Day 1: Dear Boudreaux, Tanks for de bird in de Pear tree. I fix it
las’ night with dirty rice. I doan tink de Pear tree will grow in the swamp, so
I swap if for a Satsuma.
Day 2: Dear Boudreaux, You letter say you sent two turtle doves, but all
I got was two scrawny pigeons, Anyway, I mixed dem with andouille an made
some gumbo out of dem.
Day 3: Dear Boudreaux, Why doan you sent some crawfish? I’m tired of
eating dem darn birds. I gave two of dose prissy French chickens to Marie
Trahan over at Gran Bayou to spar with her fighting rooster. I fed the tird one to my dog, Phideaux.
Day 4: Dear Boudreaux, Mon Dieux! I tol you no more friggin birds. Deez
four, what you call dem “calling birds”, were so noisy you could hear dem
all de way to Napoleonville. I used dere necks for my crab traps and fed de
rest of dem to de gators.
Day 5: Dear Boudreaux, You finally sen’ somethin useful. I like dem
golden rings, me. I hocked dem at da pawn shop in Thibodaux and got enuf money to fix da shaft on my shrimp boat an buy a round for da boys at de Raisin’ Cane Lounge. Merci Beaucoup!
Day 6: Dear Boudreaux, Couchon! Back to da birds, you coonass turkey!
Poor egg suckin’ Phideaux is scared to death at dem six geeses. He tried to
eat dem’s eggs and dey peck de heck out ah his snout. De geeses are good at eating cockroaches, though. I may stuff one of dem wit erster dressing on Christmas day.
Day 7: Dear Boudreaux, I’m gonna wring your fool neck next time I see
you. Le-Roy, da mailman, is ready to kill ya. The merde from all dem birds is
stinkin’ up his mailboat. He afraid someone will slip on dat stuff and sue
him good. I let those seven swans loose to swim on de bayou and some duck
hunters from Mississippi blasted dem out of de water.
Day 8: Dear Boudreaux, poor ole Le-Roy, he had to make tree trips on
his mailboat to deliver dem eight maids a milkin and their cows. Dem cows
got spooked by da gators and almost tipped over da boat. I doan like
dem shiftless maids, me no. I tolt dem to get to work guttin fish and
sweeping the camp, but dey say it not in dair contract. Dey act like dey too good ta skin the nutrias I catched las night.
Day 9: Dear Boudreaux, What you trying to do, huh? Le-Roy had to borrow
the Lutcher ferry to carry dem jumpin twits you call Lords-a-Leaping across the
bayou. As soon as dey gots here, dey wanted a tea break with crumpets. I
doan know what dat means but I says, “Well, La Di Da. You get Chicory coffee
or nuttin.” Mon Dieu, Emile. What I’m gonna feed all dese bozos? Dey too
snooty for fried nutria and de cows done eat up my turnip greens.
Day 10: Dear Boudreaux, Youse gots to be out of yo mind! If de mailman don’t
kill you, I will fo sure. Today, he deliver ten half nikid floozies from
Bourbon Street. Dey said dey be “Ladies Dancin” but dey doan act like
ladies in front of dose Limey twits. One of dem got bit by a water moccasin over by da out-house. I butcher two cows to feed tout le monde, then had to buy toilet paper; the Sears catalog wasn’t good enuf fer dose hoity toity Lords’ royal behins.
Day 11: Dear Boudreaux, where y’at? Cheerio an pip pip. Your eleven pipers
piping arrived today from the House of Blues, second lining as dey got of
de boat. We fixed stuffed goose and beef jambalaya, finished off my shine, now
we having a fais-do-do. Da new mailman, he bring a bottle of Sazerac and he having a good time dancing with de floozies.
Le-Roy, he jump off de Sunshine Bridge yesterday screaming you name. If you get a ticking package in de mail, doan open it.
Day 12: Dear Boudreaux, I sorry to tell you but I not your true love no more. After da fais-do-do, I spent de night with Jacques, de head piper. We decide to open a restaurant and gentleman’s club on da bayou.
The floozies, pardon me, Ladies Dancin’, can make twenty dollars for each table dance, de Lords can be waiters, an de pipers can valet park de boats. Since de maids doan have no more cows ta milk, I trained dem ta set my crab traps, watch my trotlines, and run my shrimping business. Gonna gross a million bucks next year!
Have a Happy New Year, cher.
Bob Ellis has lived and worked on three continents, including 10 years around New Orleans, and has swum in all the oceans of the world. Eliis sets their stories in places they love, like New Orleans, Maine or London.