Manuscripts/Mixed Material [He Never Wanted Land Till Now]
And not in all the years of his life has Mose aspired to ownership of a farm. He was born of slave parents who stayed on the plantation of their master after they were freed, and ended their days in the selfsame quarters they had occupied in slavery. His pappy taught him that white folks were the owners and bosses of the earth and that the best way for “a nigger to get along” was to stick by his white folks. “Stand by your white folks and they won't let you starve,” was the slave philosophy that he had been taught from childhood. Never used to much, he never wanted much, and his simple wants were vouchsafed him so long as he performed the tasks his white folk assigned to him. He never aspired to ownership of land until now. Now, with his sun low in the west, with hoary head, bent shoulders and rheumatic joints, he hopes that he may spend his remaining winters in a clapboard cabin with a mud and stick chimney on a single acre of land in a clearing, where he may have a little garden with its rows of collards, corn, beans and potatoes, and, possibly, a pig in the pen. He will take his houn' dogs with him, and maybe they will stir up a rabbit for him now and then, or tree a coon or opossum by the light of a winter moon.