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Reflections: The Sow in the Cemetery

About three miles south of Amory, Mississippi, there is a small place called Becker. It’s on new Highway 25, and old Highway 25 is south of Becker on the left. A mile further is the Green Briar Cemetery. North of the cemetery is a little creek.

This is about the Green Briar Cemetery, a swimming hole and a one-lane bridge.
Now, back in the mid-1940s, Mr. Russell Tubb had a 40 acre farm and two story house, right there on this creek. He had several children. Also in Becker, there were several boys: R.J. Tubb, Felix “Pete” Tubb, Howard Shields, Frank Shields, Charley Holland, Richard Moss, Joe Leech and Don Leech.
Just east of the cemetery they had a swimming hole that these boys would all go to two or three times a month, usually in the evening. They would swim and have a good time until it go real muddy, then they would head up the creek and set out hooks hoping to catch some fish. When they would get back, the water would have cleared up some, and they would swim a little longer. By now the sun was getting low, and they would build a campfire just before dark.
The boys would cook hotdogs and roast marshmallows they had brought to have for a snack. They had coal-oil lanterns for light. Later, they would go back to see if they had any fish on the hooks and lines. This was around 10:30. They told stories for awhile. By now, the fire was about to go out. Back then, Green Briar was on the west side of old Highway 25 and was a gravel road that had a one-lane wooden bridge. They were about ready to call it a day and head home.
Then all of a sudden a noise came from the cemetery across the road! One of the boys said, “Did you hear that?” One said, “You reckon it’s a ghost?” A few minutes later, they heard it again! That part of the cemetery had a fence around it, but it had holes in it. So Pete said, “I’m going over and check it out.” One other boy said, “I’m going with you.” They took the lanterns with them and crossed the road and found place where they could get through the fence. They heard the noise again, and they then followed the sound.
Unknown to them, Mr. Tubb had a sow about to have a litter of pigs. She must have wandered into the cemetery looking for a good place to have them. One of the graves had sunk in about two feet, and she must have fallen into it! She had six little pigs, and they were feeding away. The old sow was making those odd noises.
Pete said, “That is OUR sow! She’s been missing for about two days!” They went home and told Mr. Tubb, so Mr. Tubb and the boys went back the next day and carried thee sow and her pigs home and all was well.
Now, back to the old wooden one-lane bridge. This story was told to me by Charley Holland. Charley lived about a mile east of the cemetery back then. His neighbor, Mrs. Moss, lived about a quarter of a mile from him. The Moss’s had cows and chickens. Mrs. Moss would milk the cows and also make butter and gather eggs all week. On Saturday mornings, she would load up her 1939 Ford and head for Amory to sell to the vendors. People loved to buy fresh products from the surrounding country farms. Charley said you could set your clock by her when she would be headed for Amory.
About 10 a.m. he said, “Mrs. Moss must have been running a little late this morning.” He said he could hear her speeding down the gravel road. When she got to the old one-lane road, she didn’t let up! Mr. Newt Ashcraft was coming from the south, and he saw her, did some quick thinking and stopped, trying to give her half the bridge. She took the shoulder sideways and took out three fence posts off Mr. Russell Tubb’s fence. But she got back on Highway 25 North, somehow.
She got to Amory and never broke an egg or spilled any milk! I would say Mrs. Moss was a pretty good driver.

This Reflections story is from Donald Boyd (as told by Charley Holland) of Amory, Mississippi, as seen in “The Oxford So & So.”
If you would like to contribute your own Reflections story, send it, along with photos, to hottytoddynews@gmail.com.

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