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Chicken Fishin', Tyaskin, Maryland
Nellie Blaine Lankford

Image: Rug 9 - Chicken Fishin’, Tyaskin, Maryland
Chicken Fishin’, Tyaskin, Maryland
Nellie Blaine Lankford

Tell Me ‘Bout Series, 1999.
Dimensions: 39 x 46 inches.
Hooked on twelve-thread-count linen; Hand-dyed wool strips cut on 5/32" and 3/32" wheel.
Views: 800px - 1024px - Zoom

Commentary by Mary Sheppard Burton

"Another story, Mama! Please another story!"
All of you loved your second grandma just as she dearly loved you. Before she married Granddaddy Sheppard, she was Nellie Lankford. Little Nellie was born on January 13, 1895 at Muddy Hole Farm.

There were two older sisters, Rena and Anna, and a big brother, Isaac Smith. It was usually Anna who got to baby­sit Nellie. Anna was 'bout seven when Nellie was two. Anna was a real tomboy and dreamed up all kinds of wonderful things to keep Nellie happy. At night Anna would sit with a nail and "grind" a hole in the end of two kernels of corn. It took a long time to do this, but after it was accomplished, and threaded with a long line, the girls were ready for an early morning adventure.

Nellie and Anna would climb up the loft of the barn toting a cup of corn and the treasured corn on the string. With gales of laughter, the corn was tossed from the loft to the happy chickens. Along with this procedure, the baited fishing line with its kernel of corn tied to the end fell to the chickens below. Madly the chickens and roosters fought for the corn. Two lucky birds got the prize and began their ascent into the air as the fishing line was hauled upward. Wildly the girls squealed and doubled in laughter while two lucky birds were pulled higher and higher. Only the consternation and squawks of the chickens matched the laughter of the two girls!

"Bait the bird with corn and string, fried chicken for dinner that's quite the thing."

Thus the game was played again and again. These two little girls had found such happiness through their wonderful imagination.

"Footsteps on History: Tell Me 'Bout Series"
Family Portraits by Mary Sheppard Burton. Undated


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   May 15, 2015
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