HOG “WALLER” GANG
That’s down home talk for Pig Wallowing. Well, my brother, two years older, my sister, two years younger, and I decided that the ditch across the road had some mighty pretty mud in the bottom of it.
All we had to do was stir it into the slickest conglomeration any one could ever want. Why, it would ooze up between our toes like chicken stuff – you know, the black and white stuff – and was it ever an icky feeling.
Suddenly we realized we would get our clothes muddy and Mom would be mad –that red headed temper and all – so we took off everything but our underwear. Then we slid down in that delicious, slimy mud and “wallered” around until nothing was left uncovered but our eyeballs and teeth. We must have spent at least two hours in there.
Now what would we do to get clean. Well, Mom would know. We climbed out, slipping and sliding all the way, then made our way across the road, carrying our outer clothes in muddy fingers. Even the dog was muddy. Hopefully, no one would come by.
Back then, hardly any cars used the road. We had dirt roads, and in the rainy season, if you didn’t have chains, you slopped two miles to the “concrete road” over by Pittsburg in Williamson County, where cars had to be left the night before. Now, our Dad had chains, so some neighbors plowed up to our property through knee-deep mud and climbed in the back of the pickup to ride over to the “hard road.”
Why, even the mail was delivered by a neighbor boy on horseback during the muddy season, and during snow too deep to drive through. By the way, we didn’t have “snow days.” We had school if the snow was up to our knees. And our school teacher at Fowler School rode a horse to the one-room school – not only in the muddy season, but when it snowed.
But, as usual, I digress.
We three mud hogs walked into the house, looking pretty cute, if I may say so, mud covering our hair, faces, arms, legs, and dripping as we walked.
You could have heard Mom scream all the way to Pittsburg!
Good thing there was a clear, rocky creek running down the backside of our seven acres. We were herded there like hogs, and dumped into the water.
“Don’t come back until the mud’s gone!” was the order of the day.
When I raised my kids there, the new coal mine had ruined our hog waller and I couldn’t teach them the fun of it. Deep, black coal slack filled the ditch and everything green died there. The creek we had cleaned up in was ruined. I have another tale about the coal mine construction and my younger siblings.