The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

A Joke On Papa

By Beulah Goad Richardson © 1988

Issue: December, 1988

My father had mules that he had to keep up most all the time because they would go over to A. D. Vaughn's to be with his horses, and by keeping the mules up they would bray a lot.

One day my sister, Cora, said that she was going to play a joke on Papa. Cora and I slept upstairs, so one night she told me to put my head under the feather bed so Papa would not hear me laugh. Cora got down on the floor and tied a handkerchief over her mouth and brayed.

Papa heard her and he asked Momma, "Did you hear that?" Momma said no, but she knew it was us all the time.

Papa said, "It could be something in the chickens."

Cora had to put her head under the feather bed so he could not hear her laugh. Cora would wait awhile and then she would do it again.

Finally Papa told Momma, "If it ain't something in the chickens then I guess it's the Devil after me."

At this time we laughed so loud at what Papa had said that he heard us. He told Cora, "You have scared your poor old Papa to death."

This happened fifty years ago. We were always getting jokes on Papa, but we never could get jokes on Momma.