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The Minister’s Wooing
by [?]

“‘There, Huldy,’ he says, quite red in the face, ‘we’ve got him now’; and he traveled off to the barn with him as lively as a cricket.

“Huldy came behind, just chokin’ with laugh, and afraid the minister would look ’round and see her.

“‘Now, Huldy, we’ll crook his legs and set him down,’ says the Parson, when they got him to the nest; ‘you see, he is getting quiet, and he’ll set there all right.’

“And the Parson, he sot him down; and old Tom, he sot there solemn enough and held his head down all droopin’, lookin’ like a rail pious old cock as long as the Parson sot by him.

“‘There; you see how still he sets,’ says the Parson to Huldy.

“Huldy was ‘most dyin’ for fear she should laugh. ‘I’m afraid he’ll get up,’ says she, ‘when you do.’

“‘Oh, no, he won’t!’ says the Parson, quite confident. ‘There, there,’ says he, layin’ his hands on him as if pronouncin’ a blessin’.

“But when the Parson riz up, old Tom he riz up, too, and began to march over the eggs.

“‘Stop, now!’ says the Parson. ‘I’ll make him get down agin; hand me that corn-basket; we’ll put that over him.’

“So he crooked old Tom’s legs and got him down agin; and they put the corn-basket over him, and then they both stood and waited.

“‘That’ll do the thing, Huldy,’ said the Parson.

“‘I don’t know about it,’ says Huldy.

“‘Oh, yes, it will, child; I understand,’ says he.

“Just as he spoke, the basket riz up and stood, and they could see old Tom’s long legs.

“‘I’ll make him stay down, confound him,’ says the Parson, for you see, parsons is men, like the rest on us, and the Doctor had got his spunk up.

“‘You jist hold him a minute, and I’ll get something that’ll make him stay, I guess; and out he went to the fence and brought in a long, thin, flat stone, and laid it on old Tom’s back.

“‘Oh, my eggs!’ says Huldy. ‘I’m afraid he’s smashed ’em!’

“And sure enough, there they was, smashed flat enough under the stone.

“‘I’ll have him killed,’ said the Parson. ‘We won’t have such a critter ’round.’

“Wall next week, Huldy, she jist borrowed the minister’s horse and side-saddle and rode over to South Parish to her Aunt Bascome’s– Widder Bascome’s, you know, that lives there by the trout-brook–and got a lot o’ turkey eggs o’ her, and come back and set a hen on ’em, and said nothin’; and in good time there was as nice a lot o’ turkey- chicks as ever ye see.

“Huldy never said a word to the minister about his experiment, and he never said a word to her; but he sort o’ kep more to his books and didn’t take it on him to advise so much.

“But not long arter he took it into his head that Huldy ought to have a pig to be a-fattin’ with the buttermilk.

“Mis’ Pipperidge set him up to it; and jist then old Tom Bigelow, out to Juniper Hill, told him if he’d call over he’d give him a little pig.

“So he sent for a man, and told him to build a pig-pen right out by the well, and have it all ready when he came home with his pig.

“Huldy said she wished he might put a curb round the well out there, because in the dark sometimes a body might stumble into it; and the Parson said he might do that.

“Wal, old Aikin, the carpenter, he didn’t come till ‘most the middle of the afternoon; and then he sort o’ idled, so that he didn’t get up the well-curb till sundown; and then he went off, and said he’d come and do the pig-pen next day.

“Wal, arter dark, Parson Carryl, he driv into the yard, full chizel, with his pig.

“‘There, Huldy. I’ve got you a nice little pig.’

“‘Dear me!’ says Huldy; ‘where have you put him?’

“‘Why, out there in the pig-pen, to be sure.’