Once there was a little girl who lived out in the country, way away from the city. She was happy living there, just her and her parents. Her life was good until summer vacation. Then, every summer the same thing happened. Her city cousin came to stay for the summer. This was a cousin, not a friend. There is a difference.

Each year, the summer would start out rather fun, but as the days went by, the cousin, a boy, begin to whine. “There’s nothing to do here. If I was home, I could walk to the picture show. If I was home, I could eat ice cream all the time. I don’t like it here.” Whine, whine, whine.

The little girl asked him if things were so good at home, why did he come here every summer?

“Well,” he said, “Ain’t my idea.” And he would stomp off.

The little girl asked her mother why her cousin came there every summer. Her mother said, “Because his mother wants him to visit his cousins.”

The little girl wondered if she was the only cousin he had, but his mother had said ‘cousins” so there had to be more.

One hot morning everyone was up. Her mother was busy in the kitchen making strawberry jelly, and her father had already left for work at the sawmill. The cousin wandered into the kitchen to whine, her mother said, “You children go outside and play. I’m busy.”

Of course, her mother was always busy and never played with the little girl so this wasn’t anything new. She and the cousin stood around for a bit, and the little girl said, “Want to go play in the woods? There’s something I want to show you down in the woods.”

img_7152The cousin shrugged his shoulders and said, “There ain’t nothing in them woods I want to see.”

The little girl smiled a cute little smile and said, “I can show you where some little people live.

He looked at her and said, “I don’t believe you.”

“Ok,” said the little girl. “But they are there.” She turned to walk away.

“Wait!” yelled the cousin. “Yes, I guess we could go see them.”

So the little girl got a Mason jar, filled it with ice water, made some peanut butter crackers, and off they went.

They walked and walked until the cousin said, “I’m tired, and I don’t believe you anymore.”

“No, no, come on… it’s just a little farther down here.” So, on they went. Soon they came to a deep gully made of red dirt. The little girl walked over to the gully and looked in. “Here it is,” she said. “Here is where they live.”

Her cousin came over and looked into the gully. “I don’t see any little people.”

“Oh well,” said the little girl, “You have to get down there and knock on the walls, and they will come out. Then you can see them.”

The cousin looked down into the gully again and asked, “How do I get down there?”

“There’s a vine,” said the little girl and she pointed to it.”

The cousin hemmed and hawed for a while and then shook his head and slid down the vine. “Are you coming?” he asked.

“Nope, I’ve already seen them,” she said.

He stood at the bottom of the gully and looked around. “I don’t see any little people… you told me a fib.”

“Oh yes,” said the little girl. “You gotta pound on the walls so they know you’re here.”

“Ok,” said the cousin, and he pounded on the walls… hard. “I still don’t see… hey, what’s this? Hey, something is biting me? HEY! HEY!” The cousin began jumping up and down and yelling and slapping his arms and legs and his bare chest. He came climbing up the wall of the gully and ran toward the house. The little girl looked down into the gully and said, “Thanks” to the big black ants.

Her cousin got back to the house before her, but her mother was not in the house at the time… she was in the garden. He ran into the house yelling and hollering. Soon the little girl got back. She asked him if he needed to take a shower and said, “YES!” So she got him some soap and towels, and he took a shower. But even after the shower, he still was itching a lot. The little girl looked at him for a while and said, “I have something that will make the itch go away. Do you want me to get it and put it on you?”

“Yes! You stupid girl. I do!”

She smiled again and went to the bathroom and came back with a bottle. “Are you sure you want this?” she asked.

“Yes, yes, yes,” he shouted. So the little girl poured the rubbing alcohol all over his back and arms and legs, and he forgot about the itch!

About this time her mother came back into the house and said, “What in the world is going on?”

“Well, I asked if he wanted me to make the itch go away, and he said, ‘yes, you stupid girl,’ so I did.”

“What itch?” asked her mother loudly.

“The itch from where the ants bited him,” said the little girl.

“You took him to the ant gully?” her mother asked more loudly.

The little girl just looked at the floor, turned around and went into her room. Her mother followed her.

Two things came of this… the cousin never came back in the summer or any other time, an the mother and little girl (after a small spanking) had a good laugh over city slickers who don’t recognize an ant gully.

This tale is true ‘cause I am that little girl.

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