Collected by Mary Shand Transcribed by M. C. Parler
Louise Petrovsky Fayetteville, Ark. November 3, 1963
Reel 424, Item 3
A Strange Noise
I hate to tell things like this because most of the people don't think probably it's true. But now that is true. Till today I don't know what is was or anything about it.
We lived down at Winslow. My father lived there and I'd come home. And they were all sick with the typhoid fever and thw whooping cough. So Mama she had told my father — he had to go away and work at the sawmill — she had told him what had happened.
And they didn't believe her. So I'd come home, and so she told me.
She said, "Now, there's some kind of a racket," and she said, "that's the awfulleet thing I ever heard in my life," and said, "they don't think I'm telling the truth." So she said, "Now, 'bout eight o'clock that'll start in." And about eight o'clock we, we went on to bed early that night, and about eight it started just a-pecking — pecked just about like that, you know. Just all around in this one place.
So d'rectly it just went right across — just like that, to a dresser
that was there. It just pecked all 'round there. And I said, "Well,
Mama, Could that be a rat kitting his tail?" And she said, "No, it's no rat."
So it went into her bedroom and under her bed, and it just went peck, peck, peck, just like that. And she thought it was a warning. Of some kind. And so she was just sick all that night.
And I told her, I said, "It don't amount to anything."
And so the next night it went to raining and storming. And so my brother come over, and so she told him. And so that night it
got into the walls. And you never heard no such beating and pounding
in your life — like you'd take a sledge hammer. Well, Daddy und my husband they got out there and they put some strings up because Daddy said someone had to be a-throwing a big ball in there, you know, and kitting aside that wall. So he got out there und they kid in the light, and put those springs up. And that hammered till — well, I'll tell you — it — just like you'd take a sledge hammer and beat that wall. And they never did see one tking.
And the train came by right while this pounding was going on, this train came by, und so they just stood there and watched, and it never ceased for anything. And they tore that whole side of that building out to see, you know, if they could see anything.
And they never did see nothing.
And now that was the truth. And it went on and on. When it was a stormy night it was worse.
Mary Shand: Did anything bad happen to the family? Was it a warning?
ContinuedA Strange Noise Reer 424, Item 3 Continued
Mrs. Petrovsky: No, there wasn't nothing happened, but . . .
. . . And so they tore the building down, because the people wouldn't stay in it. Ever' one that come there, that's the way it did.
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