Schulers Books Online

books - games - software - wallpaper - everything

Bride.Ru

Books Menu

Home
Author Catalog
Title Catalog
Sectioned Catalog

 

- Diddie, Dumps, and Tot - 1/25 -


DIDDIE, DUMPS, AND TOT

OR

PLANTATION CHILD-LIFE

by

LOUISE-CLARKE PYRNELLE

TO MY DEAR FATHER DR. RICHARD CLARKE OF SELMA, ALABAMA MY HERO AND MY BEAU IDEAL OF A GENTLEMAN I DEDICATE THIS BOOK WITH THE LOVE OF HIS DAUGHTER

PREFACE

IN writing this little volume, I had for my primary object the idea of keeping alive many of the old stories, legends, traditions, games, hymns, and superstitions of the Southern slaves, which, with this generation of negroes, will pass away. There are now no more dear old "Mammies" and "Aunties" in our nurseries, no more good old "Uncles" in the workshops, to tell the children those old tales that have been told to our mothers and grandmothers for generations-- the stories that kept our fathers and grandfathers quiet at night, and induced them to go early to bed that they might hear them the sooner.

Nor does my little book pretend to be any defence of slavery. I know not whether it was right or wrong (there are many pros and cons on the subject); but it was the law of the land, made by statesmen from the North as well as the South, long before my day, or my father's or grandfather's day; and, born under that law a slave-holder, and the descendant of slave-holders, raised in the heart of the cotton section, surrounded by negroes from my earliest infancy, "I KNOW whereof I do speak"; and it is to tell of the pleasant and happy relations that existed between master and slave that I write this story of Diddie, Dumps, and Tot.

The stories, plantation games, and Hymns are just as I heard them in my childhood. I have learned that Mr. Harris, in Uncle Remus, has already given the "Tar Baby"; but I have not seen his book, and, as our versions are probably different, I shall let mine remain just as "Chris" told it to the "chil'en."

I hope that none of my readers will be shocked at the seeming irreverence of my book, for that intimacy with the "Lord" was characteristic of the negroes. They believed implicitly in a Special Providence and direct punishment or reward, and that faith they religiously tried to impress upon their young charges, white or black; and "heavy, heavy hung over our heads" was the DEVIL!

The least little departure from a marked-out course of morals or manners was sure to be followed by, "Nem' min', de deb'l gwine git yer."

And what the Lord 'lowed and what he didn't 'low was perfectly well known to every darky. For instance, "he didn't 'low no singin' uv week-er-day chunes uv er Sunday," nor "no singin' uv reel chunes" (dance music) at any time; nor did he "'low no sassin' of ole pussons."

The "chu'ch membahs" had their little differences of opinion. Of course they might differ on such minor points as "immersion" and "sprinklin'," "open" or "close" communion; but when it came to such grave matters as "singin' uv reel chunes," or "sassin' uv ole pussons," Baptists and Methodists met on common ground, and stood firm.

Nor did our Mammies and Aunties neglect our manners. To say "yes" or "no" to any person, white or black, older than ourselves was considered very rude; it must always be "yes, mam," "no, mam"; "yes, sir," "no, sir"; and those expressions are still, and I hope ever will be, characteristic of Southerners.

The child-life that I have portrayed is over now; for no hireling can ever be to the children what their Mammies were, and the strong tie between the negroes and "marster's chil'en" is broken forever.

So, hoping that my book (which claims no literary merit) will serve to amuse the little folks, and give them an insight into a childhood peculiar to the South in her palmy days, without further preface I send out my volume of Plantation Child-life.

LOUISE-CLARKE PYRNELLE.

COLUMBUS, GA. _________________________________________________________________

CONTENTS

I. DIDDIE, DUMPS, AND TOT II. CHRISTMAS ON THE OLD PLANTATION III. MAMMY'S STORY IV. OLD BILLY V. DIDDIE'S BOOK VI. UNCLE SNAKE-BIT BOB'S SUNDAY-SCHOOL VII. POOR ANN VIII. UNCLE BOB'S PROPOSITION IX. AUNT EDY'S STORY X. PLANTATION GAMES XI. DIDDIE IN TROUBLE XII. HOW THE WOODPECKER'S HEAD AND THE ROBIN'S BREAST CAME TO BE RED XIII. A PLANTATION MEETING, AND UNCLE DANIEL'S SERMON XIV. DIDDIE AND DUMPS GO VISITING XV. THE FOURTH OF JULY XVI. "'STRUCK'N UV DE CHIL'EN" XVII. WHAT BECAME OF THEM _________________________________________________________________

DIDDIE, DUMPS AND TOT

CHAPTER I

DIDDIE, DUMPS AND TOT

THEY were three little sisters, daughters of a Southern planter, and they lived in a big white house on a cotton plantation in Mississippi. The house stood in a grove of cedars and live-oaks, and on one side was a flower-garden, with two summer-houses covered with climbing roses and honey-suckles, where the little girls would often have tea-parties in the pleasant spring and summer days. Back of the house was a long avenue of water-oaks leading to the quarters where the negroes lived.

Major Waldron, the father of the children, owned a large number of slaves, and they loved him and his children very dearly. And the little girls loved them, particularly "Mammy," who had nursed their mother, and now had entire charge of the children; and Aunt Milly, a lame yellow woman, who helped Mammy in the nursery; and Aunt Edy, the head laundress, who was never too busy to amuse them. Then there was Aunt Nancy, the "tender," who attended to the children for the field-hands, and old Uncle Snake-bit Bob, who could scarcely walk at all, because he had been bitten by a snake when he was a boy: so now he had a little shop, where he made baskets of white-oak splits for the hands to pick cotton in; and he always had a story ready for the children, and would let them help him weave baskets whenever Mammy would take them to the shop.

Besides these, there were Riar, Chris, and Dilsey, three little negroes, who belonged to the little girls and played with them, and were in training to be their maids by-and-by.

Diddie, the oldest of the children, was nine years of age, and had a governess, Miss Carrie, who had taught her to read quite well, and even to write a letter. She was a quiet, thoughtful little girl, well advanced for her age, and lady-like in her manners.

Dumps, the second sister, was five, full of fun and mischief, and gave Mammy a great deal of trouble on account of her wild tomboyish ways.

Tot, the baby, was a tiny, little blue-eyed child of three, with long light curls, who was always amiable and sweet-tempered, and was petted by everybody who knew her.

Now, you must not think that the little girls had been carried to the font and baptized with such ridiculous names as Diddie, Dumps, and Tot: these were only pet names that Mammy had given them; but they had been called by them so long that many persons forgot that Diddie's name was Madeleine, that Dumps had been baptized Elinor, and that Tot bore her mother's name of Eugenia, for they were known as Diddie, Dumps and Tot to all of their friends.

The little girls were very happy in their plantation home. 'Tis true they lived 'way out in the country, and had no museums nor toy-shops to visit, no fine parks to walk or ride in, nor did they have a very great variety of toys. They had some dolls and books, and a baby-house furnished with little beds and chairs and tables; and they had a big Newfoundland dog, Old Bruno; and Dumps and Tot both had a little kitten apiece; and there was "Old Billy," who once upon a time had been a frisky little lamb, Diddie's special pet; but now he was a vicious old sheep, who amused the children very much by running after them whenever he could catch them out-of-doors. Sometimes, though, he would butt them over and hurt them and Major Waldron had several times had him turned into the pasture; but Diddie would always cry and beg for him to be brought back and so Old Billy was nearly always in the yard.

Then there was Corbin, the little white pony that belonged to all of the children together, and was saddled and bridled every fair day, and tied to the horse-rack, that the little girls might ride him whenever they chose; and 'twas no unusual sight to see two of them on him at once, cantering down the big road or through the grove.

And, besides all these amusements, Mammy or Aunt Milly or Aunt Edy, or some of the negroes, would tell them tales; and once in a while they would slip off and go to the quarters, to Aunt Nancy the tender's cabin, and play with the little quarter children. They particularly liked to go there about dark to hear the little negroes say their prayers.

Aunt Nancy would make them all kneel down in a row, and clasp their hands and shut their eyes: then she would say, "Our Father, who art in heaven," and all the little darkies together would repeat each petition after her; and if they didn't all keep up, and come out together, she would give the delinquent a sharp cut with a long switch


Diddie, Dumps, and Tot - 1/25

    Next Page

  1    2    3    4    5    6   10   20   25 

Schulers Books Home



 Games Menu

Home
Balls
Battleship
Buzzy
Dice Poker
Memory
Mine
Peg
Poker
Tetris
Tic Tac Toe

Google
 
Web schulers.com
 

Schulers Books Online

books - games - software - wallpaper - everything