Danger on Mule Head Island

Cast Bronze 2007
12"x 16" x 24"

Most of de black folk what decides to run nawth durin' freedom time was very po' and not prepared properly for such goins' on. Lawd, we went in all directions, not carin' whichaway, jes' getting' off dis here plantation. 'Bout a year after I up an' runs, I marries up wid dis injun woman, and we had two girl chillruns. So we decides to head nawth through de Carolinas. I was tole oftentimes by others dat de travel is rough, and the dangerous animals be plentiful.

One night whilst camping near a deep, dark cave, my wife and chillren kept smellin' dis awful stench. Each day it seemed to get stronger and stronger. All at once we hears dis loud howlin' growl. And standin' before us on two legs as tall as a pine tree was dis black momma bear. Her babies were nowhere in sight, but I speck she was awfully hungry and tryin' to find somethin' to eat, to fill herself up with milk to feed her lil baby bears. My wife had woke afore me, I spect she was standin' on guard de whole night. Anyhow, wid one strong chunkin' move, her tomahawk axe found its way deep into the coat of that bar's shoulder. Wall, that just seemed to make de bar madder. Wid one powerful swap, she knocked over de kettle of vittles, and prit near put out the fire dat we used to keep ourselves warm.

Dat's when I rose up wid some burnin' kindling 'in my hand. I pushed it in dat ole bar's face as many times as I could. My wife quickly gathered our two baby girls, and I stood dere facin' dat bar like an ole African warrior. I could smell the stench of its breath, and all its mangy fur. When she moved, she seemed to move inside her skin--her eyes were small and beady, and full of fire. Her teeth were yella white--some of them broken-- de way she was comin' at us told me dat she was not goin' to leave widout one of us in her belly.

All of a sudden, she stopped chargin' as if somethin' far away called her. I don't know what it twas, but I'm shore glad it happened at that time, cuz she slowly turned and lumbered off. Lawd life can sho'nuf be hard on some folks, when all dey want is a lil taste of freedom.