the third-grade teacher sternly said to little Johnny.
"It ain't my fault this time, Miss Russell. You can blame this 'un
on my Daddy. The reason I'm three hours late is ‘cause my Daddy
Now, Miss Russell had taught grammar school for thirty-some-odd
years. Despite her mounting fears, she asked little Johnny what he
meant by that. Full of grins and mischief, and in the flower of
his youth, little Johnny and trouble were old friends, but he
always told her the truth.
"You see, Miss Russell, out at the farm we got this here low down
fox. The last few nights, he done ate six hens. Last night, when
Daddy heard a noise out in the chicken pen, he grabbed his double
barreledshot gun and said to my Ma, "That fox is back again and
I'm a gonna git him!'' "Stay back," Daddy whispered to all us
"My Daddy was naked as a jaybird -- no boots, no pants, no shirt!
To the hen house he crawled, just like an Injun on the snoop.
Then, he stuck that double-barreled 12-gauge shot gun through the
window of the coop. As he stared into the darkness with a fox on
his mind, our old hound dog, Rip, came sneaking up behind Daddy.
Then, as we all looked on plumb helpless, old Rip done went and
stuck his cold nose in my Daddy's crack!"
"Miss Russell, we
all been cleanin' chickens since three o'clock this mornin!"