Deedee and Me:
A short story by Paul H. Yarbrough

Deedee and me was fishing at the big lake up in Sunflower County. It wasn't as big as some, but everybody called it the Big Lake anyway. But, anyhow, we had been there all day and had some pretty sorry luck. We had caught one gar and a grennel, and once when Deedee got out on the bank to relieve hisself he stomped a frog to death. So we had enough for supper, but we didn't have enough for guests, which we didn't have many of anyways.

But it so happened that the game warden who had recently moved down from somewhere up North, come by the trailer after we got home and wanted to know if we had seen anybody robbin' trotlines. Now the truth is we hadn't seen anybody doin such, and as a matter of fact, if we had known where any trotlines were, we would have robbed 'em ourself. But the thing was, Deedee wanted to know, "How come some Yankee-fied game warden knew where we lived?" Deedee said that Game Warden ought to keep his behind out by the lake and tend to the game and not worry bout pilfered trot lines. Where Deedee located the word p-i-l-f-e-r-e-d I'll never know.

I told him probably he copied down our license plates. Deedee prompty told me that that wuz highly unlikely since Buck Phillips had almost blew the plates away last spring with his shotgun when we wuz trying to leave his beer joint at a rapid pace following our smashing into his pickup.

Now this game warden, who wuz from New Jersey or something like that, said he sure did smell something good, and hadn't even had any lunch, which wuz his Yankee way of saying "dinner." This was quite unsettling to Deedee because he wuzn't one for sharing when he had more'n enough. And he didn't believe the game warden anyhow cause first of all he was a Yankee, and second of all, he had said he had heard about these good gumbos we had down South. I didn't wait for Deedee to tell him, but in fact I, myself, told him he'd better look a lot more south than Sunflower County for gumbo.

As it turns out, this Yankee had observed the condition of our license plates and followed us home.

Apparently, an old license plate all beat up beyond recognition in the North meant you probably had done something wrong. Down South it meant you had an old car. So, when he learned we wuzn't wanted for nothing, we thought he'd go away, but he didn't, which was his way of invitin hisself to supper.

Now Deedee didnít wanna share that frog or gar, and he dang sure wasn't gonna share that grennel. But just to get him outta there Deedee gave him a minner and cheese sandwich and told him the minners were little sardines we had imported from Pearl.

About a week later we wuz at the big lake, and went by Lester and Ruby's bait shop for some worms and brown roaches, since they wuz having a special. Ruby told us that the Yankee game warden had gone back up North after he had got food poison and almost died. He said he was better off up there where animal protection was a government priority. Deedee said that was BS. That Game Warden was just afraid he was gonna be on the endangered species list if he didnít quit invitin hisself to supper and pokin around in othersí trotlines. And Deedee also said it wuz unseemly. Deedee was always, now and then, coming up with big words and bright sayins.

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