Pinckney Benedict, "The Sutton Pie Safe"

A woman from town drops by to make an offer on the old breadbox.

(from Town Smokes)

The narrator’s dad says there’s not much reason to kill a blacksnake, they’re actually good for the property, killing rats and such. But after Mrs. Hanson, rich and dramatically kind, shows up, he shoots the snake promising to make a belt for his son just like his own dad did for him. It’s a complicated action, illogical but not without reason. The feeling is that this small family has lived a hard life, one that pie safe collectors couldn’t begin to imagine. The painted over the thing, stored ammo in it. She was to own it without a use for it beyond that, and to restore it so the Albright’s ownership of the box would be wiped away. It’s a beauty vs. beast scenario, in a way, though our young narrator may not understand it beyond that.

Here‘s a lesson plan for teaching this story. Case you need it.
Much thanks to Dominic for helping me make that image of the book jacket.

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