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Dey Ain’t No Ghosts
by [?]

ONCE ‘pon a time dey was a li’l black boy whut he name was Mose. An’ whin he come erlong to be ’bout knee-high to a mewel, he ‘gin to git powerful ‘fraid ob ghosts, ‘ca’se dey’s a grabeyard in de hollow, an’ a buryin’-ground on de hill, an’ a cemuntary in betwixt an’ between, an’ dey ain’t nuffin’ but trees nowhar in de clearin’ by de shanty an’ down de hollow whar de pumpkin-patch am.

An’ whin de night come erlong, dey ain’t no sounds at all whut kin be heard in dat locality but de rain-doves, whut mourn out, “Oo-oo-o-o-o!” jes dat trembulous an’ scary, an’ de owls, whut mourn out, “Whut-whoo-o-o-o!” more trembulous an’ scary dan dat, an’ de wind, whut mourn out, “You-you-o-o-o!” mos’ scandalous, trembulous an’ scary ob all. Dat a powerful onpleasant locality for a li’l black boy whut he name was Mose.

‘Ca’se dat li’l black boy he so specially black he can’t be seen in de dark at all ‘cept by de whites ob he eyes. So whin he go outen de house at night, he ain’t dast shut he eyes, ‘ca’se den ain’t nobody can see him in de least. He jest as invidsible as nuffin’! An’ who know but whut a great, big ghost bump right into him ‘ca’se it can’t see him? An’ dat shore w’u’d scare dat li’l black boy powerful bad, ‘ca’se yever’body knows whut a cold, damp pussonality a ghost is.

So whin dat li’l black Mose go’ outen de shanty at night, he keep he eyes wide open, you may be shore. By day he eyes ’bout de size ob butter-pats, an’ come sundown he eyes ’bout de size ob saucers; but whin he go outer de shanty at night, he eyes am de size ob de white chiny plate whut set on de mantel; an’ it powerful hard to keep eyes whut am de size ob dat from a-winkin’ an’ a-blinkin’.

So whin Hallowe’en come erlong, dat li’l black Mose he jes mek up he mind he ain’t gwine outen de shack at all. He cogitate he gwine stay right snug in de shack wid he pa an’ he ma, ‘ca’se de rain-doves tek notice dat de ghosts are philanderin’ roun’ de country, ‘ca’se dey mourn out, “Oo-oo-o-o-o!” an’ de owls dey mourn out, “You-you-o-o-o!” De eyes ob dat li’l black Mose dey as big as de white chiny plate whut set on de mantel by side de clock, an’ de sun jes a-settin’!

So dat all right. Li’l black Mose he scrooge back in de corner by de fireplace, an’ he ‘low he gwine stay dere till he gwine to bed. But bimeby Sally Ann, whut live up de road, draps in, an’ Mistah Sally Ann, whut is her husban’, he draps in an’ Zack Badget an’ de school-teacher whut board at Unc’ Silas Diggs’s house drap in, an’ a powerful lot ob folks drap in. An’ li’l black Mose he seen dat gwine be one s’prise party, an’ he right down cheerful ’bout dat.

So all dem folks shake dere hands an’ ‘low “Howdy,” an’ some ob dem say: “Why, dere’s li’l Mose! Howdy, li’l Mose?” An’ he so please he jes grin an’ grin, ‘ca’se he ain’t reckon whut gwine happen. So bimeby Sally Ann, whut live up de road, she say, “Ain’t no sort o’ Hallowe’en lest we got a jack-o’-lantern.” An’ de school-teacher, whut board at Unc’ Silas Diggs’s house, she ‘low, “Hallowe’en jes no Hallowe’en at all ‘thout we got a jack-o’-lantern.” An’ li’l black Mose he stop a-grinnin’, an’ he scrooge so far back in de corner he ‘most scrooge frough de wall. But dat ain’t no use, ‘ca’se he ma say, “Mose, go on down to de pumpkin-patch an’ fotch a pumpkin.”

“I ain’t want to go,” say li’l black Mose.

“Go on erlong wid yo’,” say he ma, right commandin’.