Schoolin’ and me never did git along. I couldn’t stand sittin’ for hours listnin’ to that fool womin talk. I had chores tuh do a’fore school and chores waitin’ for me after school; thuh time in between wuz a waste uh time; I wudn’t thuh only boy thought so. Muh Pa giv me uh Bible long time ago; it had pictures that hep’t me figure out whut wuz goin’ on; a’fore long, I got thuh hang of it, readin’. Numbers I learnt frum measurin’ things I needed tuh make on thuh farm. Thuh rest of schoolin’ wuz nothin’ I needed, specially learnin’ tuh memorize poems an such. I just wuz not gonna do that!
Muh Pa thought like me; that giv me all I needed tuh make uh ruckus any time I felt like it; and I felt like it most of thuh time.
Wimin’, though, hept me git sum extry money here an’ there. In thuh summer, I’d carry maters n’ onions n’ peppers n’ squash n’ beans n’ okry n’ whutever else we had in muh wagon and drive into town an sold ’em. I’d stay there in town til thuh last of it got gone. With some of that money I’d git me uh hot dog an a Co-Cola. In thuh late fall I’d sell ’em collards, turnip greens, mustard greens, an Irish taters. Right a’fore Christmas I’d shinny up trees an get mistletoe n’ holly; them wimin loved bringin’ outside inside in thuh winter; made ’em happy; made muh pockets jingle.
I got me uh book tuh teach me how to take keer of muh horses. It wuz all about blacksmithin’. It had pictures that hept more then those words, but I could read well enough to git thuh hang of it. Thuh rest of it I learnt as I went along. A’fore Pa knew it, I wuz shoein’ horses n’ makin’ barrels n’ pots n’ tools n’ anythin’ else we needed out of iron. It wuz hard, hot work, but I liked workin’ with muh hands and bangin’ out bad feelin’s; I had plenty of ’em, specially ’bout wimin. Most of ’em got in muh way; thuh rest were too dumb ‘er too ugly ‘er too yappy tuh mess with. Howsomever, they did buy muh vegetables and Christmas evergreens, so, they had some use.
Long about ninth grade I got fed up with school. I got into scrapes with other boys and didn’t mind fightn’ ’em. I got the name Bull cause, well, just cause. Pa got tired of that teacher complaining ’bout me, so when I quit goin’ he didn’t say nothin’. I reckon we came to a silent understandin’ bout me being a full-time worker.
Proverbs 2 The Message
2: 1-5 Good friend, take to heart what I’m telling you;
collect my counsels and guard them with your life.
Tune your ears to the world of Wisdom;
set your heart on a life of Understanding.
That’s right—if you make Insight your priority,
and won’t take no for an answer,
Searching for it like a prospector panning for gold,
like an adventurer on a treasure hunt,
Believe me, before you know it Fear-of-God will be yours;
you’ll have come upon the Knowledge of God.
6-8 And here’s why: God gives out Wisdom free,
is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding.
He’s a rich mine of Common Sense for those who live well,
a personal bodyguard to the candid and sincere.
He keeps his eye on all who live honestly,
and pays special attention to his loyally committed ones.
9-15 So now you can pick out what’s true and fair,
find all the good trails!
Lady Wisdom will be your close friend,
and Brother Knowledge your pleasant companion.
Good Sense will scout ahead for danger,
Insight will keep an eye out for you.
They’ll keep you from making wrong turns,
or following the bad directions
Of those who are lost themselves
and can’t tell a trail from a tumbleweed,
These losers who make a game of evil
and throw parties to celebrate perversity,
Traveling paths that go nowhere,
wandering in a maze of detours and dead ends.
16-19 Wise friends will rescue you from the Temptress—
that smooth-talking Seductress
Who’s faithless to the husband she married years ago,
never gave a second thought to her promises before God.
Her whole way of life is doomed;
every step she takes brings her closer to hell.
No one who joins her company ever comes back,
ever sets foot on the path to real living.
20-22 So—join the company of good men and women,
keep your feet on the tried-and-true paths.
It’s the men who walk straight who will settle this land,
the women with integrity who will last here.
The corrupt will lose their lives;
the dishonest will be gone for good.