45,000 intelligent good-looking readers.
"The Day My Cousin Got What Was Coming To Him"
(This heart wrenching story comes from Will Campbell.)
When I was in the eighth grade I went to live with my aunt and uncle in
Alabama. They possessed a son who was possessed. I never really
liked him and I'm sure he felt the same about me. We tolerated each
other...but eventually he grew to despise me. I think he was jealous
because I had the good looks and was 'eat up' with talent. Yeah, that's it.
We lived out in the country. We had what is known as well water to drink
and cook with. Our well had a long cylindrical bucket that we lowered
down with a rope and filled it with water and we'd pull it up and put it in a
large bucket. The bucket was located on the back porch. It soon became
a habit with me to get a drink from the bucket and hold the drinking
dipper over the water bucket. My aunt and cousin did not like me doing
this. I soon discovered that it was very pleasurable for me to irritate my
cousin this way. This situation went on for quite a few weeks.
One afternoon I was drinking 'over' the big bucket when my cousin
sneaked up behind me and pushed my head down into the bucket. I
sustained a small cut on my forehead. Well, naturally, I could not let him
get away with this. A few days later, I was again drinking from the big
bucket when I heard my cousin 'sneaking up' behind me to repeat his
privious act of violence. I immediately swung around with the dipper and
accidentally hit him in the head. Blood was all over the place. He started
screaming and crying and ran to his mother. Admittedly, I was worried.
My aunt said a few things to me that caused me to worry more. She
emphasized that I was going to get a whipping when my uncle got home.
Yipes! She played the "your uncle" card.
My uncle worked as a mail clerk in a large distribution center. He worked
all night long and came home at the break of day. I did not sleep a wink
that night. Not a wink. Early the next morning my uncle pulled me out of
bed and marched me out to his big red barn, where he was to perform
surgery on my bottom. I was worried. I was extremely worried. Unknown
to my uncle, his son had also come out to the barn to witness me getting
a whipping. As my uncle was about to give me the first hit, my cousin
made the mistake of laughing so loud that my uncle heard him. He
stopped my beating and said to his son, "You think this is funny, huh?"
"Come here, you little Hellion." "Get in here." My cousin reluctantly
"entered the building." My uncle beat on him for about eleven minutes. I
knew I was next...but it never happened. My uncle got so involved with the
beating that he gave his son that he completely forgot about me. I never
did get a whipping. My cousin got a busted head, and a beating. We
walked back to the main house not saying a word.
A few months later I came back to Orlando. My cousin eventually became
a professional drunk.
(Thanks, Will. You are the perfect guest. Jack)
Copyright © July 6, 2007 by Will Campbell and host. All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission.