From Hell to Breakfast Page: 71
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LEAVES OF MESQUITE GRASS
Perhaps these bits of early Texas humor may have creat-
ed a taste for a fuller meal. If so, here are a few samples.
Love was as potent in pioneer days as it is now. When
Jake Short cracked down to write Jemima his heart-pangs,
"a love letter, as is a love letter" resulted. Unfortunately,
he lost it between Austin and Georgetown, and a heartless
ruffian found it and sent it in to a newspaper for publication.
"Millions yet unborn," as the editor said, may profit by
reading it but poor Jake departed in shame for "Californy."
Delicious Miss Jemima: What have you done to me! Ever since
the "corn shucking" when I had you for a pardner for two "hoe-
downs" and a "double-shuffle," I hain't had one good night's rest.
Just as soon as I lay down and git the heading all fixed to my no-
tion, and the kivering nicely tucked in, I begins right straight to
think of you, an' it 'pears to me I ken see you just as plain with them
are black eyes of yourn, and them plump round cheeks, and soft
pulpy lips, as if you was right clost to me sure enough. This makes
me restive an' oneasy, an' I kicks an' tumbles about till I gits into a
cold sweat, an' then when at last I do go off into a cat nap, I'm sure
to wake up immediately with the kivering rolled up in a hard knot
round my neck, an' my nose stopped as tight as a bottle, an' all the
next day I am going about the house sneezing like a dog that has had
his head hilt over tar and feathers for the distemper. I have gone
off my feed entirely, and look as lean as a shad after spawning time.
Even middling and white head cabbage (of which in gineral I am
oncommon fond) aint nigh so satisfactory as they used to be afore
I knowed you. Oh Jemima, Jemima, what have you done to me?
Only this mornin' Mammy made a whole lot of buck wheat cakes for
breakfast, an' as I'm powerful fond of 'em, I smeared a pile about
as big as a hatters block with fresh butter and honey, but arter I had
got 'em all fixed to my notion, I thought of them ar' soft pulpy lips
of yourn, an' I couldn't have tuck a bite if it had been to save me.
I tell you what, Jemima, when I leaves hot buck wheat cakes an'
honey without a considerable scuffle, you may depend ther's some-
thing or nother the matter with me sure. The other day my Mammy
says to me, says she,
"Jake, I wish you would go to the cowpen an' rope a gentle cow,
an' bring her to the door, as I want some warm milk right from the
cow to give the baby that's teething."
Well, off I goes, thinking of nothing but you all the time, an'
after a while I got back and out comes Mammy to milk the cow, but
she stopt all of a sudden an' says she,
"Jake, what on airth do you mean by bringing up that great beast
Here’s what’s next.
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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/m1/79/: accessed March 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.