In the early 1900s, before I was born, there was a small sugar mill at a little community named Rose Hill, not far from Abbeville. When my father, age 19 and newly married, was offered the job of running the sugar mill, he quickly accepted the offer, because living quarters were a part of the deal. He and his new wife were living with his parents, and now they would have a house of their own! So the young couple moved into the “boss’s house” near the sugar mill, and settled in.
All of the workers that my father was in charge of were much older than he was, most of them married with families. The young Mrs. Theriot wasn’t too pleased that the workers cut across her yard on their way home when their shift ended at five in the afternoon, but she didn’t complain. . . . . . she just decided that her husband should fence in her yard so she could plant a garden. Well, the fence was built and the garden was planted and she thought everything would be all right. Then the workers decided that this yard shouldn’t be right in their path and they would not go around it any more. Who did this red-haired girl think she was?!! They began climbing over the fence and cutting across the yard again and trampling her young garden.
She asked her husband to talk to the workers, but although they took orders from him at the sugar mill, they did not feel they had to take orders from him that did not pertain to their work. They ignored his requests.
That was when my mother decided to take matters into her own hands. My father had a .22 rifle, so one day, just before the five o’clock whistle blew signifying the end of the shift at the sugar mill, Mom went out into the yard, set cans on several of the fence posts and was busy practicing target shooting. (She was a pretty good shot, too.)
Nobody ever climbed that fence again!
Copyright © 2001 Aline T. Meaux, Abbeville, LA
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