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Contents > Author > Sara Cone Bryant > The Story of Epaminondas and His Auntie 1873- Unknown
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Sara Cone Bryant
The Story of Epaminondas and His Auntie
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THE STORY OF EPAMINONDAS AND HIS AUNTIE

[A Southern nonsense tale.]

Epaminondas used to go to see his Auntie
'most every day, and she nearly always
gave him something to take home to his
Mammy.

One day she gave him a big piece of cake;
nice, yellow, rich gold-cake.

Epaminondas took it in his fist and held
it all scrunched up tight, like this, and
came along home. By the time he got home
there wasn't anything left but a fistful of
crumbs. His Mammy said,--

"What you got there, Epaminondas?"

"Cake, Mammy," said Epaminondas.

"Cake!" said his Mammy. "Epaminondas,
you ain't got the sense you was born
with! That's no way to carry cake. The
way to carry cake is to wrap it all up nice
in some leaves and put it in your hat, and
put your hat on your head, and come along
home. You hear me, Epaminondas?"

"Yes, Mammy," said Epaminondas.

Next day Epaminondas went to see his
Auntie, and she gave him a pound of
butter for his Mammy; fine, fresh, sweet
butter.

Epaminondas wrapped it up in leaves
and put it in his hat, and put his hat on his
head, and came along home. It was a very
hot day. Pretty soon the butter began to
melt. It melted, and melted, and as it
melted it ran down Epaminondas' forehead;
then it ran over his face, and in his
ears, and down his neck. When he got
home, all the butter Epaminondas had was
ON HIM. His Mammy looked at him, and
then she said,--

"Law's sake! Epaminondas, what you
got in your hat?"

"Butter, Mammy," said Epaminondas;
"Auntie gave it to me."

"Butter!" said his Mammy. "Epaminondas,
you ain't got the sense you was
born with! Don't you know that's no way
to carry butter? The way to carry butter
is to wrap it up in some leaves and take
it down to the brook, and cool it in the
water, and cool it in the water, and cool
it in the water, and then take it on
your hands, careful, and bring it along
home."

"Yes, Mammy," said Epaminondas.

By and by, another day, Epaminondas
went to see his Auntie again, and this time
she gave him a little new puppy-dog to
take home.

Epaminondas put it in some leaves and
took it down to the brook; and there he
cooled it in the water, and cooled it in the
water, and cooled it in the water; then he
took it in his hands and came along home.
When he got home, the puppy-dog was
dead. His Mammy looked at it, and she
said,--

"Law's sake! Epaminondas, what you
got there?"

"A puppy-dog, Mammy," said Epaminondas.

"A PUPPY-DOG!" said his Mammy. "My
gracious sakes alive, Epaminondas, you
ain't got the sense you was born with!
That ain't the way to carry a puppy-dog!
The way to carry a puppy-dog is to take a
long piece of string and tie one end of it
round the puppy-dog's neck and put the
puppy-dog on the ground, and take hold
of the other end of the string and come
along home, like this."

"All right, Mammy," said Epaminondas.

Next day, Epaminondas went to see his
Auntie again, and when he came to go
home she gave him a loaf of bread to carry
to his Mammy; a brown, fresh, crusty loaf
of bread.

So Epaminondas tied a string around the
end of the loaf and took hold of the end of
the string and came along home, like this.
(Imitate dragging something along the
ground.) When he got home his Mammy
looked at the thing on the end of the string,
and she said,--

"My laws a-massy! Epaminondas, what
you got on the end of that string?"

"Bread, Mammy," said Epaminondas;
"Auntie gave it to me."

"Bread!!!" said his Mammy. "O
Epaminondas, Epaminondas, you ain't got the
sense you was born with; you never did
have the sense you was born with; you
never will have the sense you was born
with! Now I ain't gwine tell you any more
ways to bring truck home. And don't you
go see your Auntie, neither. I'll go see
her my own self. But I'll just tell you one
thing, Epaminondas! You see these here
six mince pies I done make? You see how
I done set 'em on the doorstep to cool?
Well, now, you hear me, Epaminondas,
YOU BE CAREFUL HOW YOU STEP ON THOSE PIES!"

"Yes, Mammy," said Epaminondas.

Then Epaminondas' Mammy put on
her bonnet and her shawl and took a basket
in her hand and went away to see
Auntie. The six mince pies sat cooling in
a row on the doorstep.

And then,--and then,--Epaminondas
WAS careful how he stepped on those
pies!

He stepped [imitate]--right--in--
the--middle--of--every--one.
. . . . . . . .
And, do you know, children, nobody knows
what happened next! The person who told
me the story didn't know; nobody knows.
But you can guess.

 

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