"Late again," the third-grade teacher said to little Sammy.
"It ain't my fault, Miss Crabtree. You can blame this on my dad. The reason I'm three hours late? Dad sleeps nights in the raw!"
Now Miss Crabtree had taught grammar
school for thirty-some-odd years. So she asked little Sammy what he meant by that, despite her mounting fears.
Full of grins and mischief, and in the flower of his youth, little Sammy and trouble were old friends, but he always told the truth. "You see, Miss Crabtree, at the ranch we got this here lowdown coyote. The last few nights HE done et six hens and killed Ma's best milk goat.
And last night, when Dad heard a noise out in the chicken pen, he grabbed his gun and said to Ma, 'That coyote's back again, I'm a gonna git him!'"
"'Stay back, he yelled to all us kids, I wouldn't want ya hurt!' He was naked as a jaybird, no boots, no pants, no shirt! To the henhouse he crawled, just like an Injun on the snoop. Then he stuck that double barrel through the window of the coop.
As he stared into the darkness, with coyotes on his mind, our old hound dog Zeke had done woke up and come a sneakin' up behind Dad. Then we all looked on, plumb helpless as Dad was cold-nosed without warnin'."
"Miss Crabtree, we been cleanin' chickens since three o'clock this mornin'!"