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Slewfoot Sally and the Flying Mule & Other True Tall Tales from Texas Piney Woods

TRUE, FANTASTIC STORIES FROM THE AWARD-WINNING FANTASY AUTHOR’S CHILDHOOD! These stories are based on things Balrog Award winner Ardath Mayhar saw and heard of growing up in the Piney Woods of East Texas. They are all based on true events, but in the tradition of her native Texas, the author has stretched each a bit. As she writes, “‘The Backfire’ is based on a tale told me by a friend about a doctor in the old days in Nacogdoches, Texas. ‘The Dullshooter’ is another story was told me by a friend about someone they knew personally. The caged-in grave is supposed to be in a small cemetery near Frankston, Texas. Its tenant actually dug himself out twice before he stayed put. I do hope he didn’t try the third time! ‘The Possum-Cats’ adventure was the work of my own grandfather Ellington and two of his brothers. They were the ones who chased those cows along the frozen creek, too. In fact it was my granddad who was whipped every morning before school began, in the certain knowledge it would have to be done and it was better to get it over with. The crippled boy is patterned after my shirttail kin, Jack Windham, who was, for many years, a doctor in Shelby County, Texas. ‘Cow in the Canefield’ happened to a friend from Appleby, Texas. My younger brother and I roamed the woods, fished in the ponds, waded in the creeks, and learned the ways of the Piney Woods in the way that sticks with you forever. That was a world that has gone as completely as ancient Rome. Too bad — it was a hard life but a satisfying one. You may realize by now that it is very hard to make up anything much stranger or more outre than what actually happens here in the Piney Woods.” These 23 stories are amusing, frightening, and even thought-provoking.

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