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Riding the Old Sow ~ A Southern Elopement
by Gilda Griffith Brown

The petite dark haired figure stepped soundlessly out from the small back bedroom with her shoes clinched tightly in her right hand before slipping onto the screened-in back porch and out past the sleeping form of her older brother, George. The screen door let out a small, almost indiscernible screech causing George to stir and her to stop dead in her tracks. After a moment of motionless sheer terror, George let out a loud snore and she continued on. Stepping outside into the late June night, she closed the door behind her and ran like the wind. Taking a short cut and reaching the pig pen, Susie scaled the fence and ran through to the other side before taking the path along the pasture to the road. Just before reaching Will as he waited beside the buckboard, she stopped, pulled the white cotton nightgown up over her head and flung it into the grass before continuing on in her prettiest cotton frock.

Thus began over fifty years of married life for my maternal grandparents, Susie Ann Holder and William Monroe Little. It is a rather simplistic and common story, or rather it would have been except for one minor detail—pig pen. Much to my grandmother’s chagrin (and ever-lasting regret) and various family members’ amusement, that one little detail took on a life of its own.

The next day, after tempers quieted somewhat and resignation set in, Uncle George, with a twinkle in his eyes, began to recount his own recollections of the night. “I heard a racket in the pigpen, looked out and saw Susie going by riding an old sow.” He started the whole thing, but it was my grandfather who kept the vision alive!

Will and Susie were known not only for their deep abiding love but also for their lively banter. They just loved to carry on with each other; however, anytime my grandmother lodged a complaint against my grandfather, his defense was simple and sufficient. It only consisted of one sentence that he always repeated with a teasing smile. “WELLLL now Susie, you should have thought of that before you rode the old sow.”


Gilda Griffith Brown is a retired nurse living in her hometown of Canton Mississippi. She especially likes to write short fiction, but occasionally steps into the nonfiction realm. She believes that regardless of realms and style, all writing is about life in one way or the other.

Besides writing regularly for USADS, she has also written for Muscadine Lines. "Swim Away," a work of short fiction, has been included in Muscadine Lines, A Southern Anthology.

Read more of Gillie's stories!
Harkins Bakery
Legends of Booker County: Daddy Bea
On Turning Sixty

~ More great reading at USADEEPSOUTH.COM ~








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