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Chasing those cotton pickin’ rabbit trails

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By Guy Sheffield

The delta fields had exploded in white like huge bags of popcorn nuked in the September heat. Everywhere, thick tufts of cotton burst forth from the bolls that had once concealed their glory. It was harvest time.
The gin workers stayed late into the night, spitting seeds and stacking bails. The farmers rumbled along wearily atop the growling steel mammoths that hungrily ravished the fields- two rows at a time. Payday was near, and it pleased a man to see the fruit of his labor. Excitement was in the air. Well, not for me, really. I was just a bored little kid wishing my Papa would get down off that big John Deere long enough to take me fishing. Back and forth he rode, wiping sweat from his brow with an old shop rag. From sunup to sunset he continued, and beyond. For me it was the most boring time of the year.
I had been assigned the job of helping pack the cotton trailers. At one stop my Italian Papa yelled down from the cab, “Hey der boy, hop up on da picker here and come catch me one of them rabbits I been seeing.”


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