Now it's said that a long time ago a fellow named Jeb took to the foothills of Texas to live off the land. Now old Jeb loved nothin better that a pot of beans with some meat in it, and he'd eat off that pot of beans for a week or more.
Well one winter night old Jeb couldn't find nothin but a scrawny old squrrel to put in his bean pot. He cleaned it, cut it up into pieces and plopped it into his kettle. Leaving his pot and meat and beans there in the fireplace in the red brick chimney, he went out to the firewood pile to gather some wood. He thought about the small bit of meat he shot that day and shook his head. Laughing he grabbed a bundle of logs and went back inside.
Setting them by the door old Jeb was startled when he turned to see this horrid thing sitting near his kettle. It was hideously skinny! All sunken in and white like a corpse. Red eyes that never seemed to blink. Scaly like things all over its body. It stuck it's long neck out and down went the head into the pot. Jeb saw it pull out a nice chunk of meat. In a few snaps it was gone.
Now old Jeb wasn't about to let some dried up reptile with red eyes steal his supper.
"Now you cut that out!" Jeb shouted. "You get going you worthless gila monster!"
To this the creature replied by snapping it's mouth all full of needle sharp teeth. Slapped it's tail twice. It's tail seemed to be the only fatty part of it's body. It seemed rather proud of it's quilled tail.
"Get out of there yuh filthy beast!" Old Jeb shouted, but the lizard only snapped his jaws and slapped his tail again.
"Get out of my vittles and fixins or I'll cut that proud tail of yourn off!"
To this the creature snatched up the last piece of meat. Watching Jeb it took a large gulp of beans. His head turned to a side he watched old Jeb. Then it spat all those beans all over Jeb's face. It laughed with a hissing noise.
This was more than Jeb could take. Using his ax he hacked that fat tail off.
"Taily! Taily! Taily!" The creature howled as it climbed up the chimney.
"Taily! Taily!" It shouted as it ran into the night.
Now Old Jeb sat next to that pot thinking of those meatless beans. Blood was sparyed everywhere and even inside the beans. Near to his foot the tail was still squirming and worming about the floor. Picking it up Jeb was about to toss it away, but he looked at it, and thought "meat's meat." He shrugged his shoulders and used his hunting knife to hack off the spikes. He plopped the tail into his pot.
He had no idea what that critter was, but he sure thought it tasted pretty good. He cleaned those tail bones clean.
After he was done with the meat he swallowed those bones whole! He loved the flavor that much!
He went right to sleep that night with a belly full of meat.
That following day he shot himself two fat squrriels. As he went home he heard a rustling of the bushes behind him.
"Taily bone! Taillllly bone! All I want's my taillly bone!" A voice rasped.
Jeb grabbed his ax from his belt.
"Who's there!" He barked.
"Taily bone, taily bone! All I want's my taillly bone!" It hissed again.
"Git! Before I cut something else off, yuh lizard!"
The noise stopped, and a few seconds later from further away came.
"Taily bone, taily bone! All I want's my taily bone!"
That night Jeb made a huge fire to make sure the critter wouldn't slither down the chimney again.
His sleep was broken that night by a scratching sounds from his front door. As he sat up he heard it.
"Taily bone! Taiiily bone! All I want's my taily bone!"
"Git, before I have your arm as breakfast tomorrow!" With that the critter vanished.
The next day went as the same as the day before. Jeb was returning home and the critter snuck up behind him.
From the bushes came: "Taily bone, tailly bone! All I want's my taily bone!"
Jeb raised his ax, the creature slunk away.
Old Jeb was awakened again that night, 'cept this time he heard a tapping noise from the window above his bed. He saw a pair of red eyes peering at him from outside.
"Taily bone! Taily bone! All I want's my taiiilly bone!" It snarled.
"Be gone, ya devil!" He brandished his ax. The critter vanished into the nohgt.
The following day again as he returned the critter snuck up behind him again. Jeb warded it off with his ax.
That night his sleep was broken again by a chewing, scraping sound below the house. From under his cabin came.
"Taily bone, taily bone! All I want's my Taily Bone!"
Jeb shouted and pounded on the floor until the thing became silent.
That morning Jeb woke to a scratching sound. It was coming from the leg of his bed! Leaning over Jeb saw a hole in the floor! From under his bed came the familiar voice:
"Taily bone! Taily bone!" The reptile's head appeared.
Jeb reached for his ax finding it missing. In the creature's grasp was the ax. It flung the weapon across the room.
"Taily bone! Taily bone! All I want's my taily bone!"
"It's gone! I ate it!" Jeb shouted.
"Taily bone! Taily Bone! I'll gets my taily bone!"
Jeb's screams where heard clear over to his neighbor's who lived at the foot of Jeb's hill. Now he went rushing up to see what Jeb was screaming about.
He found the front door open wide. He carefully walked into the house. He saw the hole in the floor, then he saw a gruesome sight: Jeb laid on his bed with his guts torn wide open.
Screaming he fled to his house. It took him several hours to calm himself. Finally he rode his horse into town to get the Sheriff. As they rode back to old Jeb's place, they saw a plume of smoke in the sky as they neared the cabin.
When they reached Jeb's cabin they found it burnt to the ground. The only thing remaining was the red brick chimney.
Both were confused about this. They paced their horses about the chimney wondering how the fire started.
A rattling noise came from that chimney. The horses bucked wildly. And from the chimney they heard something that made them run away as fast as they could, and they swore never to go up to that damned cabin ever again.
They say if you find Jeb's Hill, and if you walk through the woods on Jeb's Hill, you might find in those woods a red brick chimney all covered in moss worn by years of weather. And if you find that chimney and if you listen real careful, you might here what those two men heard.
"Taily bone! Taily bone! Now I gots my taily bone!"
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