publisher colophon

THE SONG OF LITTLE LLANO

By ERNEST SPECK

ON THE BANKS of the Little Llano River and the many creeks that empty into it there are groves of pecan trees, and in the flats along these creeks there are oaks and mesquites. It is a terrain made to order for raising hogs in the old-fashioned manner, when hogs were marked and turned loose to grub for themselves. In the old days before wire-netting and eight-wire fences, fields were fenced with rocks, and pastures had only three or four wires strung around them. Hogs wandered about at will, and although they were marked, some fancy knife work or a good ear-chewing dog could obliterate any mark.

In this community lived Isaiah Clark, one of the largest land owners and an outstanding man generally. No church service found him absent from the “amen corner.” He was always called upon to offer prayer, and his prayers were stately and long, filled with such locutions as “for to” instead of “to.”

Isaiah was austere in appearance. His hair was white, as was his long beard, and his eyes were bright blue. His clothes were always neat and clean, an unusual thing in those rough and ready days. He wore an uncreased big black hat which was brushed until the nap lay perfectly flat.

One of the stories that is still told in the community shows Isaiah's sense of propriety. After his first wife died, Isaiah decided that he should marry again. Through a friend he became acquainted with a lady who, he thought, would make him a suitable wife. The acquaintanceship, which had been made by mail, was brought to a climax when Isaiah asked the lady to visit him. She did so and on Sunday they went to church. During the long-winded talking that followed the services, the lady decided she was ready to go home. She touched Isaiah on the arm with her fan and told him she was ready to leave. Isaiah thought her conduct was unbecoming of a lady and would have no more to do with her.

When a preacher by the name of Campbell moved into the community, he got quite a shock. Isaiah and others seemed upstanding people to him until he began to learn the facts about the hog-stealing that went on. Then he wrote a song telling of the sin that seemed so prevalent in the community. The song became popular at once. There were probably more stanzas written either by Campbell or others, but these are the ones the old timers remember and sing with knowing grins:

The song of Little Llano I now compose,

It censures the young as well as the old;

The order they say is to get up and jog

For dealing too free with another man's hog.

Chorus

The rumors afloating greatly annoys,

It startles the old and frightens the boys;

The order they say is to get up and jog

For dealing too free with another man's hog.

The old prophet Isaiah, not Amos's son,

But an old hand at hog stealing the prophet makes one;

H stold all he has, the boys declare,

Now to get even they steal from Isaiah.

Chorus

There is an old Sam Singer, I am told,

Who rode a whole week to prove he had stold;

He proved at every place he went,

He proved it by Clark, Mitchell, and Trent.

Chorus

Some steal from the pens, some steal from the beds,

Some steal just such as don't have any heads;

Some steals a large one, some steals them small,

But pray show me the man that steals none at all.

Chorus

Previous Chapter

The Musical Snake

Next Chapter

The Threshing Crew

Additional Information

ISBN
9781574410990
Related ISBN
9781574410990
MARC Record
OCLC
45885580
Pages
165-166
Launched on MUSE
2019-12-20
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.