From Hell to Breakfast Page: 25
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'em outer dat room. Hit sho' bad luck. Sweep de room all
over, but don't bother under dat bed. Seems funny but dey
didn't have no trouble dem days when I was nussin' lack
dey do now; folks wasn't so hard-headed.
"Now after dat baby is a month ole, take up dem ashes,
sweep up de room, take ev'y thing offen dat bed an' scrub
up, clean ev'y thing she been usin' an' leave dat room jes'
lack hit was when she went in, but fust you takes meal bran'
an' put hit on de hearth, an' put hot embers over hit an'
make a smoke. Den after you done wash her clothes an' dry
'em, press 'em, hang 'em on a chair over dat smoke, den get
her up an' wash 'er good an' put her on dem clothes, an'
give her catnip tea or 'simmon bark tea. Bile de water in a
clean coffee pot an' brash hit with a little sugar, an' dey calls
hit sweatin' de fever. Give hit ev'y mornin' an' evenin'. Den
you takes her outer dere an' she got to go 'round de house,
an' go to de spring an git her a drink of spring water. Carry
a thimble with her; hits good fer de baby in teethin' time.
Take de gourd off de nail an' fill up dat thimble wid dat
water an' drink dat fust. Den you kin drink all de water
you want outer dat gourd, but you better drink outer dat
thimble fust, or your baby sho' have trouble teethin', an'
dat's right ter this here day.
"Dere's a heap to midwifin'-'bout de baby die if de
diaper tech de floor, an' all dat. An' cose you know while de
woman is 'keepin' house' she can't cross no stream. An' she
can't set in no room but hers 'til de baby's a month ole, but
she kin git up on de nine-day period lack some of 'em does
now. Some folks calls dem ole timey remedies foolish, an'
dat's how come I doan practice no mo'.
"Hits a lady comin' from Montgomery, Dr. Hester say,
to hold a meetin' here in Belmont on de secon' Monday, an'
I doan know whether I kin stan' er not. You see I doan
want to nuss if I ain't worthy an' doan know de rules, but
I know my way used ter work, but den times is changed.
Used ter be sperits too, but I always say hits imagination.
You hear folks talkin' 'bout sperits an' den you see sumpin'
what skeers you an' you say dats sperits! But dat ain't lack
midwifin'. I been skeered plenty times, but I always come
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. From Hell to Breakfast, book, 1944; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67649/m1/33/: accessed March 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.