Copyright: This work is in the public domain in the USA only.

As the storm broke and a shower of hail rattled like a handful of pebbles against our little window, I choked back a sob and edged my small green-painted stool a trifle nearer the hearth. On the opposite side of the wire fender, my father kicked off his wet boots, stretched his feet, in grey yarn stockings, out on the rag carpet in front of the fire, and reached for his pipe which he had laid, still smoking, on the floor under his chair. "It's as true as the Bible, Benjy," he said, "that on the day you were born yo' brother President traded off my huntin' breeches for a yaller pup." My knuckles went to my eyes, while the smart of my mother's slap faded from the cheek I had turned to the fire. "What's become o' th' p-p-up-p?" I demanded, as I stared up at him with my mouth held half open in readiness to break out again. "Dead," responded my father solemnly, and I wept aloud.