Banner Mountain Girl # 60 -“Whicker Bill” Riley

unknown grave
“Whicker Bill” Riley
(1903—1925)

I always thought Maude Henry
and her three daughters were so
pretty ridin’ their mules. They rode
them mules wherever they went. Maude
was a widder woman—had been for six
years when their four mules got stole,
right out of that shabby, old barn settin’
on the side of Brock Mountain. One of ‘em
was Maude’s bug-eyed mule, called Ned.
That critter was half-blind, I tell ya’ fer sure.
The sheriff, he nailed up a poster
down at the courthouse—a picture took
last May of Maude and her girls ridin’
them mules to a cousin’s weddin’.
Yesterday mornin’ the Henrys walked
two miles to Kill Devil Creek, where they
come to my hangin’. Them and everybody
else in Waycross County. I swore
up and down that I didn’t steal
them mules. They hung me anyway.

© Freeda Baker Nichols

NOTE:  This may be a Spoon River Poem, but I don’t guarantee that it is! 🙂

two donkeys

I REMEMBER DADDY

These horses are the same color as two mules my daddy owned in the late 1940's,

These horses are the same color as two mules my daddy owned in the late 1940’s,

I Remember Daddy

I liked to watch my daddy bale the hay
and haul it to the barn at end of day
where little sister and I used to play.
We climbed up in the loft so we could see
our daddy drive the mules, Shorty and Kate,
up from the hayfield, then on through the gate.
Our mama called from kitchen, “Don’t be late,”
and then she sat with baby on her knee.
Those days were short it seems when I recall
the heat, the smell of new-mown hay in stall.
What fun when daddy made the final haul
and walked back to the house with Sis and me.
At supper time , we bowed our heads for grace;
the baby’s cooing lit up Daddy’s face.

© Freeda Baker Nichols