Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Snap (09/04/08)
TITLE: A Rockin and A Rappin
By Marlene Bonney
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âIt shore is a big cloud today,â I thought, scrambling through the maze of crisscrossed clotheslines. They reminded me of the game Iâd seen my sisters play as they passed complicated string creations back and forth into each otherâs hands. Catâs cradle, it was called, although why a cat would want to bed down in such was beyond me. The girls wanted me to try it once, but Iâd refused, insisting it was for sissies. Really, I knew theyâd laugh at me and call me âAll thumbs Thatchâ, a nickname I had earned early on in my life.
Olâ granny was sitting in her favorite rickety rockinâ chair out on the sun-bleached porch lean-to, her gray hair caught back in a fat bun. From a distance, you could hardly make her out there, her coloring and clothing camouflaging into the gray, uneven floorboards. I liked to sit on the steps and listen to the rhythm of everything surrounding me, including the clunks and squeaks as she rocked back and forth. Olâ pa said that likely one of these days, sheâd wear those wooden slats so thin theyâd break under her, banning them both to the stinky ground below. I almost laughed out loud at the thought of olâ granny rockinâ away amidst the old bones and whatnot that Buster had stored there.
Instead, I busied myself with carting a pail of water from the creek to her side, its contents so cold I could almost catch a cool breeze when the motion of her rocker sent a breath of air across the top of the water into my face as I sat there beside her.
âWhat we gotta do today?â I asked, knowinâ all the time it was bean day, but wantinâ to make conversation first.
âChilâ, you know very well, and Iâd thank ya to get me a dipper of this here water. My tongueâs so parched itâs stickinâ to my olâ gums.â
I scampered to do her bidding, grinning because her speaking was so soothing to my soul.
âHike up yer shoulder strap while yer at it soâs we can get started.â
How she could know my suspenders were dangling was always a comforting mystery to me, her blind and rheumy eyes not able to see a hand smack in front of her face. I plunked a deep basin on olâ grannyâs lap, careful to guide her hands to its contents before seating myself at her feet.
âCanât do much no more, but I sure do like beaninâ!â
I laid a clean, but dingy, towel beside me and we commenced our familiar chore-game.
âSnap, snap, pack-a-rat,â I chanted as her fingers flew from one green bean to another.
âSplish, splash, take-a-bath,â she sang back as she tumbled each bean over the side of her chair into the bucket.
âRinse, shake, lay-them-straight,â I called back as I tossed the baptized offerings onto the cloth.
And that was just the first verse! The second went something like this:
âSnap-e-ty, snap-e-ty, lip-i-ty, lap-i-ty,â followed by,
âDive-five, to ar-riveâ, then,
âPods, clods, rinse off sod!â
On and on, faster and faster, until we were both breathless, ending the job when the bowl was empty with,
âSnap, snap, lick-i-ty snaps. Snap your pap on the back! Snap, snap, snip-i-ty snap. Snip-i-ty, lick-i-ty, pip-i-ty, SNAP!â
Mamaâd steam those snappy beans with onions and a soup bone and weâd join olâ granny on the porch with full bowls and a platter of tender biscuits.
Well, olâ grannyâs long gone now, and that olâ shanty, too. But her olâ rocker Iâd kept. Once a year, without fail, my grandchilâen and then, great-grandchilâen come to visit, and we repeat the beaninâ day ritual. My oldest great-grandchilâ, Rueben, he done set our song to somethinâ called âRapmusicâ, and he says itâs number ten on the charts. Donât know exactly what that means, but it makes him and his friends real happy.
Me? Well, I just like sittinâ and listninâ as I rock in time with their ârappinâ,
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