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Allyson B Campbell

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The Night I Met Papa Bois
By Allyson B Campbell
Friday, October 02, 2009

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A short story taken from my novel, In Good Company. Written in Patois.

One late night when de moon was full an’ bright,
ah was walking in de back roads ah Cocorite Village
near de Calabash Alley.

Ah jus’ come from de bar wey all meh friends
was limin’ an’ causin’ ruction.
Ah know ah was drunk as hell,
an’ meh steps nuh eh time,
buh ah still know wey ah was goin’.

Ah walk, an’ walk, an’ walk,
until ah reach near ah forest.
Buh me eh t’ink nuthin’ cause ah does walk dey
nearly every day an’ every night
when ah goin’ tah wuk,
goin’ tah chu’ch or goin’ tah de bar by
Petit Boug Trace.

An’ ah was still good.
Ah car pass by meh an’ lick meh off de road,
dat ah tumble over en de side ah de road
an’ was rollin’, rollin’, rollin’.
Ah yell out ah cuss tah no one
an’ geh up an’ dus’ mehself off.

Ah look ‘round tah see wey ah was
an’ realize ah was deep, deep in de forest.
So ah start walkin’ wonderin’ how de hell
ah reach so far down.

Every wey was pitch black,
ah couldn’t see ah t’ing ah’tall.
Dah was when as hear a crick.
Ah listen an’ nuthin’.
So ah tek anotha step.

Den ah hear a crack.
Ah stand still as ah lamp post.
Nah man, ah was shakin’.
Ah geh frighten cause ah eh know
if it was ah dog, cat or ah mokojumbie.

An’ ah eh wan’ tah see no kinda mokojumbie
cause ah ‘fraid dat too bad.
Buh yuh know all de time ah stand dey,
meh eye was close.
Ah start tah t’ink, boy open yuh eye an’ look ‘round.
Buh when ah open meh eye, dah es when ah see him.

Ah t’ought de place was dark,
buh ah see him clear as day.
He was ah hairy man,
wit’ long white hair an’ eyes like ah doe
an’ he had ah big stick en he hand.

He shout out at meh, ‘Weh yuh doin’ here!?’
‘Ah…ah…ah geh lost.’Ah say.
He reply wit’ ah boomin’ voice ‘Yuh lyin’!’
‘No, ah would never do dat.
Ah was walkin’ an ah car bounce meh, jus’ so.’
Ah was wavin’ meh hand frantically.

‘Nah! Yuh come in de woods tah kill meh animals.’
‘No, No! Ah eh come tah harm no body.’
‘Why yuh lookin’ at meh feet?’
“Ah eh look at yuh feet! Ah eh look at yuh feet!’
and dah was when ah look down
and see he cloven feet because
he was half man an’ half beast.

‘Yuh would die fuh lookin’ at meh feet!’
At dat, ah start tuh run fast.
Ah was hearin’ laughter,
like it was right over meh head.
Like he was right dey.
Buh ah wasn’t goin’ an’ look back.
Nuh frighten me!
De only time when ah stop
was when ah reach out on de road
an’ ah see some men sittin’ under
ah pommerac tree, talkin’.

Ah run tuh dem an’ tell them who ah jus’ see.
‘Man, yuh eh see Papa Bois.’
They tell meh.
‘Papa Bois is only ah tale dah dem ol’ folks
does tell tuh scare dem kids away.’
‘Boy move yuh drunkin’ self from here!

If yuh stop drinkin’ like ah dog,
yuh wouldna see nuthin’
Why yuh didn’t tek yuh clothes off
an’ turn it inside out so she wouldna catch yuh.
Go from here!’

       Web Site: Allyson B. Campbell

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