X. A CASE OF MEASLES
"YOU'VE been looking like you were rather under the weather for
the past week or two, Uncle Remus," said a gentleman to the old
"You'd be sorter puny, too, boss, if you'der bin whar I bin."
"Where have you been?"
"Pear ter me like ev'eybody done year 'bout dat. Dey ain't no ole
nigger my age an' size dat's had no rattliner time dan I is."
"A kind of picnic?"
"Go long, boss! w'at you speck I be doin' sailin' 'roun' ter dese yer
cullud picnics? Much mo' an' I wouldn't make bread by wukiin
fer't, let 'lone follerin' up a passel er boys an' gals all over keration.
Boss, ain't you year 'bout it, sho' 'nuff?"
"I haven't, really. What was the matter?"
"I got strucken wid a sickness, an' she hit de ole nigger a joe-darter
'fo' she tu'n 'im loose."
"What kind of sickness?"
"Hit look sorter cu'ous, boss, but ole an' steddy ez I is, I tuck'n
kotch de meezles."
"Oh, get out! You are trying to get up a sensation."
"Hit's a natal fack, boss, I declar' ter grashus ef 'tain't. Dey sorter
come on wid a cole, like-leas'ways dat's how I commence fer ter
suffer, an' den er koff got straddle er de cole-one dese yer koffs
w'at look like bit goes ter de foundash'n. I kep' on linger'n' 'roun'
sorter keepin' one eye on the rheumatiz an' de udder on de
distemper, twel, bimeby, I begin fer ter feel de trestle-wuk give
way, an' den I des know'd dat I wuz gwineter gitter racket. I slipt
inter bed one Chuseday night, an' I never slip out no mo' fer mighty
nigh er mont'.
"Nex' mornin' de meezles 'd done kivered me, an' den ef I didn't git
dosted by de ole 'oman I'm a Chinee. She gimme back rashuns er
sassafac tea. I des natally hankered an' got hongry atter water, an
ev'y time I sing out fer water I got b'ilin' hot sassafac tea. Hit got so
dat w'en I wake up in de mornin' de ole 'oman 'd des come long
wid a kittle er tea an' fill me up. Dey tells me 'roun' town dat
chilluns don't git hurted wid de meezles, w'ich ef dey don't I wanter
be a baby de nex' time dey hits dis place. All dis yer meezles
bizness is bran'-new ter me. In ole times, 'fo' de wah, I ain't heer
tell er no seventy-fi'-year-ole nigger grapplin' wid no meezles. Dey
ain't ketchin' no mo', is dey, boss?"
"Oh, no-I suppose not."
'Kase ef dey is, youk'n des put my name down wid de migrashun