MY FATHER'S STORIES by Robert Hewett Sr

Story Telling Fiddler
Story Telling Fiddler | Source
Will Hewett, Age 64
Will Hewett, Age 64 | Source
Easter Bunny
Easter Bunny | Source
Robert Hewett, 2010, age 77
Robert Hewett, 2010, age 77


My father raised four boys, by himself, in very hard times. He sometimes had my two sisters as well. He was gassed and wounded in WWI, yet he was full of humor, music and storytelling. Each night at bedtime, though dead tired and sore from working in the fields all day, he would tell another story with adventure and mirth. His animal characters roamed the Hurley Woods day and night creating adventure, danger, goodwill and fright. Some characters were real and known to everyone who lived in the woods. Other characters, seemingly real, were just his creations. Every story had friendship, danger, rescue and an ending. A favorite character was the rabbit pictured on the can of a popular syrup in Texas. This was a cottontail rabbit dressed up in formal clothes. A typical Brer Rabbit story would start like this:

“Brer Rabbit would get up on Sunday morning, put on his striped trousers, white shirt, bow tie, black top hat, and split-tail coat. He would take his walking cane. look at himself in a polished knot on his tree home and then Hippity Hop, Hippity Hop over to Miz Molly’s house. Miz Molly lived in another hollow tree. Rap, Rap, Rap went Brer Rabbit’s cane on the hollow tree. Miz Molly came to the opening in her tree wearing a pink dress, pink bonnet, pink belt, pink shoes and pink socks. Brer Rabbit would tip his black top hat and say ‘Mawnin’ Miz Molly”. Miz Molly would give Brer Rabbit a sly look and then say “Well, Brer Rabbit, I do declare, but don’t you look fine. “

And through the woods they went, skipping along, visiting their forest friends, and maybe getting into trouble. Trouble usually meant the farmer’s dog found them in the garden. “Hello Brer Rabbit; Mawnin’ Miz Molly, a fine day isn’t it.” “Mawnin’ Brother Squirrel, nice to see you.” “Hello Brer Rabbit, Miz Molly, where are you going today?” “Hi Mr. Owl, we are just out for a stroll, you look well Mr. Owl.” “Stay out of the farmer’s garden, Brer Rabbit, Ol’ Buck the dog will surely get you.” “We will be very careful, Mr. Owl, have a good day.”

Of course, Brer Rabbit and Miz Molly headed straight for the garden. “This lettuce is really good, Brer Rabbit, I hope ‘Ol Buck don’t hear us.“ “Don’t worry Miz Molly Buck is too slow to catch us.” ” Woof, Woof, Woof, big feet pounding on the garden path, and Buck clearing the fence and landing in the garden. The chase was on, with the help of Brer Fox, they got away, to live another day.

I never tired of my father’s stories. He was a master at it, with stories featuring good and bad Snakes, birds, Opossums, foxes, and imaginary Creatures like “Old Cutter”, a half good, half bad animal with razor blade like protrusions all over his body. Whether he was telling a story about animals or acting out a song, my Father made everything into a story. During his final hospital stay at the Veteran’s Hospital in Topeka, Kansas, the nurse’s aide was trying to get him to eat. “Mr. Hewett you are worse than my 4 year old.” My father looked at him and gave one of his classic explanations. “Wal, you know how it is, a man is once a man and twice a boy.” Now, as I am nearly 80 years old, my father’s stories and his wisdom are still as fresh in my mind as when I was 9 years old and going to sleep every night with one of his stories. I have kept some of his characters in my stories and, of course, the Hurley Woods are home to many of my characters.

Robert Hewett Sr. aka Cottonwood Published Author

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Comments 16 comments

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marellen 5 years ago

What a nice tribute to your Dad.....The story was awful cute and deligthful. look like your Dad. Thank you for sharing Robert.

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Robert, I'm sure your Dad is sure proud and happy you've done him such a tribute. The story is timeless and the characters are in each of our souls, how could it miss. If folks today took the time like your dad did half the problems of the world would disapear because our kids would be better for it. Thanks, Peter

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ROBERTHEWETTSR 5 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky Author

Thank you very much Marellen for reading about my father. He had this twinkle in his eye when telling these stories and I have been accused of having that same trwinkle when I am up to no good.. Bob

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ROBERTHEWETTSR 5 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky Author

I am looking forward to seeing him again in Heaven. You are so right about the world and our children. Thanks for reading my father's story. Bob

Connie Hewett Cain 5 years ago

Im so glad you can remember his stories...:)...I had forgotten about Brer all came rushing back....He told me stories about the sandman...Froggie went a courtin...Miss Mousie...Little brown jug ...He sang ..Oh bury me not on the lone prarie...I could go on and on...taught me how to wish on a falling screename(Stargazncowgal)I miss him so...I credit him with my beginning knowledge of God...He was everything to me ...My life changed drastically when he left us...I too look forward to a reunion in Heaven...:)

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ROBERTHEWETTSR 5 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky Author

I know that you treasure your time with your grandpa, Connie, he was especially good with children. He would make up these rhymes and create scenes. I remember him twirling Marilyn Sue around pretending she was riding a bronc or bull in the rodeo and he would say. "Here comes Marilyn Sue out of Chute No. 9, and then he would bounce her all around while she laughed up a storm.Do you still sing. I remember you singing a lot when you were young. Love you, Uncle Bobby

Leokadia Durmaj 5 years ago

What a wonderful imagination your father had and a very loving and caring heart to bring such joy to his children. Sharing treasured moments with his children, indeed, an amazing gift you all received.

A beautiful tribute to your dad you have presented here Bob, it was a pleasure to read. You to have such a gift, I have read many of your stories and poetry. I cannot wait until my granddaughter can understand the meaning of words, I will then be able to share your poems and stories from your book. I use to make up stories for my children when they were little, they somehow changed each night, smile! Take care always, Lee

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ROBERTHEWETTSR 5 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky Author

Thank you Lee, for this wonderful comment. After dad's health forced him to retire, he stayed with my older brother and took care of his three girls. The oldest, Conmie, (see comment above) and he were inseparable. He died at the young age of 69. He was 40 when I was born. It seems now that my years with him were so few. Thanks again for your friendship and your comment. Bob

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poetryalliance 5 years ago from Scarborough UK. Puerto De La Cruz Tenerife

This is wonderful Bob having done books for you I know what a great story teller you are ...truly a chip off the old block ...Pat simpson xxx

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ROBERTHEWETTSR 5 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky Author

Thank you Pat, I had no idea growing up what a treasure my dad was for me and my siblings. Bob

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rjsadowski 5 years ago

My father never told us any stories, but I still have fond memories of him. He did, however, relate some things that happened in his early life and I have tried to capture them in some of my hubs. It sounds like your father was your role model.

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ROBERTHEWETTSR 5 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky Author

Yes, he is my story telling role model and also in honesty and love of children. Thank you RJ for visiting my hubpages, I will be over to read for you too.


Leokadia Durmaj 5 years ago

This is a wonderful story, you have paid a beautiful tribute to your dad. Having read your work before I know what a wonderful way you have with words. Your dad would be very proud of you. Being a grandmother I know how much my granddaughter will enjoy this story, once she gets a little older. Take care always, Lee

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ROBERTHEWETTSR 5 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky Author

Thank you Lee, my dad was a treasure for sure. Bob

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JY3502 5 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

You were right, I enjoyed the tale Robert.

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ROBERTHEWETTSR 5 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky Author

Thank you much JY3502 for reading my hub. Robert

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