> > http://islandconnectionnews.com/?p=1949
> Gullah ghost story
> By Sidi Limehouse, Rosebank Farms
> ........................................................
> The English began to populate the Charleston area in the late 17th century 
> and their numbers multiplied in the early 18th century. Most came from 
> Barbados - another English colony - because Barbados had become all used up; 
> the land, that is. Plantations had grown and the tillable land was under 
> ownership and planted. Charlestowne and the surrounding islands were new 
> land and opportunity awaited those who chose to come to this new frontier. 
> These people were knowledgeable about what they faced; forests and swamps. 
> To clear the land and to drain the swamps they needed labor and they brought 
> some labor in the form of slaves, but they needed many more slaves. Thus, 
> the slave trade brought the labor and the planters borrowed money to buy 
> them.
> Creating a working and profitable plantation was no easy task. The problems 
> the plantation owners faced were numerous and daunting. One problem - who 
> was going to oversee these workers - was quickly solved. The English looked 
> to Scotland for help. They recruited young Scotsmen to train the slaves, to 
> teach them a new language. The young Scots were most successful. That is why 
> the language known as Gullah has such a Scottish brogue.
> The tale I am relating to you was told to me in 1949 by Mr. Ben Brown who 
> was then 98 years old. (At the time, I was 11 years old.) He had been a 
> slave living at Mullet Hall. He had belonged to Simon Legare, owner of 
> several plantations on John's, Wadmalaw, and Edisto islands. He and I were 
> friends and I learned much from Mr. Brown. Things have changed since those 
> days; the really important things remain the same. We all spoke Gullah. We 
> were passengers on the same ship. This tale is told how I heard it, in 
> Gullah. There will be no translation at the end:
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
> Gal, she beena kinda diffent she ain hanged out wit she kind. She ben a 
> loner eber since she 3 or 4 year old. By en by she git de repetaton she mus 
> be crazy. By de time she ben about 20 year no body see she for de longest. 
> It come to de concluson Gal mus be ded in de wood das wher she stay. Mr. 
> Legare ax for people to look fo em. She was a commoty an he wan she back. No 
> body fin em. He start fo turn cold en de peoples go in de wood to get rack 
> for to mek fire. Eny how Labode find en a tiket, Gal she be ded. Him tel eby 
> body what tiket Gal be ded in.
> Eby body in dem day eats all kina ting. Eby body had gun shoot coon sqrel an 
> possom. De hunter mans know afta de body lay fo a long time possom favorite 
> place were up in the rib gage. De possum out de rain he out de cold. He 
> home. All de hunter man needs is a crocus1. He put de crocus over de hole 
> where de possom comes and go. Den him git a pole en he beat on the hide over 
> de rib. Mr. possom wake he sef and run out de hole right in de crocus. 
> Hunter man grab de crocus en he gots a nice supper.
> De way you cook possom is he got to be swinge git him by de tail, bil fire, 
> hole em oder fire, swing all he hair til him look like bald head man. He 
> ready fo pot.
> Some yongstr tink dem wanta be hunter man. Dem git a crocus dem get a pole. 
> Dem tink he be mo funnr ef dey goes at night. Dey find a lighter tot makes a 
> torch. De moon, he be full. By en by dey find Gal. De tiket been so tick dey 
> haffa use torch to see em good. Gal leg bones aint got no skin on em, neder. 
> She hed de teet tat shine; Gal had goop teet. Dem yongst be kina skeret. No 
> body say notin. Sonny Boy, he be de instagator. Eby body look at Sonny Boy. 
> Him get de crocus put em ober de hole. Sonny Boy tell Remus Lee to use de 
> pole and beat de ribs. Remus Lee ain move him scaret to beat Gal rib. Him 
> tink a haint2 be in dem rib. Bot dat time de torch, him go out. Sonny Boy 
> knows no turn back. Efen he do de people laff on him. Sonny Boy gits de pole 
> rise em up jes den a cloud cross de moon. Whack go de pole. De rib shake an 
> shudder. Den de crocus start fo mov dey gots em. Dem de moon shine gain 
> Sonny Boy grab de crocus. Dem start fo home only trouble den go de wrong 
> way. De tiket were bery tick all de time de possom wer playin possom. By en 
> by de moon come back out en dey see de pasture an bout haf way cross de 
> pasture de possom stir. Sonny Boy don say notin. He gots de possom in de 
> crocus. De moon ben rel ful en the pasture light up. Dey, the other res, was 
> way ahead of Sonny Boy. Eby body bena skert Sonny Boy cant look like him 
> skeret so he walk a lettle slower. Bout dat time de moon close ober by 
> cloud. It be dark gain. Dem oder res hold on each oder. Dey was bout 20 step 
> from de rail fence. By en by dey hears Sonny Boy wakkin real slow. Unbenonst 
> to Sonny Boy dey was a hole in de crocus and by en by de possom fine em. 
> Sonny Boy had him a big coat and a big hat on he hed. De possom crawl on top 
> Sonny Boy hat. Sonny Boy fel somen on he head en stop dey other res hea when 
> he stop. Bout dat time de moon come out gain no real out bout a liddle dey, 
> the other chillen look where dey tink Sonny Boy been. In de haf light dey 
> see dis monsta. De possom ben a top Sonny Boy hat. He teet white as snow.
> De nex monin de ober seer tell eby body must run de cow back in de pasture 
> cause de bull done knock a big hole in de fence and de cow in de cotton 
> field. No body say notin. After de war Sonny Boy go to school. He only stay 
> one year. He learn how to write him name. He quit. People start fo tease he 
> for de possom on he hed. Him go to New York. Work in big hotel. In New York 
> people don know about de possom. Eny body ax Sonny Boy to do foolishness, 
> Sonny Boy tel dem he done beat one cow ded with a stick. He ain gonna do dat 
> no mo.
> ---------------------------------------------
> Crocus: a burlap sack, or gunnysack.
> Haint: ghost, apparition, lost soul. 
> ------------------------------------
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