Getting to Know Lizzie by S. M. Hutchens

Mortal Remains

Getting to Know Lizzie

by S. M. Hutchens

When I was a little boy, our family lived down the street from a big, ramshackle house where lived a girl named Lizzie who was the most fascinating person I had ever met. She was about my age, we played together whenever we could, and I liked her a lot. She and her family, I was told, were from deep in the southern hills. I had never heard a person speak as she did; her language was as fascinating as her person, although my mother didn't seem too pleased about my acquiring some of it, especially, as I recall, "ain't."

Lizzie lived with her grandmother and a bunch of taciturn, scruffy-looking uncles. Granny was the most arresting person I had ever met: I had no category for her, for she was nothing like any grandmother I had ever met, especially my own. She was obviously ancient—perhaps even fifty—gray, homespun, thin as a rail, missing a lot of teeth, and in the afternoons she sat on the porch smoking her pipe and singing hymns about Beulah Land.

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S. M. Hutchens is a Touchstone senior editor.

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