Thelma Lou snuck up behind the Hatfield’s cabin window. “Mmmm, the cimynon in that
thar apple pie shur smells good!” She took the sides of her apron in her hands, quickly
grabbed the pie and took off, her hair and skirt trailing behind.
“You come back here with ma pie, you thievin’ polecat! Harmon! That Thelma Lou
McCoy done stole yer pie agin!”
“Clara Mae, why da ya hafta keep puttin’ dem sweets on da winder sill? Ya knows
she’s agonna try ta snatch it.”
“I’ll fix her, Harmon, jest ya wait an’ see. When I git done with her, that worm’ll not be
stealin’ any more of ma sweets,” Clara Mae promised, with eyes squinted and one
“Whad ya git this time, Thelma Lou?” Chester asked, his sloppy grin baring his
“It’s an apple pie with lots of cimynon. Smell,” she said, holding it under his nose. “Now
git me some wood an’ kindlin in here an’ I’ll start supper.”
Thelma Lou pumped water into a big pot and started throwing vegetables into it. She
didn’t bother with washing or peeling them. “A little dirt ne’er did hurt nobody,” she said
to herself. “Whar’s that wood, Chester?”
Chester dashed back into the cabin, waving his tattered hat in the air, greasy hair
plastered to his head. “Them Hatfield mongrels has done stole the whole blasted wood
“Well don’t jest stand thar with yer mouth flappin’ in the breeze, Chester. Go git it
Now Chester was thirsty and in no hurry to tangle with Harmon Hatfield, so he took the
long way... past his still. “Hafta check on things now and agin,” he reasoned. After
tasting, uh... checking the still’s progress, and finding it doing quite nicely, Chester fell
asleep on his pile of shelled corncobs. It was nigh dark when he woke up. “Mercy,”
Chester grumbled to himself, “I don’ wannna meet up with ol’ Harmon, but I kin’t face
Thelma Lou empty handed!”
He hurried over to the Hatfield’s, and there by the shed sat his pile of wood. “Shoot, it’s
jest too dark ta mess with that wood tonight.” Wondering what to do, something else
caught his eye. “Oh, looky what’s sittin’ in that winder.” Snickering, he grabbed the
chocolate cake and raced for home.
“Whar in the world have ya been, Chester?” Thelma Lou growled. “I be’n awaitin’ fer
hours. Ya kin ferget ‘bout supper!”
“Now, Honey Bunch, looky what I done got. A big chocolaty cake! We’ll jest have pie
and cake and coffee, okay?” he pleaded, hoping to persuade her.
Thelma Lou conceded, put the coffee on and they sat down to eat. “This here pie’s not
as tasty as it smelled, Chester. Tastes like rocks. Let’s try the cake.” And they began
gulping it down.
“Mmmm,” Chester smacked his lips, “now this here’s good cake! Shur is chocolaty,
huh? Slides down right easy.” They both savored it.
Thelma Lou ran her tongue over her four teeth. “Well that’s the end of that cake, we
done et the whole thing.” Thelma Lou drained her coffee cup. “Shur was tasty.”
“Shur was. I did good, didn’t I, Thelma Lou?”
She patted his grimy, gnarled hand and answered, “Yeh, Chester, real good. I kin still
taste the sweetness.”
“Sweets fer the sweet,” he tittered. With bellies chock-full of cake and coffee, the
McCoys fell asleep in their chairs.
Thelma Lou was the first to wake up. “Oohh, Chester, ma belly hurts. I gotta go out
back.” She jumped up, grabbed her stomach and exploded out the door.
“Wait! Me too, Thelma Lou. I gits it first.”
Well, Thelma Lou beat Chester, but she was flabbergasted at what she found. “Eek!
Chester! All the catylogs are gone! Them Hatfield vermin. Go git some of yer
corncobs. Oohh! Hurry!”
Chester sped for the corncob pile, but he got a shock there too. He ran back, hollering,
“Ooo, Thelma Lou, the cobs are all gone! Those snivelin’ good-for-nuttin’ Hatfield’s...
Oh, ma belly!”
“Harmon, are ya shur ya got all dem catylogs an’ all dem corncobs too?” asked Clara
“Yep, Clara Mae, ever’ last one of ‘em. Jest how much o’ that thar stuff did ya put inta
that chocolaty cake?”
“Enough, Harmon. Enough to put an end to those McCoys astealin’ ma sweets!”
Food gained by fraud tastes sweet to a man, but he ends up with a mouth full of gravel.
Proverbs 20:17 NIV
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