101 Stories

with which I follow the road of the Family for a Century

04. Mother's Brown Jug Was Broken.

This story has been held against me all my life and would still be the subject of Bennie Shriver's best joke at my expense if he could get at me. Mother had a little brown jug. I think Aunt Mary had one like it. The sisters were great for having things alike. Because it was highly prized we always took special care of it. The old field jug was broken or lost, however, and it was harvest time. Bennie Shriver was binding oats on the "little piece," which for those of you who may not know, means the little three-cornered two-acre piece in the extreme northwest corner of the old farm, cut off by an impassable ditch from the rest of the land. I had been delegated to bring out a jug full of water from the house in the afternoon. From the well it was 3/4 of a mile out. All went well until I came to the small improvised bridge which was built to take the binder over the ditch... It was built of timbers which had rotted. I stepped on a weak end of one of them and it broke with me, letting me tumble down the bank, and as I fell I dropped the little brown jug. It broke on some rocks in the ditch. I let out such a wail that Bennie came running to see if I were hurt, which I declared I was. But he found that as to broken bones I was sound. Half the jug was landed, cup side up, and there was a bit of water in it. To this day I can see him draining that little water, for he was too thirsty to let it be lost. I continued to howl and say I was hurt, and I was. Not physically, but I was hurt first of all that the men had no water to drink on a hot day, but far worse because Ma's little brown jug was broken.

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