Those hard-bottomed biscuits even had entertainment value, out there in the boondocks where entertainment was sometimes in short supply. One Sunday afternoon a neighboring family had come to visit and a flock of us was gathered in the yard in the shade of a chinaberry tree. One member of the visiting family was a girl about eight years old, maybe nine. Uncle Billy Crockett, who often entertained visitors, kept trying to talk to her but she was shy to the point of pain and wouldn't communicate other than shaking her head yes or no.
Finally Uncle Billy said to one of the cousins, "Delbert, how about if you run in yonder to the kitchen and bring me three or four cold biscuits out of the pie safe?" He didn't have to wonder whether the biscuits were there. They were always there. So Delbert brought three biscuits and Uncle Billy took them and held one in his right hand and began pitching it up, about a foot high, and catching it. He did this several times, the way a person might do when he's got a rock in his hand and he's thinking about throwing it if he sees the right target.
That was Uncle Billy's way of timing his performance, waiting for the audience to get quiet and pay attention. When the moment was right he said to the girl, "Now what's your name again, Honey?" And she'd duck her head and mutter, "Myrtle Jean," or whatever it was. It might have been Myrtle Jean.
Then Uncle Billy asked her, "Well, Myrtle Jean, do you see that old hound dog layin' over yonder asleep in the dirt?"
Myrtle Jean looked and nodded and Uncle Billy said, "Do you reckon I can throw this biscuit and hit that old dog in the mouth with it?"
Myrtle Jean grinned and twisted and gnawed on her sleeve and wrapped her left foot around her right ankle and shook her head, no.
"All right," Uncle Billy said, and took a nickel out of his pocket, "if I can't do it, I'll give you this nickel."
Then suddenly he flipped his wrist and the biscuit flew up maybe ten feet high in the general direction of the dog. Understand that hound was twenty feet away and asleep, or seemed to be, when the toss was made. But that missile never hit the dirt. The hound sprung to his feet and was standing there waiting when the biscuit disappeared in his mouth.
Everybody under the chinaberry tree laughed and Uncle Billy said to Myrtle Jean, "Now watch, I can do it with my eyes shut." He closed his eyes and flipped the second biscuit, with the same result. Hit the hound square in the mouth.
Then he said, "I can do it backwards, too. Not many people in the world can do it backwards." He turned his cane chair around, faced away from the dog and flipped the third biscuit over his shoulder. The pitch was a little high and to the right but the hound moved under it with ease and took it on the fly.
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