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Larger than Life

“Well, I was a night watchman,” said Mack. “I was a pretty good watchman, too. Never went to sleep much. But this night I was tired and kind of dozed off and got to dreaming about falling off the bridge into the water. That woke me up with a start, when I hit the water in my dream. Anyway, when I woke up, I found I had kicked my lantern off the bridge into the water. I looked down and could kind of see a faint glimmer, but I wasn’t fixing to go down and retrieve it.”

“Some five or six years later, I was fishing off that same bridge in about the same place where I kicked my lantern over. Well, I felt something heavy on my line when I went to bring it up. So I pulled and pulled and got it up, and I’ll be damned if it wasn’t that lantern still burning.”

A neighbor named Martin was sitting nearby and couldn’t let Mack’s story go unchallenged. He said, “About a month ago I went fishing down in the Gulf. We were about ten miles out when I set up my lines. Saw one of them kind of quiver, so I pulled it in, and on the hook was a beautiful ten-pound fresh-water bass.”

One of the onlookers who hadn’t opened his mouth the whole time exclaimed, “You old fellows are getting too old to tell all those lies. Better be making peace with your Maker instead of making the devil smile.”

To which Mack replied, “If he’ll knock ten pounds off his fish, I’ll blow out my lantern…”

Source: Florida Folktales edited by: J. Russell Reaver

Larger than Life

Category: Folk Tales
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