The Adventures of Cousin Dan: A House Of Lean Times
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Me an' my family are country folks. Always have been, always will be. Most of us are 'bout as remarkable as a pig in a wallow. But not all of us. Some of us are right special, like my Cousin Dan.

He was as big as a mountain and bright as the sun, and ate like a whole herd o' horses. They say he danced with thunderclouds and talked with the flowers. And he was born to my Uncle Leroy and Aunt Petunia, down in Deadwood Valley, where the dusty flowers grow.

Now, my cousin Dan was born in the middle of a thunderstorm, and the wind outside was the devil's own fury. But when the midwife slapped Dan on his backside, he let out such a howl, the wind plumb got scared an' ran away, and they say it ain't shown its face there since.

He wasn't too big when he was born, no more'n twice the size of a normal baby, but he grew pretty quickly. By the time he was five, he was as tall as the day is long, and a few inches more besides. He got so big, in fact, that my aunt an' uncle said as he needed to build hisself a new house, on account that he kept breakin' theirs whenever he stretched his arms.

Problem is, he needed an awful big house, since he wasn't all the way finished growin' up yet. Buildin' it wasn't easy.

First thing he tried was wood. But when he got about a third of the way up, the bottom was broken into toothpicks from the weight of the rest. Next, he tried brick. But when he got about two thirds of the way up, the bottom turned to powder. That wouldn't do, so he then tried steel. But when he put the last bit of roofin' on, the bottom was broke worse than a size-two chair under a size-ten rear end.

Obviously, he needed somethin' harder than steel. He didn't know of anything like that, but he believed that if you needed somethin', you should just look around, and it'll come to you. So, he got up on the highest hill he could find, and took a good look around. He had pretty good vision, too. Had to, to know what his feet were up to. Sure enough, a few hundred miles away, he spotted a farmstead. The folks there, they were in the middle of a drought, and as any farmer knows, there's nothin' harder than lean times. Well, he took a few steps over and asked 'em if he could take their lean times away. They said as he could, if he brought them some water. That seemed a fair trade to Dan. All he needed to do now was figure out how.

He thought for a minute, and then took off his shoelaces and tied 'em together into a lasso. He looked around 'til he saw a river just twenty miles away, roped the river at a bend, and pulled it over to the homestead. The folks were so happy, they gave him their lean times and a giant corn cob pipe, which he used to blow bubbles with, not bein' old enough to smoke.

Anyhow, he took those lean times back with him and used 'em to build himself a house. He got it big enough all right, though he had to make a few adjustments on the original design. For one thing, he hadn't reckoned on the moon when he'd build it, so he had to put the roof on hinges so the moon would miss him.

And that's God's own truth. If I'm lyin', may Paul Bunyan strike me down.

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