JACK had an uncle lived a right smart distance from where he and his mother lived at, and he decided one time he'd like to go up and see his uncle. Jack had done got so he wasn't lazy no more Ä not so much as he used to be. So he worked hard all week, gettin' in wood and fixin' ever'thing up around the place, then he pulled out. Had to go right by the King's house on the way to his uncle's.
The King had a awful pretty girl, but all her life she never had laughed, and the King had put out a adver-tize-ment that anybody that would make her laugh could marry her.
Jack got down close to where the King lived and that girl was "Where ye started, Jack?"
Jack told her and she says to him, "I hope ye have a good time."
So Jack went on. His uncle was awful pleased to see him. They'd work a little and ever' night somebody'd come there to play and make music. Jack had such a good time he plumb forgot about gain' back home.
So fin'ly his uncle says to him, "Jack, your mother'll be gettin' uneasy about you. She'll be needin' ye about gettin' up wood, too. Don't you reckon you better go on back home?"
Jack says, "Yes. I guess I had better go, pretty soon."
"You fix up and go back today, Jack, and I'll give ye a present. I'm gain' to give you a big darnin' needle. You can take that and learn how to sew your own overhalls when they get tore."
So he went and hunted up a big darnin' needle he had, put a long thread in it and gave it to Jack.
Jack pulled out, put the thread over his shoulder and let the needle swing down behind him.
Got down to the King's house; that girl was there, says, "You gettin' back, are ye, Jack?"
"Yes," says Jack. "Had a awful good time."
"What's that you got over your shoulder?"
"Hit's a big darnin' needle uncle gave me, to hire me to go back home."
"Needle?" she says. "Law me! I never did see a man tote a needle that-a-way. You ought to stick that in your shirt bosom."
"Well'm," says Jack.
Jack got in home, told his mother all about what a good time he'd had. Started in to workin' about the place, and he kept studyin' about gettin' back to his uncle's again.
So fin'ly Jack's mother says to him, says, "You've worked right good this week, Jack. You fix up your wood and all, and I'll let you go back to your uncle's again. But you mustn't stay so long this time."
Jack got ever'thing fixed up and pulled out.
Got to the King's house; that girl was there, says, "Hello, Jack. Where ye started this time?"
Jack told her. She says, "Hope ye have a good time, and get another good present."
Well, Jack and his uncle went several places that week, and Jack had such a good time a-hearin' fiddle music and banjo pickin' he never studied about gain' back home.
So one day his uncle says, "You better go on back home now, Jack. I'm gain' to give ye another premium. Hit's a swoard my grandpa gave me. Hit was used in the Revolutionary War."
He went and got the swoard and gave it to Jack. Jack started on home. He took that swoard and stuck it right through his shirt bosom and out the other side.
The King's girl was out in the yard, saw Jack comin', says, "Hello, Jack."
Then she saw that swoard stickin' out of Jack's shirt, says, "Law me, Jack! You've plumb ruined your shirt. Why, you ought to have carried that on your shoulder."
"Well'm," says Jack, "next time I will."
Jack got back home, played around with that swoard till fin'ly he got a little tired of it. So he worked right on all week, got ever'thing shaped up, says to his mother, "How about me gain' back to uncle's again?"
His mother let him go. Jack saw the King's girl out at the gate and stopped and talked to her awhile. Got back to his uncle's and had a big time. A gang of young folks 'uld come up there to Jack's uncle's place and they'd get to makin' music and singin' old songs, stay till nearly daylight. Then him and his uncle 'uld go some other place the next night, till fin'ly his uncle says,
"Hit's about time you went back home, Jack."
"Yes, I reckon it is," says Jack.
"I'm goin' to give ye a nice present today. Maybe hit'll keep you home a month this time. I got a young colt here. You can take it home with ye and break it to ride. Hit'll take ye some time to get it broke good."
So he got a halter and brought Jack the colt. Jack thanked him and started on home. Got down close to the King's place, Jack got right down under the colt and got it up on his shoulder.
The King's girl saw him comin' a-totin' that colt, she ran out to the fence, says, "Law me, Jack. You the awfulest fool man I ever did see. You ought to ride that."
"Well'm," says Jack, "I'll try to think of that next time."
When Jack got home, he went to foolin' around with his colt, never thought a thing about gain' back to his uncle's till nearly about a month. Then his colt began to get sort of old to him, and he com-menced to talk about gain' back to see his uncle.
"Why, Jack," says his mother, "I 'lowed you wouldn't never leave your colt."
"Well," says Jack, "you can take care of it while I'm gone."
So Jack got all his work done up and pulled out again.
That girl was out in the yard and her and Jack talked awhile, then Jack went on to his uncle's.
They worked around the place a little, went huntin' a time or two, and ever' night some young folks 'uld come up there and Jack 'uld get to frolickin' with 'em. They made music and got to playin' Weevily Wheat and Skip to My Lou and runnin' eight-handed reels and all. Jack never did have such a good time and his uncle was an awful good hand to call figures. Jack plumb forgot all about that colt and his mother bein' likely to run out of firewood, till pretty soon his uncle said he reckoned Jack better be gettin' on back.
"Yes," says Jack, "I guess I ought to have went 'fore this time."
"I got a nice little heifer up here, Jack, and I'm gain' to give it to you so you can have a good milk cow to go with your horse. You keep it fed up real well, and your mother can milk it for ye."
Got him a line and tied that heifer by the horns, gave it to Jack. Jack thanked him and started leadin' his heifer on back home.
Jack got down close to the King's house, he saw that girl was out at the washin' place where they were all a-workin' with the clothes. So Jack remembered and he went to jump on that heifer s back; somehow or other he landed on it hind side to, grabbed hold on its tail and started in hollerin'. That young heifer started bawlin' and jumpin' from one side the road to the other, and went a-gallopin' on down to where the King's folks was a-washin' at. The King's girl looked up and saw Jack gettin' shook up and down and a-slippin' first one side, then the other'n, on the heifer's back and him a-hold of its tail and a-hollerin' for help, and she raised up and laughed so loud they heard her all over town. She stood there and laughed and slapped her hands till the King came out. And when he saw Jack and that calf, he started in to laughin' too, laughed till he had to sit down.
Fin'ly some of 'em caught the heifer and holp Jack off.
The old King took Jack over in town and bought him a new suit of clothes. Then he hitched up two fine horses to a buggy and rode Jack and his girl over to a big church and had 'em married.
The girl she went on home with Jack, and the last tired I was down thert-
they were all gettin' on right well.