When my friend Bubba and I were growing up, we enjoyed riding our bikes.
Not far down the road was the local cemetery, and just inside the cemetery fence was a rather large pecan tree. One fall day Bubba and I decided we would ride down to the cemetery and pick us up a bucket of nuts. We hid our bikes down in the woods and walked back into the cemetery. When we had our bucket full of pecans we sat down by the tree, out of sight, and began dividing up the nuts.
“One for you, one for me, one for you, one for me,” said Bubba.
Several of the nuts missed the bucket and rolled down toward the old wrought iron fence.
Bout that time, Billy Joe the local tattle-tale, came down the road on his bicycle. As he passed the cemetery, he thought he heard voices from inside the cemetery, and he stopped to investigate. Sure enough he heard, “One for you, one for me, one for you, one for me.”
Billy Joe just knew what it was and jumped back on his bike and took off down the road. Just around the bend of the road he met old man Brown hobbling along on his cane.
“Come here quick,” Billy Joe said to Mr. Brown. “You ain’t gonna believe what I just head! Satan and the Lord are down at the cemetery dividing up souls.”
The old man said, “Beat it kid. Can’t you see my rheumatism is acting up, and I can’t hardly walk.”
Billy Joe just insisted though, so finally the old man hobbled slowly down toward the cemetery.
Standing by the fence they heard, “One for you, one for me, one for you, one for me.”
The old man whispered, “Boy, you been telling me the truth. Let’s see if we can see the Lord.”
Shaking with fear, they peered through the fence, yet were still unable to see anything. Mr. Brown and Billy Joe gripped the wrought iron fence bars tighter and tighter as they tried to get a glimpse of the Lord.
At last they heard, “One for you, one for me, that’s all.”
“Now, let’s go get those nuts by the fence and we’ll be done.”
They say old Mr. Brown had the lead for a good half-mile before Billy Joe passed him with his bike.
J.A. Bolton is a farmer and professional storyteller. He lives in Rockingham, N.C.