"Now then, Clem, don't you fret none. Just hop under them there covers and rest a spell while I put the kettle on."
Easy for Granny to say. Did she just spend five hours trekk-in' here on foot with nary a break? Is her muscles all stretched and bruised and beat to a pulp? No way, blue jay. But she's my hostess and I has to respect her.
Takes all I's got to drag this ach-in' body 'cross the ole oak floor to the bed. Then when I get there, P-U!
"The cover smells like wet dawg," I complain. "Feels like one too."
"Now Clem," drawls Granny in a voice folks don't dare argue with, "don't go trash-in' this bear rug blanket I had specially skunk scented just for you. The boys down at Self Pity Steam Cleaners went to a heap o' trouble to remove all trace of honey from it and coat it with enhanced possum breath - just the way you like it."
I's gots to hand it to this feisty gal. She sure knows how to make a guy want to curl right up and die. Too ragged to reckon with 'er, I pries back the mat of mangy fur just far enough to stuff this ole sack o' taters in it.
Phew, it sure is prickly in here! Seems she's wove some good ole Tennessee porcupine into this rug. Half of me's roasting, the other half's freezing.
"Don't worry," says Granny. "The temperature should even out in a couple hours."
"Aw, come on," I moan. "Why do you's gots to torture me so, Granny? I already feel like road kill."
"Road kill?" she scoffs. "I seen better looking road kill in my lifetime."
"I mean it, Granny. "I's exhausted. All I's wants is to rest." I jerk my head back on the pillow, eyelids heavy, mind drifting. Almost there...
A shrill whistle snaps me out of a perfect dream.
"Ah, just in time!" chirps Granny, scurrying to the kitchen like she's off her rocker. If it weren't fer them ever-creak-in' joints of hers, I might be able to settle down. Ah, here she comes now, jiggling the tea tray in her withered hands. Half she spills on the already wet blanket. It seeps right through, scorching me to the bone.
"So how do you like it?" she asks.
"The first degree burns?"
"No, the tea."
"Oh that. I'll take it lukewarm, to turn my weakness to strength. And pass the ice pack."
"Hah!" answers Granny with a laugh. "You'll take it debilitating, to turn your strength to weakness."
Ignoring my second request, she shoves the tea cup straight under my nose.
"This potion - I mean, these potent herbs, will fix you right up," she says.
One whiff of them vapors and I's drowsy as a fly in a spider web, wrapped in a cocoon, no room to breathe. I feels her drink drain the life right outta me. My eyes blur. I starts to drift off.
Next thing I know Granny's in her rocker, strumming on her banjo, playing this here feller a corny lullaby. Not to find fault with her sing-in', but it sounds like an injured animal. Then all of a sudden I hear wolves howling.
"Granny," I says, "I appreciates the fine music, but I really needs my sleep."
"Okay," grumbles Granny and flings the banjo to the floor in a huff. Durn instrument sounds upset and so does she. I spends the next half hour apologizing - for what, I still don't know. Never meant no harm. I just needs my rest.
Once again I feels the sandman coming. Then a sudden crash of pots and pans scares him away.
"Get yer grubby mitts outta my fresh apple pie!" yells Granny as she chases the usual stray cat from the house.
I's so tired o' this, I can barely stand it! When'll she ever learn to bolt the doors and lock the windows? I's had it. I's simply had it.
Wearily I throw off the wet blanket, tell Granny I's had enough, and head out the back door. On my way home I trip over her bear trap, hit my head on a tree branch, and I's out cold for two days.
Finally, a good night's sleep!
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