It looked to be a long night. I had agreed to play the fiddle at a harvest dance in the next county. At first I had shilly-shallied about takin' the job. It were a tedious drive over rutted country roads, and instead of ridin' my horse Rusty, I were, perforce, obliged to hire a cheap buckboard from Silverman's livery stable -- a much slower conveyance and a nuisance as well. It seems I could earn a few much needed dollars by deliverin' a hand carved chair, ordered by a Mr. Riffle, who lived in the county to which I'd be a travelin'. By agreein' to play at old Silverman's daughter's weddin', I had me a free rig for the night. Grumblin', I gave a slap of the reins and a, "giddy up" to the hired horse and set upon my way.
Normally, I enjoyed fiddlin'. I had me an old cigar box fiddle, which my daddy had made back in 1875 from a used wooden cigar box he'd found in an alleyway. I got her for Christmas, and promptly named her Bessie. She felt so good in my hands! From the moment I touched her I knowed we was meant to be together. She seemed to say to me, "I am yours!" and I fell completely in love with her.
She were a beauty, and lands sake could my Bessie sing! She could wail like a new born babe, and make the stubbornest foot begin to tap and stomp, until the floorboards of the sturdiest barn was a thumpin' in time to my sweet Bessie's song. She were my pride and joy, and I never passed an opportunity to show off what she and me could do together. I couldn't figure out why she could wail like she did -- better 'an any fiddle I'd ever heard, but I didn't care none neither. She were mine and that were all that mattered.
Debra Shiveley Welch