Friday, October 9, 2009


It is a word (now). “Rural” means countryside and “-fication” means production: making.

Ruralfication - country production, which is what I’m doing for this post. It is my little writing challenge for today. I plan to regale you with a childhood memory but writing it country-style.

What? Why’s not? I got me some writers visiting who might’en like to see if I can do this without screwing it up fast’ah than cooking a bowl of muskrat stew. And for them y’all just coming ‘round for a story, why sure’n I can still en-ter-tain y’all with my youngling’s tale.

Let’s see what I can do, shall we?
Valley life, ain’t nothing fine-ah. Y’all stepped out the door and stood in the backyard, peeking eyes in every direction. Hills surrounded y’all like Mama’s tender embrace holding tight when younglings had the shiver-shakes from the flu.

Sure’n I heard of those folks out in the west claiming they lived in their big ol’ valley while sipping their “mo-ca chin-os” and jibber-jabbering up on their cell-u-lar phones while waiting for their trolley rides. Them San Francisco city slickers in their high-rise condos as they pretended they be the real valley people.

Pshaw! That ain’t no valley life. This here was valley life when y’all caught a whiff of overripe cow pies from the pasture. Valley life was when y’all took those hen eggs, rotten two weeks past, and played hot potato to see who dropped one first on spanking new sneakers. Valley life was when y’all fell back-flat on the shin-high grass and listened to nothing but birds’ songs and bugs’ buzzes and nary a puttering engine ‘cept for the farmer’s ol’ tiller machine cutting up the field soil to start his oat planting.

Yessir! This be the true valley life. Wait! What y’all means that ain’t no valley? Well then, what y’all calls it?
There ain’t to be no cussing up here in this tale of mine, y’all understand?

Now, I was like any other youngling living in the valley: sure’n ‘nuff bored out of my mind. This time was ‘fore we had those playing boxes for the tv where y’all pushed the buttons on the controller and it made the froggy jumping ‘round on logs on the screen. Atari video games, they’d be called though I heard of some newfangled thing causing folks to go all a-raving.

A strange name. I was thinking it came from 'nother place not like folks here in the valley. Foreign people, sort of when I watched those Bugs Bunny cartoons and Sylvester the Cat dug straight through the ground and end up upside down in another land where he met Tweety Bird speaking funny with the squinty eyes and the triangle hat.

Nintendo 8-bit games.

Why gosh if that ain’t all a fancy name from those foreign places! Nintendo. I liked saying it, having the word roll off my lips and make the other kids think I was all smart about the world. I might’ve been a tad smarter, but we all were the same. Our parents went a-frowning at the wasted time spent on such things when younglings had farm chores to do. It was years ‘fore any of us got to have those gray boxes to while away our childhoods.

But all this talk of mine ain’t getting to the real story. When the sun shone hot on my head, I sought a shady place to have me some fun. I ducked through the hedgerow seeing what my friend Cher and her lil’ brother Billy be doing.

My eyes peered 'round their field, not seeing strange adult folk sitting on the ratty couch burping in time to the absent gunshots. Cher’s pa, he did him some trap shooting, would cry out “Pull” and one of those burping men on the ratty couch hit the switch on the wire. That wire went 'cross the hill and down into a little bunker where a machine did a little slingy-shot with clay pigeons.

Those ceramic disks took to the sky and her pa’s rifle made all those BLAM noises. Y’all could tell how many drinks he’s had depending on how many pellets it took to shatter them disks. One shot meant he'd just started with his aiming and his drinking. Five shots meant he was working on his second case of beer, and birds should seek cover or else he was mistaking them for the clay pigeons.

All quiet in the field as I took to my heels. I neared the part where they did their sowing, corn, rows of green stalks not yet showing upright pouches sheltering sweet nugget goodness. Lots of stalks stood tall, casting patches of shadows and light good thirty feet on either side. I stared at the dirt path that snuck in ‘tween the rows, all wavy and quiet and cramped in by the whisks of corn leaves caught in the breeze.

Those leaves stretched out like green hands reaching for me.

Why’s I didn’t like trotting down that path by myself. My mind . . . it has this ima-gin-ation where it sees things and hears things that were not all right and not all there. Right now, it brought ‘round to my thoughts that those whisking leaves sounded like lil’ ol’ whisperings from peoples I didn’t know. Them shade patches along the tall stalks looked like shadows cast by those folks who wouldn’t all go and hesitate to drag some poor younglings in there and do bad stuff like in those horror flicks my pa snuck me into at the picture show. And the dirt didn’t look like it was all packed down where’n someone couldn’t make a body into fresh fertilizer to feed those corn plants’ hungry roots.

Sure’n I didn’t want to go walking along there . . .
Hm, I think I will stop here for now. The story is a bit too long to type out in one setting, and this will allow everyone a break. The last thing I want is for someone to have a meeting with their boss and start talking like some hick from southwestern Pennsylvania. I will continue my childhood memory on Monday.

So reckon y’all needs to come on back then, y’all hears?


  1. Oh, no! I'm heading out for vacation and you leave me hanging on a two-parter! Oh, well. It will give me some good reading to look forward to when I return, I guess.

  2. This is interesting, Michelle. It isn't quite your usual voice (at least to my mental ears), but it's still good. I can't answer how accurate the verbage is, so I'll just take your word for it. Sorry, I'm a city boy without an accent. I'm looking forward to part two though.

  3. Suldog: No worries about that...

    Eric: If you came to this area, all you would hear is "y'all" everywhere! Annoying, really. No it isn't my usual voice. That's part of the challenge. I want to expand and be limitless on the various ways in which a story can be written.

  4. Yay on the story and voice. Boo on the cliffhanger. :)

  5. Ah'll be headin' on back on Monday, Shugah! 'Minds me of mah own childhood. Ya know... burpin' in time to the absent gunshots n all.

  6. Angie: Why sure'n I couldn't all doggone blasted stick the whole thing up! It a way tooo long!

    CatladyLarew: Ain't nothing better than the burping... 'cept the cookin' on the muskrat!

  7. This is amazing . . . I'm noticing a distinct dung-like aroma eminating from my laptop. Is this some new Blogger "smell-a-blog" feature that I'm unaware of?

  8. Knucklehead: Ahhh... my new "Blogo-smell-a-rama is working in full force. Take in that deep breath. Fresh cow pies! Aren't you grateful for it? Go ahead. Thank me!


People want to comment here?'s your two-cents, Bub. Spend it wisely!


Related Posts with Thumbnails

ESPN NHL Standings