L.W. hadnnnstolen a quarter out of his mother’s sewing-machine drawer,nand we were loaded with all-day suckers and chewing LongnJohn Wax dusted with powdered sugar, molasses popcorn,nand holding each a sack of goober peas. Fearing to take itnhome—and we were instinctively headed that way, fornGypsies had mysterious ways of conjuring children tonthem—he gave me what was left. I knew I had to hide it, ornthere would be questions. I went to Daisy, our cook, andnshe obliged. She and I already had a criminal record. I tooknone of my grandfather’s cigars, and she and I smoked it. Inlearned quickly that crime doesn’t pay, while Daisy went ofiFnwith the cigar.nIn my childhood, most human creatures, as they set forthnto work or play, dance or love, touched hallowed ground, anpond, an everlasting spring, an old elm, a farm thatngenerations had known and lived on and by. Children knownthese special sympathies for places, where they can hide andnpretend. There can be no greater delight in privacy than thentunnel made in bales of hay, leading to a fragrant hollowedoutnand usually itching place in a barn loft, which mostnlitde girls instinctively suspected. This pretending is child’snbest play, that ineluctable moment, just east of Eden, whenneyes are still shining from the afterglow of the Garden, justnbefore sight dims in the light of the world, and pretendingntrembles upon quickening knowledge. And there was thencommon knowledge of the long history all creatures shared.nThe rat, the skunk, the fox that set out on the chilly nightnhad most of the instincts, needs, and faculties humansnshared. At Cornsilk I once set two Domineka hens. Theynhatched about the same time. One was a poor mother andnbegan losing her hatch. The other hen scratched, chucknchucked, and the littie chicks ran to her. I put the Lib hennin the stockpot (she wasn’t fit to eat) and gave her chicks tonthe good mother. She now had about 25 to feed and raisenand tell what that shadow from the sky meant and what tondo. One morning as I went to let her out of the pen, I sawnthe oddest-looking creature. She did not have a featherndown her front, but she had all her chicks under andnaround her. During the night she had fought off a mink.nThat was over 50 years ago. I’ve got close kin I rarely thinknof, but when I think of all those batteries of Leghornsndropping their eggs into a slot like squatting robots, mulesnand horses disappearing as work stock, and cows milked bynmetal hands, I wonder what we have done.nWe have been told that we were made in the image ofnGod. That no doubt is true, but so are all creatures, anhummingbird, a jackass. We are all artifacts together. Wenwere made, not begotten. It is true, Adam was given thenpower to rule over those he had named. He named Eve,ntoo, but perhaps he chose not to exercise the power in thisninstance. At any rate, it was a delegated power.nWe might do well in our present plight to look again atnEden, that myth in a garden. In the beginning of things, thencreation of the cosmos, why did the Creator make that littiengarden, some say of Innocence? First, the invisible powernwe refer to as God, for his ineffable reason, assumed anlimitation. He became a creator, that is, the First Artist.nThe next thing, he looked about him and saw that what henhad made was good. This is the surprise all artists know, fornin the heat and stress of the work, the maker cannot knownfor sure just how the artifact will come out. In Louisn