The old Negro man stood patiently by, listening to decaying rhythms of a huge locomotive as it slowed and hissed to a rest. An engineer from the train then stepped off into a cloud of turbulent mist. Next to the mighty steam engine a wooden water tower rose from the floor of a Georgia swamp, and while he attended to replenishing needed water for his thirsty machine, the old Negro slowly climbed aboard a passenger car.
He carried a dead raccoon slung over one shoulder. The few commuters paid scant attention to the old gentleman making his way down the aisle, or to the peculiar burden he brought. Clutching the tail of the animal, he walked toward the rear of the car. A man dressed in a suit sat alone in the last seat. He lowered a newspaper to stare at the approaching sight. Their eyes met, so the old man stopped to ask.
“Want to buy a coon?”
The refined chap shook his papers and snorted.
“My good man. What in heaven’s name would I want with a coon?”
“You would eat it, sir.”
The gent glowered up at the old man.
“Eat a coon? Why, I would rather eat a dog first.”
The elder Negro smiled.
“Sir, if you is raised to eats dog, you eats dog.”