My Pot’s Boiling Over and My Fryn’ Pan’s Burnt … Lysander

one-room-school-1

 

I set out to attend thuh pageant at thuh school-house. It wuz early spring and my sap wuz risin’.  Each spring they had a program to git us all lookin’ forward tuh warmer weather, plantin’, crops growin’, and fresh vegetables tuh eat and sell. It wuz not somethin’ I really enjoyed, anyone tryin’ tuh educate me. An’ I’d heard there were to be dancin’ an drinkin’ outside of town; you got tuh know how much I enjoyed music, so I decided tuh take muh fiddle and join in the fun.

Once’t there, I tuned up with thuh other fellers and we struck up some lively toe-tapping numbers. I spied a gal that I thought I might ask tuh dance. I told thuh others that it wuz my turn to sit out a spell. I got a little liquid courage, then sidled up to the brown-eyed beauty; I didn’t bother askin’, I just grabbed her hand and away we went. We danced and laughed and danced some more. I truly wuz havin’ me some fun, when I danced that girly right off the front porch. She wuzn’t laughin’ then. Muh senses come tuh me quick-like; I got muh hat ‘n muh fiddle and walked toward home; didn’t even look back. Couldn’t, cause there wuz such a cloud of smoke in thuh air I started coughin’. In the distance red-yellow flames were lickin’ thuh night sky lightin’ up thuh smoke clouds that were climbing higher ‘n driftin’ this away.

Houses were always in danger of burnin’ down cause of thuh fires we all used to keep warm and cook and heat our water. It wuzn’t that I didn’t git worried, it wuz more that I tried tuh clear muh head of thuh whiskey so’s I could be of help. I started half runnin’ towards thuh fire. I could hear others from thuh dance shoutin’ and followin’ me as we all knew whut wuz expected … neighbors helpin’ neighbors.

I think it come tuh muh head ’bout thuh time it came tuh thuh others that had now caught up with me. This wuz nobody’s house; it wuz thuh school-house. As we turned with thuh curve in thuh road, we saw a sight I’ll never be able tuh forgit. Thuh clapboards of thuh school were outlined by thuh flames; thuh sounds from inside were screams of terror; adult and children’s voices combined; hell itself couldn’t have been any worse. We could hear children screamin’ fer their Mama an’ Daddys. Men could be heard screamin’ to put the children on their shoulders so’s they wouldn’t get trampled. Those of us on thuh outside couldn’t believe thuh door wuz so hot we couldn’t touch it … let alone open it. Water buckets thrown only seemed to sizzle with evil laughter at us. Tears ran down all our faces as thuh fire burned a memory too horrible, too ugly; hearts were ripped apart that night; hope wuz thuh onliest thing drenched by thuh water buckets.

 

 

The Schoolhouse Fire
‘Twas an afternoon in springtime
Folk were happy everywhere
Preparing for a joyous evening
Never dreaming death was near
To a little country schoolhouse
Neighbors thinking they would go
They would have a jolly evening
At the children’s little show

You could hear those children singing
Voices ringing clear and sweet
Never dreaming in their joy
Of the fate that they would meet

But their joys all were blighted
They began to scream and rage
When a lantern fell that evening
Streaming fire upon the stage
It was on that fatal evening
They could not control the fire
They madly lashed about for freedom
But they perished in the fire

You could hear those children screaming
While the flames were rolling high
Daddy, come and get your babies
Will you stand and let us die

All the fathers they were trying
To their little ones to go
But the brave old fellows perished
In the chaos from the show
LIttle children they were trampled
In that mighty rolling flame
Others on that night were screaming
Death was dealing just the same

There’s a lonely spot in the clearing
Nicely fenced around and aired
Ther’s a monument erected
Tells the story of the fire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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