My Jim

Free My Jim by Nancy Rawles

Book: My Jim by Nancy Rawles Read Free Book Online
Authors: Nancy Rawles
Tags: Fiction
cook with. Her real work making babies. She like to be big. Mas let her come in out the fields when she want. Anytime but high summer. She got to work then big or not. So far she give Mas seven children. Soon as they can work Mas sell them off.
    One day I asks Fortune why she aint use no herb to keep Mas away from her.
    She look at me like I crazy. What I wants to keep Mas away for she say. I owns Mas. I eats Mas alive she say. I takes everything he got then I wipes him away. White the easiest color to wipe away in this world. Easiest thing to get rid of. All you got to do is mix it up with something else. Soon they gonna be more and more of us. And we gonna be the mas and the miss. She laugh when she say it.
    I aint laughs with her. If you owns Mas I says why you let him sell all your children away from you.
    She mad now. I aint no fool she say. I makes him sell them. What I wants them to stay here for. I makes him feed them and sell them. We eating meat while all you niggers eating cornpone. I makes sure Mas aint sell my children to no traders. They all got to stay near to me. The little ones go to the laundress or the seamstress. When they bigger they go to the factory. Childrens fingers good for rolling them cigars. The big boys work the quarry. The girls hire on in the shops. I sees them at the holiday. They come back and visit they old mama they do. One of these days they gonna come and steal me away. What your children gonna do for you.
    I thinks of my children and I shamed. All they got to eat is cornmeal. Anything else got to come from our garden. Mas work us so hard we barely gots time to work for ourselves. I gives my children turnip root and turnip greens. They find berries. Lizbeth catch a fish. But all the time we looking for meat. Mas dont let us keep guns to hunt. And he dont let us keep pigs and chickens. Any meat on the place his. Last nigger kill a chicken had to eat it while it still warm. Head first. Feathers and all.
    I looks for the one eye woman I seen when I first comes to Mas Stevens place. I aint sees her nowheres. I figures she long dead. She nothing but bones then. Now I twice as old so she must be twice as dead.
    Us slaves from Mas Watsons place works faster and better than the others. But soon we starts to slow down. The work the same but aint nothing to eat. The children so hungry they cry all the time. Then they stop crying altogether. Just moan and bite they lips.
    First week on the place Tailor run off. Say he aint gonna work for Mas Stevens and he sure aint gonna work for Banes. He gone a long time fore they find him. When they bring him out the woods he got a wild look in his eye. Banes put him in the stock and whip him till he dead. Even the white folks say Mas Stevens crazy. Killing a nigger he can sell for good money.
    I longs for Jim but I aint wants Mas Stevens to catch sight of him. He better off with Miss Watson. She see the value in him. Mas Stevens see the man. He got to beat Jim down till he a boy. Aint no mens work for Mas Stevens. I scared he gonna kill Jim if he come round. Just like he let Banes kill Tailor.
    But Jim aint scared. He come to me one night skin all shiny with sweat. He been running like he running from ghosts.
    Where Fortune he say.
    She sleeping with Mas. Only time she aint sleeping with Mas when she having his baby.
    Miss Watson at a camp meeting he say. All the whites over at the camp meeting. Even Mas Stevens. All the good Christian whites and the bad ones too. Some the niggers even there. Hearing bout not sparing the rod. He laugh.
    Got his hat in his hand. Inside he got the ball of a ox. Say he come cross the ox in the bramble. He recognize it as Mas Watsons ox. Mas Stevens done half starve it. Jim say if he aint come cross it the ox bleed to death since one of his balls hanging off his hind. Jim take his knife and cut it free. Quick cut to stop the blood. Mud to cover the wound. Then he get a stick and beat the ox back to the farm. But first he let it feed

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