Yearling, The (1946) Movie Script

We dedicate this picture to...
...those who came to our land ago and...
...made it their home-and and our inheritance!.
For us they faced the unknown.
For us they hungered and toiled.
Their endurance is our prosperity:
their struggle is our freedom:
their dream is our certainty:
....their dawn is our day.
From their dust we spring: and,
reaping the great harvest of their lives and works,
...we remember them with blessings.
Lake George, Florida. April, 1878.
I came across this lake once,
some years ago... a boat that brought me home
after the war with the Yankees.
Came down this river,
going back into the wilderness...
...away from civilization,
looking for a place to settle...
...a place to live,
back into the scrub country.
It got wilder as I got deeper
into the woods.
I liked it. Vegetation was denser.
The trees had to struggle
for a breath of air.
Even wilder here, as I got back
closer to the sources... the beginning of things,
further away from towns and wars.
And then I left the river,
went right into the woods themselves.
And here was the scrub country.
Not many people lived here then,
just a few pioneers.
I found myself a wonderful wife
in a little village nearby.
Between us, out of this sea of trees,
we cleared and cultivated...
...a little piece of half-fertile
ground we call islands, like this one.
That was many years ago,
but we still live here.
We've had our hardships
and our happinesses.
This is our home.
It's called Baxter's Island.
That's my name, Penny Baxter.
Here's where we live:
Me, my wife, Ora,
and our little boy, Jody.
Hey, coon. Them's mighty pretty
little fellas you got.
You want Jody, Ma?
Where's that boy at?
I reckon he's around somewhere.
Most likely gallivanting somewhere
where it don't do nobody any good.
He's doing what's got to be done.
- I need some water!
- Well, we'll bring you some, Ma.
- When did you get back?
- Just got back now.
- Hello, Pa.
- Hello, Jody.
- Gets late mighty quick, Pa.
- That's April for you. Where you been?
To the glen.
I lay down and I was asleep.
Come, Caesar.
I aimed to follow some bees
and find the bee tree.
- You find it?
- I forget to look for it, till now.
Now tell the truth
and shame the devil.
Wasn't that bee tree an excuse
to go rambling?
I had a notion to go rambling.
That's what I figured. I was saving to
myself, "There's Ma, busy in the house.
There's Jody hoeing
in the corn field all by himself.
The hoe gets heavier every minute.
I bet he's thinking,
'I ought to go rambling. "'
- That the way you figured?
- Yes, Pa.
Ma don't hold with rambling.
Most women can't see
how a man loves so to ramble.
I never let on you wasn't here.
I said, "He's around. "
- Us men has got to stick together.
- Yes, Pa.
- Pa?
- Yes, boy?
I seen a sight today down at the glen.
A mammy coon with two babies.
- They was the prettiest little fellas.
- Coons is pretty.
Is it worth speaking to Ma about it?
They was so pretty, if I snare me one
for a pet, even Ma would love it.
Your ma ain't gonna love no coon.
Reckon she'd get mad
if I mentioned it?
What do you reckon?
- You two home at last?
- Yes, Ma!
I reckon she would.
But I wish I had me something
to pet and play with.
- You said men have to stick together.
- That's right, boy.
If you was to speak to Ma
about that little coon...
No, thank you.
I ain't aiming to die afore my time.
Get down to the sinkhole
and bring your ma some water.
Yes, Pa.
Hey, Ma! I like you, Ma!
You get mighty loving
when I got a dish in my hand.
That's when you're the prettiest.
That ain't sweet tater pone, is it?
- It is.
- It's sweet tater pone!
Pa, a big old buck watered down
at the glen today. I seen his...
When was you down at the glen?
Today, Ma.
So that's it.
And me calling and calling.
You getting slick as a clay road
in the rain.
- I fooled you! I got to fool you once!
- You fooled me.
- Evening, Ma.
- And you just as bad as the boy.
You both getting mighty sly.
Sit down afore the pone steams off.
Dear Lord, thanks again
for the vittles. Amen.
I declare,
that's a mighty skimpy blessing.
I get hungry when I go logging.
The Lord will know what I mean.
Ma? Ma, I seen a thing today.
Must I hear it or live in ignorance?
- It was only a big frog.
- A big frog?
A big frog!
Mighty interesting.
- Good night, Pa.
- Good night, boy.
- Good night, Ma.
- Good night.
- Pa!
- What is it, boy?
Does a coon always wash everything
before he eats it?
Does he, Pa?
That's right, boy. Now go to sleep.
If he washes everything
before he eats...
...he must be a pretty
clean animal, eh, Pa?
Coons is clean, now lie down, boy.
A coon knows how to take care
of himself, don't he?
Most animals take care of themselves.
Now get to bed!
- What's this talk about coons?
- Don't know.
Did I tell you I seen
a coon today, Pa?
Yes, you told me.
Now go to sleep, boy!
Did I tell you she had
a couple of babies?
Yes, you told me that too.
If Ma had seen them baby coons,
she'd love them.
We won't have no coons here.
What about a bear cub then? If I
should find myself one. Or a possum?
I'd love to have a baby fox
or a baby panther.
But I just gotta have me a pet.
We got milk aplenty.
You think we got milk aplenty?
There ain't an extra drop.
- It could have mine!
- You're spindly enough as it is.
How can we spare rations for critters?
We can barely keep our bellies full.
I just want something all my own.
Something to follow me and be mine.
Something with dependence to it.
Well, you'll not find that nowhere.
Not in the animal world
nor in the world of man.
Going on 12 and still wanting
some kind of a play dolly.
Pa was doing his man's share
of work at your age.
Stop pestering and get to bed
afore I take a brush to you.
Good night.
- Good night, Pa.
- Good night, son.
Seems like you get mighty hard
on the boy at times, Ora.
Let him tend to work.
Always running off...
...wanting to bring critters back.
Well, a boy ain't a boy too long.
Leave him kick up his heels a little.
Day will come, he won't even want to.
Ora, I've seen our boy stand agaze...
...and breathless at the wonderment
of bird and critter...
...wind, rain, the sun and the moon...
...just like I stood when I was a boy
in the forest.
Don't be afraid to love the boy, Ora.
I'll put up the stock.
What's the matter, Pa?
Your ma's gone down
to the burying ground, son.
Pa, a couple of old buck deer were
in our burying grounds today.
I seen their tracks.
Ora's and David's markers
were knocked down.
- Well, your ma wouldn't like that.
- I was obliged to right them.
One marker had something
written on it...
...but it's getting kind of dim.
I can't make it out.
That's Ezra Jr.
He never seen the light of day.
He died when he was born?
That's right, son.
- Ma never talks about them, does she?
- No.
Are they part of Ma's raring, Pa?
- You figured that out all by yourself?
- I was just wondering.
I'm proud you're looking
for the reason of things.
Figuring out what makes people rare
when they don't mean it.
- Your ma's a wonderful woman, Jody.
- Yes, Pa.
When we come here, years ago,
she was pretty...
...and full of the fun of life.
This place was a wilderness.
Your ma thought it were beautiful.
She pitched right in
and worked as hard as I did.
We made it a kind of game,
clearing this place we got.
The two of us together out here
in the wilderness.
A man couldn't have had a better wife.
Then when we lost the children,
one after the other.
It ain't easy for a woman to have
her young'uns taken away from her.
It does something to her. Makes
something inside her close up tight... if it happens again,
she won't let it hurt her so much.
I was lucky, weren't I, Pa?
I'm 11 years old.
I'm way past the age of dying.
What you two doing? Stop visiting.
It's time that boy got to sleep.
All right, Ma. He's going to sleep.
Come look what's happened!
It's a calf and a shoat!
The door was broke!
- Take it easy, boy.
- But what happened, Pa? What done it?
Bear. A big one. Look there.
One toe's missing
on the right front paw. Old Slewfoot!
Old Slewfoot.
But none of the dogs bayed, Pa.
None. He had the wind in his favor.
He knew what he was doing.
We got to get him.
We obliged to get it.
I'm daresome to break the news to Ma.
What happened?
What you two doing?
What's the matter with you two?
I've been calling...
- Bear?
- It's Old Slewfoot, Ma!
Old Slewfoot. That dad-ratted,
no-account varmint!
IKilling and not even eating
what he kills!
I hate that.
Last year it was our brood sow.
- Them dogs asleep right there!
- No dog's as smart as that bear.
- They could have barked!
- We got meat to eat for a while.
Meat now and none this winter.
- You aiming to get after that bear?
- I'll get after him now.
Can I go with you this time?
Can I, Pa?
- Hunting bears is man's work.
- I can do it! I know I can.
Don't ask for mercy
when it gets rough.
- Oh, no, Pa! No, Pa!
- You ain't taking him?
He's got to learn.
Jody, turn the new dog loose.
Ma, you get my gun and rations.
The wise scaper's changing
his direction...
...heading for the saw grass ponds.
If that's his notion, we can
slip around and surprise him.
- You sure can figure what it'll do.
- You belong to figure.
A critter's faster than us
and stronger.
But a man's got more sense.
He's a sorry hunter
if he can't outstudy him.
- Didn't Slewfoot kill a man once, Pa?
- So they say, boy.
Is your gun loaded, Pa?
I reckon we're getting Slewfoot
pretty tired out.
You won't feel so tired when Slewfoot
raise up in front of you.
Come on. Looks like that bear's
got himself a ticket to Jacksonville.
Pa? You'll not be scared
when we come up with him?
Not unless things go mighty wrong.
I don't reckon you'll be scared, son.
No, sir. No, Pa.
Pa, if I was to be scared,
must I climb a tree?
Yes. Even if you ain't scared, it's
a good place to watch the ruckus from.
Come on.
Don't go getting faintified on me.
I feared it, the thicket. They're
getting close. You best wait here.
No, Pa. I ain't scared.
Just keep behind me, then.
Easy, girl. Easy.
- You reckon he's in there, Pa?
- He's in there.
All right, Julie, get him!
- He's coming, Pa! He's coming!
- No, he ain't, boy! He's going!
- Perk! Here, Perk!
- Pa, the new dog's running away!
Now, Pa!
Pa, what's the matter?!
Look out, boy!
You hurt, Pa? You hurt?
- What happened?!
- Backfired.
Julie! Rip!
Rip! Here, Rip!
Rip! Here, Rip!
This confounded worthless gun!
It's Julie, Pa!
She'll be all right, boy.
We'll make a hammock out
of my coat and carry her.
There, Julie.
- Her breathing's still short.
- I reckon she's lost a mite of blood.
- Where you taking her?
- Jody's room.
I'll not pop in and out of bed
all night awaking you. Good night, Ma.
Good night.
She'll live, won't she, Pa?
I'm certain she will, son.
- I'm bedding her here.
- You best sleep with me, Pa.
- I'm figuring that, if you'll have me.
- I'll have you.
Now don't you go visiting all night.
Get to sleep!
Yes, Ma.
- What makes you so wakeful, son?
- I can't stop walking.
We went a fair piece.
How you like going after bear?
- Well, I like thinking about it.
- I know.
I like the tracking and seeing
the saplings broke down.
- But the fighting's right fearsome?
- It's mighty fearsome.
It's got to be. It's a hard law,
but it's the law. Kill or go hungry.
I was proud the way
you come along with me, son.
Thanks, Pa.
- You cold, son?
- I reckon, Pa.
Well, move over a mite.
I'll warm you.
It's get me a new gun
or court trouble.
How? Where's the money coming from?
I'm aiming to trade
that new dog of ours for one.
- You said he were no-account.
- He ain't much good on a bear hunt.
But you know them Forresters
is fools for dogs.
Trading with them, you'd do good
to still have your britches.
They're a reckless, black-hearted lot.
Lower than a doodlebug!
- Fodderwing ain't! He's my friend.
- A fine friend, crazy as a loon!
He ain't crazy, Ma.
He's just different.
Anyway, that's where we're heading.
Get that worthless dog untied, Jody.
Will you want to tote lunch?
Why, I'd not insult
my neighbors that way.
- What you thinking, son?
- I ain't thinking.
Just feeling the sun, listening
to the birds and looking around?
That's what I'm doing, Pa.
That's right.
You glad you're gonna see Fodderwing?
I like Fodderwing.
He can't do no harm if you don't
take his talk seriously.
Fodderwing wouldn't do nobody no harm.
He ain't crazy like Ma says at all.
He ain't to blame for hatching out
peculiar. He was the second setting.
We're there. I can see smoke
coming out of the chimney.
Here, Perk! Here, Perk!
Come on, boy. Come.
- Is he hurt?
- Nope.
- Then why are we toting him?
- I don't want nothing to happen to him.
Well, boy, it sounds like we're here.
- You got no cause to say it was Bella!
- It was Bella.
- Don't go saving it was Bella!
- I seen him myself!
- It wasn't Bella!
- Or either Major or Sophy.
Say it's Sophy, I'll bust you!
Shut up! You're worse than the dogs!
I'll flail all of you myself!
You hear what your pa said?
Shut your mouth!
Look out, Ma, you'll hurt somebody
one of these days.
Why, look there!
- Is it safe for a guy to get down?
- It's Penny Baxter!
- Get off that horse!
- What's wrong with your dog?
- Fodderwing will be glad to see you!
- Get off that horse.
Bring your horse right in.
- How's your woman, Penny?
- Ain't complaining none.
- Penny!
- Buck.
- How's your corn coming?
- Corn's good.
There's no corn-raiser
like Penny Baxter.
You scapers don't know
what farming is!
Ma's against the whole lot of us.
- Got me a new baby coon.
- A coon? Let's go see him.
My eagle died. He was too wild to pen.
- Won't catch nothing with wings again.
- Why?
If you had wings, what would you do?
You'd fly with them, wouldn't you?
- You'd never come down, would you?
- I reckon not.
Nothing with wings
should ever come down again.
You never did try to fly again,
did you?
I tried to fly too young.
That's Push. You remember him.
Hey, Push.
They won't raise no young'uns.
Lem says they's brothers.
Here's the coon.
Here, Racket.
Ain't he a thing?
If I get me another one,
you can have one too.
I'd be proud to have one,
but Ma won't let me keep nothing.
Oliver said he'd bring a monkey
from the South Seas...
...but Ma said she had enough monkeys
around as it is.
She meant Pa and me.
- Where is Oliver now?
- Sailing somewhere on the sea.
I'd never go to sea.
They ain't got no animals on the sea.
I might go to sea some day
if I could go with Oliver.
Oliver's my friend.
I got three friends:
Oliver and Pa and you.
I got lots of friends.
He's eating me!
He ain't hungry,
he just wants to be doing something.
- He likes you, Jody.
- I guess so.
He sleeps with me.
I sleep up there now.
Buck made it for me.
If you can stay the night,
you can sleep up there with me.
You like to sleep up there?
You see things at night
and hear things.
All the things scared of the daytime.
I seen a deer and a wolf
playing together.
You couldn't have seen that.
They's enemies.
That's what folks tell you.
And I seen the Spaniards
riding on big black horses.
They's tall and dark
and have shiny helmets.
There ain't no Spaniards left.
They all gone, like the Indians.
They's here.
Listen to me. The next time
you go to your sinkhole... know that magnolia
with the dogwood around it?
Just you look behind it.
There's always a Spaniard
on a big black horse...
...riding past that magnolia.
Guess we'd better go in.
Well, Jody and me set out
after them dogs.
That bear took them
across the scrub...
...along the ponds,
through the thicket...
...right to Juniper Creek,
where they caught up with him.
- Tarnation! I wish I'd been there.
- Get on with it!
- This dog go with them?
- Yes, he went along.
Do he hold the bear at bay?
No, he's sorry. The sorriest bear-dog
I ever owned or followed.
- Got himself lame?
- No, he ain't lame.
What you holding him so careful for?
Keep him out of the jaws
of them bloodhounds.
- Valuable?
- Shut up, Lem!
Go on, Penny!
There he was, at the edge of Juniper
Creek, raring up on his hindlegs.
Before I shoot,
Julie gets him by the throat.
He pushes her off, and I get a chance
to shoot... and what happens?
- What did happen?
- Go on!
My gun won't shoot.
Tried it again and again,
but she won't shoot.
Julie's getting killed, Rip's getting
slashed, this dog's no good... shotgun's no good,
and I'm in a pure fix.
- Quit that stopping all the time.
- Go on.
Well, just as I try the gun for
the last time, she hang fires on me.
Knocks me down. That makes
Slewfoot decide he's had enough.
He swims to the other side
of the creek...
...and the last we seen,
he's heading for no-man-knows-where.
I'd give a gallon of whiskey
to been there.
"Heading for no-man-knows-where"
is right!
- That Slewfoot is something!
- You're a liar, Penny Baxter.
No man ever said that of me afore.
Just two dogs don't make a bear run.
How come you never mentioned this dog?
Now don't press me, Lem.
I done told you, the dog is worthless.
He come out in good shape.
Not a mark on him, is there?
No, there's nary a mark on him.
Takes a clever dog to fight a bear
and get no scratch.
He's no good.
I wouldn't want you to get
no idea of trading for him.
- You'd get fooled and cheated.
- Simmer down, Lem!
If Penny don't wanna trade,
there's nothing say he got to.
Where's your manners, Lem?
Drinking all that jug.
Where's yours? Not giving company
a chance to wet their whistles?
Pa, you got the most sense
for such an old buzzard.
Don't take sense to crave liquor.
- Give it here.
- All right.
Pour me a noggin in the cup
and you can all sit down.
If I'd known you was coming,
I'd have cooked something fitting.
This looks fine enough
for the governor.
I reckon you folks give thanks, Penny.
Pa, it won't hurt you none
to ask blessing once in your life.
Oh, Lord...
Oh, Lord...
Oh, Lord, thou hast seen fit... bless our sinning souls and...
And bellies with...
- With...
- Good vittles again. Amen.
- Thanks, Penny.
- Amen.
I want two things, Penny. I wanna
be in at the death of Slewfoot...
...and I want that dog.
- Mind what you do, Lem.
When I want a thing, I get it.
From England. No muzzleloading,
fill your own shells, easy as spitting.
Stick your shells in,
breech her, cock her...
...and you're ready for anything.
Shoots as true as the eagle flies.
Now take the gun for him,
or by thunder, I'll...
Well, I don't figure to get myself
murdered in the tracks...
...if that's the way it stands, Lem.
You gotta promise not to beat me
after you hunted him.
You scapers got enough covers
up there?
- Yes, Ma.
- Yes'm.
- Good night.
- Night.
- Night, Ma.
- Night.
And then what happened?
It were a sunny day,
like this one we just had.
- You went to the roof?
- I went to the edge of the roof.
- And then you jumped?
- I jumped way out in the air.
What'd it feel like?
When I was jumping, it felt just
like I were flying for a minute...
...just like a bird.
And then it went kind of dark.
It were dark for quite a time.
- Was you bad hurted?
- I reckon.
It should've worked.
I were too young. Someday, I'll fly.
I'll just fly on and on.
It'll be easier than walking.
Walking ain't easy for me
since I tried to fly.
I guess near about everything
would like to fly.
Birds fly. Birds and angels.
Do you know what the end
of the world's like?
It's empty and dark
and only clouds to ride on.
But the clouds is sunny and soft.
You just float on them
and go nowheres.
And all the animals
has little bright clouds to ride on.
Racket'll have a little one,
just alongside of mine.
And do you know what?
Sometimes, as you're drifting along... drift right inside
another cloud.
You'll be on that one,
and we'll lie there and talk.
Just like we're talking now.
And you know what, Jody?
The clouds are really
just the backs of angels...
...who are flying around up there
looking after things.
They'll look after you too, Jody,
until you're ready to fly.
How do you know that?
I just know.
Could be.
Could be.
Pa! Pa! Pa!
I can see him, Pa. I can see him.
An old Spaniard riding along.
Fodderwing said I could spy him here.
That's nice.
- What'd he say he seen?
- A Spaniard.
What Spaniard?
I don't know.
There, now. I was scared this
wouldn't stand another washing.
- What else you got that's cool to wear?
- Nothing, excusing my wedding dress.
- That black alpaca's nice.
- That went to pieces three years ago.
It went to pure rags,
doing work just like this.
Toting washing to a sinkhole
half a mile from the house...
...toting water to wash and cook in.
You'll get your well one day,
right outside your door.
I'll believe it when I see it.
After all these years of waiting,
I'll take no stock in it.
Ora, I think me and Jody'll
make us a trip to Volusia.
Yeah. I got some trading I wanna do.
Ain't it exciting just to see it, Pa?
Yes, once in a while,
it's a pleasure to see a town.
Get along, Caesar.
It'll be nice seeing
your sweetheart, won't it?
You know I got no sweetheart.
You ain't going back on Eulalie
after you held hands last Christmas?
I wasn't holding hands.
It's a game they was playing.
If you say that again, Pa,
I'll just die.
All right.
Just wanted to get it straight.
Hello there, Mr. Ranger.
Hello, Mr. Ranger.
- Who's there?
- Customers.
Hi there, Penny Baxter. Hiya, Jody.
Hello, Mr. Ranger.
I was just getting set to noon.
You stay right where you are.
Sorry we woke you up.
It ain't nothing.
I can catch up with it later.
Well, look there who's in town.
Hiya, fellas. How'd that
there dog I swapped you come out?
- Say that again.
- How's the sorry dog I traded you?
- We ain't laughing about it.
- You ain't mad, Buck?
I ain't saving.
You keep out of Lem's way.
Lem in town with you?
Yes, but he's courting
Twink Weatherby.
She's Oliver's girl.
Just don't let Lem
hear you say that, young'un.
I'm sorry Lem feels that way
about the trade.
You just told him the truth.
My words was straight...
...but my intentions was as crooked
as the Ocklawaha River.
The steamboat captain's
been asking about you.
Says these city folks traveling
the river's hollering for venison.
- What's next?
- Two boxes, 12-gauge brass shell cases.
Two boxes, 12-gauge brass shell cases.
Just hollering for it, he says,
and it ain't half as good as pork.
- You and me, we know it. What's next?
- One pain curer.
One pain curer.
Yes, sir, as I says to my nephew,
"Oliver, you're just as well... "
- Oliver in town?
- Oliver! Oliver back?
- Where'd he go to this long time?
- He says he traveled the seven seas.
You reckon he saw whales this time?
Where is Oliver?
The sailor? He's out with his gal,
Twink Weatherby.
But Millwheel said she's Lem's girl.
Don't you bother your head about that.
That completes it. You figure that up.
With the cash left over, I'll buy some
tobacco seed for the spring money crop.
With that money, I'll buy brick and
mortar for a well outside our door.
- What do you think, Mr. Boyles?
- That'll be fine for Mrs. Baxter.
- What's this stuff? Black alpaca?
- Yeah, that's what it is.
That's what I thought.
I think I sold Mrs. Baxter
a dress length of that alpaca...
...about four or five summers back.
That's pretty.
Young man, you don't come in
to trade very often... I'll treat you to a dime's worth
of anything you've a notion for.
I reckon that mouth organ's
worth more than a dime.
Well, yes,
but it's been here a long while.
Take it and welcome.
- Well, now. That's unusual kind.
- Thank you, sir.
- There's your gal now, Jody.
- Pa.
It's Eulalie.
Come out special just to see you.
- Pa.
- Now go say "How do" to her. Go on.
- Your boy's got manners, Mr. Baxter.
- He's right smart of a comfort.
- He hit me with a potato!
- Jody, you put that down.
What's got into you?
How come you shame me like that?
Now you go up and excuse yourself.
Right smart lot of spunk
your boy's got, Mr. Baxter.
Thank you, Mr. Boyles.
We'll be back later for our things.
Quick! They're killing Oliver. He's
fighting Lem and all the Forresters.
They're killing him.
Is Twink Lem's or Oliver's girl?
- They can't decide.
- Who do we fight for?
- Whoever's taking a licking: Oliver.
- But the Forresters are friends too.
- Who's judging this fight?
- We are!
If it takes three men to whip one,
the one man's the best.
Hello, Oliver. Welcome home.
Am I glad to see you,
you old landlubber, you.
I brought you a gift from China.
I saw a lot of whales too.
I'll smash you like a skeeter
if you get in my way.
We'd have fought him one at a time.
I'll fight any man saving
that about my gal.
And I'll say it again.
Keep off him!
I ain't seen a fight
this good for months.
- Reckon I'll get in it too. Coming?
- Might as well.
Hit him again!
Jody! Get out of this!
Get off, you little...!
I'm back, Ma.
What happened to you?
- We got in a fight.
- Who did?
Me, Pa, the Forresters and Oliver.
They was beating him bad.
They couldn't decide
if Oliver's girl...
Now, ain't that just fine!
Where's your pa?
I'm here.
Well, ain't that just fine!
Now, did I make a good trade?
That makes near $5.00 we got saved.
You know what that money's going for?
Tobacco seed.
Enough seed to have
a fine money crop next spring.
The money we get from that
is going into bricks and mortar...'s you can have your new well,
right outside your door.
Well, I declare.
I just can't imagine it.
Washing right on my own place!
Having all the water
I need right here.
Not even caring if some
slops over now and then.
Being able to waste a whole bucket
of nice cold water...
...just to cool myself with.
I declare it'll be such a blessing,
it won't seem natural.
I bet you ain't bought half my order.
I never knowed a man vet
who could be trusted to...
Where's my paregoric? Where's my...?
That's just like a man!
Throwing away money on such as this.
Men got no more sense than...
How much did this cost?
Tell me how much you wasted
on such foolishness.
The next time you go to Volusia,
I'll... How much was this?
She's raring, Pa. Don't she like it?
She likes it, boy.
Fodderwing claims
he can talk to vultures.
They wouldn't have much
I'd wanna hear.
Maybe if you was to tame one,
it might make a pretty nice pet.
Whoa, Caesar. Whoa.
Well, Ma, been admiring
our fine crop of corn?
I ain't admiring nothing.
Know why the hogs didn't come in?
- Why?
- They was stole.
- Stole?
- They was baited. Look here.
I was by the sinkhole. I seen
this corn and hog tracks beside it.
- They come and took them.
- Who have, Ma?
That ain't hard to guess.
Them fine friends of yours.
- The Forresters?
- Them black-hearted, thieving...
Jody, fetch me my gun.
Look, Pa!
So that's what they done.
They trapped them.
They had a cart, Pa.
And that track leads plain as anything
right to the Forresters.
Dogged if I can understand
cold out meanness.
Well, boy, we're obliged to follow.
Lem said he'd shoot if we come around.
I'd rather let them keep the hogs.
And go without meat?
How will we live if we don't protect
our rations? You wanna beg off going?
- I reckon not. I reckon to go with you.
- All right then.
There's trouble waiting,
you just as good go to meet it.
- Pa!
- Get back! Watch the dogs!
He got me, boy.
He was a big one.
Get the gun.
Pa, it's a doe.
Do as I say.
Use your knife to open up her belly.
What am I to do?
Cut out the liver and heart.
Maybe we got a chance this way. Hurry.
Hurry, boy!
- You'll bleed to death.
- I'd rather that than swell.
I seen a man die. I can feel it draw.
Do it hurt, Pa?
Like a hot knife.
Give me the heart, boy.
- The doe's got a fawn.
- Sorry, boy, I can't help it.
Listen, I got to make for home.
You get on to the Forresters.
Have them get Doc Wilson.
- It's my only chance. Can you do it?
- I can.
- Save I'm snake-bit afore they shoot.
- I can do it.
Keep out of Lem's way.
Have one of them pick me up in case
I can't make it. And hurry, boy!
You'll make it! You hear me?
You're obliged to make it.
- Fodderwing!
- What do you want? You little varmint.
- Pa's snake-bit.
- What kind of snake?
- A big rattler.
- Where'd it get him?
- In the arm.
- Is he swelling?
It's bad swelled already.
Please ride for Doc Wilson.
Please ride for him, quick. Please!
- I'll ride for him.
- I thank you, Millwheel.
I'd help a dog was snake-bit.
I'll pick up Penny.
Walking's bad for a man is snake-bit.
Pa! Oh, Pa!
Old Death's got to wait a while on me.
Doc. Hey, doc.
- What?
- Look at Pa.
Lord of the jaybirds, he made it.
- He's dead!
- Not by a long shot.
He's pulled through.
You sound like you're sorry.
- I could sleep for a week.
- That's just what I want you to do.
He ain't pretty,
but by thunder, he's alive.
I woke up fixing to bury him.
- How he done it without whiskey?
- How come you be out of it?
I was finishing my last jug
when you rode up.
How was I to know somebody was
to get snake-bit? Thank you, ma'am.
Jody, you finished?
Take this warm milk into your pa.
And mind you don't spill none of it.
Now did I have me a real good snort,
I'd be pretty nigh satisfied.
It were a near thing, Pa.
- You all right now, though.
- That's right.
I'm proud, the way you kept your head
and done what was needed.
What's the matter, boy?
- Pa, you recollect that doe you shot?
- Can't never forget her.
Most likely she saved your life?
She saved me, that's certain.
Pa, you recollect
that little fawn she had?
Yes, boy.
Most likely it's mighty scared
and lonesome and hungry.
I reckon so.
It might be out there,
not knowing which way to go.
Might be.
It won't take much to raise it.
It'll soon make out
on leaves and acorns.
You figure the farthest
of any young'un I ever knowed.
We've taken its mammy
and it weren't to blame.
It don't seem grateful
to let it starve, do it?
Pa, you figure I could go out
and see could I find him?
- And tote it here?
- Tote it here and raise it.
Boy, you've got me hemmed in.
You tell your ma I said
you was to go and get it.
Hey, Pa!
Hey, doves!
It's me.
It's me...
I'm proud you found him.
He weren't scared of me.
He was laving right where
his mammy made his bed.
Look, Ma! I found him.
So I see.
It'll take milk for a long while.
I don't know as I'd have consented
if I'd knowed it was so young.
He ain't so young.
Is he, Pa?
...I got one thing to say,
then I'll have no more talk about it.
The little fawn's as welcome
in this house as Jody. It's hissen.
And we'll raise it without grudgement
of milk or meal.
You've got me to answer to,
I ever hear you quarreling about it.
This is Jody's fawn
just like Julie's my dog.
I only said it was young.
All right, so it is.
Now, don't you bother
about him at all.
I'll tend to everything
that needs tending to.
He won't be a mite of trouble to you.
I fooled you.
Hey! Wait for me.
Come on!
Come on!
Come on, I'll race you.
Hey, Ma!
You wanna see him butt?
Look it, Ma!
- Did you see him, Ma?
- I seen him.
Look at him thisaway, Ma.
Ain't his eves pretty?
They can see mischief too far.
- Ain't he got a cute, foolish tail?
- All deer's tails look the same.
- You wanna pet him? You can.
- I ain't petting no fawns.
I gotta get a name for him.
I've studied and I can't think of one
good enough for him.
You think more of that fawn
than of your pa.
Oh, Pa!
But I just got to.
I gotta get something special.
- Why don't you call him Rover?
- Ma! Rover's a dog's name.
Well, call him Joe, then.
Ma! Joe Baxter
sounds like a man.
He's gotta get him a special name.
- You know who'd get me a good name?
- Who's that?
- Fodderwing.
- Fodderwing's ailing.
But he'd just love to see my little
fawn. And he gets wonderful names.
He'll get you a name.
He's got an ear for such things.
Can I, Ma? Can I?
All I know is, my voice
don't mean nothing around here.
You gotta quit sleeping
with that fawn.
Just don't you be impatient now.
You think you're baggily...
...because you can get into bed
without having to undress.
Get over.
I wanna explain something to you.
Pretty soon, we'll go see Fodderwing,
he'll give you a name.
You'll like Fodderwing.
I want you to behave real mannerly,
so as he'll take to you.
You and me and...
You hear that?
That's a wolf.
You ever hear a noise like that,
you get in the house quick.
You hear any noises
that is animals... start running and bleating
so as I'll hear you.
You listening to me?
I don't know what ails Ma.
You smell just fine.
Come on.
This here's where Fodderwing lives.
Stand still.
You gotta look nice if you want him
to put a name to you.
Fodderwing always shows me his pets.
Now I've got something to show him.
Come on!
Maybe they's all asleep.
Fodderwing! It's Jody!
I got me something.
Come to see Fodderwing.
Come to show him my fawn.
I come special!
He's dead!
- But I come to see him.
- You come too late.
I'd have fetched you
if there'd been time.
There wasn't time enough
to fetch old doc.
One minute he was breathing,
and the next minute, he just wasn't.
Like as if you'd blowed out a candle.
You can come look at him.
I lost my boy.
My poor crookedy boy.
He'll not hear, but speak to him.
I knowed you'd hate it fearful.
I wished he could've seen your fawn.
I told him about it.
He talked a lot about it.
He said, "Jody's got him a brother."
That's how come we to be here.
I come for Fodderwing to name him.
He did name him. He said,
"A fawn has a little white flag.
His tail is a little white flag.
If I had a fawn, I'd name him Flag."
He said, "Flag the fawn
is what I'd call him."
Flag the fawn.
Penny, you've had a Christian raising.
We'd be proud, did you say something.
Oh, Lord, almighty God... ain't for us ignorant mortals
to say what's right and what's wrong.
Was any one of us to be doing it...
...we'd not have made this poor boy
into a cripple.
But, Lord, in a way of speaking,
you made it up to him.
You give him a way
with the wild critters.
You give him a sort of wisdom.
Made him knowing and gentle.
And now you've seen fit
to take him...
...where being crookedly
in mind or limb don't matter.
But, Lord, it pleasures us to think now
you've straightened out them legs.
It pleasures us to think on him
walking around as easy as anyone.
And Lord, give him a few redbirds...
...and maybe a squirrel or a coon
to keep him company, like he had here.
All of us is somehow lonesome...
...and we know he'll not be lonesome,
do he have wild things around him.
If it ain't asking too much,
put a few varmints in heaven.
Thy will be done.
What's all this?
- You can't leave them in this storm.
- They'd get blowed off the place.
You keep them out of my way.
Why didn't you let in the cow and
Caesar and have everything to suit you?
Maybe we could let in Old Slewfoot.
Pa, when we gonna hunt
Old Slewfoot again?
Jody, you're wet to the skin.
I got to dry Flag.
Look how good he shines up.
Get out of them wet clothes.
Ain't it nice hearing the wind and
rain, and us in here safe and cozy?
That's right, son.
Maybe we can tell a few tales tonight.
How'd you like that?
- Hey, Pa.
- Maybe your ma'll tell us a tale.
- Eh, Ma?
- I might.
Hey, Ma!
Well, Uncle Miles looked at them
two bear cubs and he says:
"I'm gonna catch me one of them."
So he did.
But he didn't have nothing
to tote it in.
Being from Georgia,
he had on long underdrawers.
He took them off, tied knots
in the legs and made a sack.
He put the cub in it, and as he's
reaching for his britches... comes a-crashing.
And that she-bear come
out of the thicket, right at him.
- Jody-boy, fetch me my pipe, son.
- Oh, Pa!
- What you grinning at?
- Oh, nothing.
I look all right?
You look just dandy, sweetheart.
Thank you, boy.
He takened out through
the swamp and dropped the cub.
And the old mammy gathered it up,
drawers and all.
She was so close,
she stepped on a vine...
...and it tripped him and throwed him
in the brambles.
Now, Aunt Moll
was kind of muddle-minded.
She never could make out
how he come home without drawers...
...and his bottom scratched.
Uncle Miles said:
"That weren't nothing to the puzzling
of that mammy bear...
...over them drawers on her cub."
Oh, Pa, you got all them tales
in your mind and don't tell them.
I ain't much for dogs, but there was
a dog once I takened a notion to.
She had the prettiest coat.
I said to the owner,
"When she finds pups, I'd like one."
He says, "But you ain't got
no way of hunting."
I wasn't vet married to your pa.
"A hound'll die," he says,
"if it ain't hunted."
"Is she a hound?" says I.
He said, "Yes'm."
I said, "Then I sure don't want one,
for a hound'll suck eggs."
Well, now, that's a mighty exciting
tale. You got any more like that one?
I might.
You reckon it's fixing to do damage?
Most of them rotted!
Our whole crop!
Keep turning them so's they all
get a mite of heat.
Most of these beans is molded.
Six days of rain. We just as good
to quit fighting and lay down and die.
Well, Job takened worse punishment.
That's right, find the good in it!
Get out of that,
you dad-ratted varmint!
Ma! Ma! Don't hit him again.
That ends it.
That critter gives me no peace.
He can't come in this house, never.
He's just hungry, Ma.
He ain't had much.
- Lock him up in the barn. If he...
- Leave off, the both of you.
Ain't it enough to have trouble
pouring on us out of the skies?
Has a man got to die to find peace?
What's happening now?
Seems like...
Pa, it's stopped!
Ma, it seems like times
a body gets struck down so low...
...ain't a power on earth can ever
bring him up again.
Seems something inside him dies... he don't even want
to get up again...
...but he does.
They ain't much of a world left
for us, but it's all we got.
Let's be thankful
we got any world at all.
Here comes the sun.
Hey, Ma, look at this day!
If I was dead,
I'd notice a day like this.
Just right for corn.
Just right for okra. For tobacco...
...cowpeas, potatoes, greens.
Hey, Ma, we got us a planting Pa,
ain't we?
To hear him, you'd think
he'd plant the world.
I'd purely love to.
Come on. If we're gonna do
that planting, we best keep busy.
When these tobacco plants come up,
we won't have to tote water no more.
Ma's gonna have a well,
right outside our door.
Pa give us a lot of chores today.
There. Now we're all done.
Come on. You sit in the doorway.
Hey, Pa.
- Was that Jody?
- What if it was?
Now stand still.
You'll bust one of these seams.
Stand still, I tell you.
You want I should spoil it?
- I done the hoeing you told me to do.
- All right, all right.
- And I got the tobacco plants watered.
- That's good, boy.
Anything else I should do, Pa?
I guess not.
That's sure mighty pretty, Pa.
I'll pretty you with a piece
of fat wood! Get out of here!
Can I bring Flag to see
how pretty it looks?
- You gonna get...
- Be still!
You said you'd be through by now!
- He's gotta learn how dresses is made.
- Not on me, he don't.
Besides, I'm getting feverish.
Well, fight it a minute
and turn around.
How do you think I'll finish
in time for the wedding?
What wedding?
Who's getting married?
- Oliver's getting married.
- Oliver?
That ain't the worst of it.
They're going to Boston to live.
- We ain't gonna see Oliver no more?
- I'm afraid not, boy.
Now, tomorrow, I'm going
to Oliver's wedding.
After they're married,
they're going off to Boston... we'll be kind of alone.
Take care of yourself while I'm away.
Be good.
You understand?
I been doing some figuring.
You're getting kind of big.
Now I don't care for girls,
and I don't never aim to get married.
But when you get a little bigger,
maybe you're gonna want a doe.
So someday I'm fixing to build
a house by the glen.
And I'm gonna get you a doe.
We're all gonna live there
together by the glen.
Do you like that?
Me living with you?
See, I'm gonna take care of you fine.
Now, good night.
It's right nice seeing a lot of people
again, and the buildings and stores.
My, how it's growed! That there
house never used to be there.
- It's been built a year.
- Ma don't get out enough.
- That's the truth.
- How do you do?
- Why, how do, Miss Saunders?
- How do, Miss Saunders?
- She won't recollect me.
- How do you do, Miss Baxter?
How do you do?
Well, I declare!
Well, best get going.
Bye, Penny.
- Jody and me'll miss you.
- Miss me enough to visit.
I'll visit you, Oliver.
Thanks for sticking by me. I won't
forget you. Not even in the China Sea.
Bye, Eulalie. Be a good girl and
maybe you'll look after Jody for me.
- Bye, Miss Baxter.
- Bye.
Goodbye, Jody.
Shall I kiss you goodbye, Jody?
Well, I guess
it wouldn't hurt nothing.
- Come on.
- You'll miss the boat!
Hey, come on, honey.
We'll miss the boat.
- Bye.
- Bye.
Bye, Oliver. Bye, Twink.
I don't like folks going away.
It's like they was dying.
The way Fodderwing done.
That's life, boy.
Getting and losing.
Losing and getting.
I'm glad I got Flag.
Flag. Stop that. Oh, Flag.
You'll knock this milk over.
He missed me, Pa.
Flag sure missed me yesterday!
He just tags after me like a dog.
Just like your old...
What's happened, Pa?
We been saving a long time to get
enough to set out them tobacco seeds.
It weren't Flag done it. Weren't Flag.
It were Flag.
It won't do no good.
He ruined half the crop.
But Flag didn't mean it, Pa.
Ma, listen, Flag didn't mean it.
Ma, listen. Ma!
She figured at last she'd get a well.
That's why she's quiet.
- Flag didn't mean it.
- I don't figure he done it malicious.
He were just racing back and forth,
and it were something to jump on.
What you looking at him that way for?
He's a yearling now, for sure.
- You think a heap of him, don't you?
- Why, sure.
Yes, you're a pair of yearlings now.
It grieves me.
What you do that for?
You're a yearling now.
You're growed up.
You gotta be good.
- I can do that, Pa. I know just how.
- No, we'll do it together, boy.
There's a good few he ain't touched.
Think we got enough for Ma's well?
No, I'm afraid not, boy.
But I got a little idea.
Let's clear the field
behind the pot garden.
There's a few stumps there. If we can
get them out, we might plant cotton.
A money crop, so your ma
can still get her well.
Hey, Pa! We can do it! We can do it!
Giddap, Caesar. Go on. Giddap.
This is the last one, Pa. Where do
you figure we best dig Ma her well?
We best get this field in cotton
before we figure on that.
Now, giddap, Caesar. Go on.
Giddap now!
What's the matter, Pa?
It's all right.
I'll be all right in a minute.
- I reckon I strained myself.
- I'll get Ma.
I'll be all right.
Unhitch Caesar. I'll ride him in.
You don't never know when to quit.
If you had a mite of sense...
- You likely ruptured yourself.
- Please to hush, Ora.
Is it easier, Pa?
Feels mighty good,
laving down this way. Hardly feel it.
You're obliged to take it easy.
I reckon.
If it happens that I ain't out of bed
for a few days... think you can take charge?
- I can take charge.
- Know what is to be done?
Cowpeas need hoeing.
I best watch for worms. And...
You know as good as I, you got to
keep that yearling out of the fields.
- I'll keep him out, Pa.
- That's fine.
You keep him out, religious.
Yes, sir.
I'll just take charge of everything.
You best get to bed, now.
You got a lot to do tomorrow.
You get a good sleep too, Pa.
Got to get your strength back.
All right, son.
Night, Pa.
Good night, son.
Your pa asleep?
He's getting to sleep.
You best get to bed too, Ma.
What's that?
I said, you best get to bed.
Mr. Impudent Bigmouth,
you just get to your room.
Yes, ma'am.
- Some people getting mighty important.
- Yes'm.
- Night.
- Night.
Look. These here's for your supper.
I only wasted two shots.
That's mighty fine.
I'm taking charge all right.
Everything's coming along fine.
Why, the corn is the best
I ever seen and...
What's the matter, Pa?
- When did you see the corn last?
- Yesterday. It's near an inch high.
Your ma here says...
She says something has ate it.
Ate the corn?
She says nearly
the whole crop is gone.
But that ain't right.
Yesterday it was all right.
It appears like something
must have ate it during the night.
- Flag ain't ate it.
- He did.
He wouldn't eat the corn!
He never ate nothing he shouldn't.
Go and see!
And that settles it!
That deer has got to go!
It were Flag.
I reckon. Yes, sir.
But he won't never do it again, Pa.
I'll whip him with a stick, Pa.
- He ain't been whipped.
- You don't think whipping will help?
I'll pen him up...
We got no place to pen up
a wild thing like that.
I'll halter him. I'll tie him
and let him kick...
Now, wait a minute, boy.
Just listen to me.
Yes, Pa. I'm listening.
What's happened is powerful bad.
You know that.
- Yes.
- But your ma and me have an agreement.
We're going to have a try at a remedy.
- You'll work extra hard to fix things?
- Oh, Pa, I'll do anything.
- I'll work like you never seen!
- All right, all right.
First, you get whatever corn
we got left.
Then you plant it
like we done before.
Then you build our fence up high.
When it's higher than you can reach,
I hope I can help you.
But you got to get it all up
before the corn starts showing again.
Maybe that way we're safe.
- You understand, boy?
- You can depend on me, Pa.
Soon as I get the corn planted, you'll
stay in the barn till the fence is up.
I'm proud to see you
working so hard, boy.
But the yearling ain't worth killing
yourself over.
I ain't killing myself, Pa.
I ain't killing myself.
I'd give a year of my life
to help you with this.
I can do it all right, Pa.
I can do it.
We done it, Ma! We done it!
Hey, Ma!
- Never mind squeezing my life out.
- I sure thank you for helping me, Ma.
I never figured you had it in you
to work this way.
Looks as if we're gonna
have a crop after all.
And a fence, Ma!
Ain't it wonderful!
Let's go in and tell your pa
we're done. He'll be mighty proud.
Come here, close to me.
You know we depend on our crops
to live, don't we?
Yes, sir.
- We can't go on having them destroyed.
- No, sir.
There is no way in the world to keep
that yearling from destroying them.
I'm sorry. I can't never
tell you how sorry.
But all's been done was possible.
Take the yearling out in the woods
and tie him and shoot him.
You gotta go away, Flag.
You gotta go away
and never come back.
You're growed up now. You gotta
go out and find yourself a doe.
We can't all live together
like I planned.
You've been bad,
without meaning to be.
You can make out by yourself,
can't you?
You'll be all right. You're smart.
Besides, I don't care for you no more.
You ain't cute like you used to be
when you was little.
You go now. Ain't nobody got any use
for you around here anymore!
Go on, you hear me? You go!
There's nothing I can do to save you!
Go on! You gonna get killed
if you stay around here!
Get out before I shoot you!
And don't you never come back!
Don't you never!
How come you not to do
what I told you?
I couldn't.
I just couldn't, Pa.
Tell your ma to come here.
Go to your room and shut the door.
Yes, sir.
Pa says you're to go to him.
I didn't mean to hurt the critter.
I can't shoot straight.
You got to finish him, boy.
You got to put him out of his torment!
You done it on purpose.
You always hated him!
You went back on me!
You told her to do it!
I hate you! I hope you die!
I hope I never see you again!
It's me, Flag.
It's me, Jody.
Ma! I'm hungry, Ma.
I'm hungry.
Look sharp there.
Something ahead. What is it?
Reverse engine. Lower the aft boat.
- What's he doing on the river?
- Skinny, ain't he?
- Try him something to eat.
- He ain't awake.
I'll get him some soup.
- Pa!
- Take it easy, kid.
- He's feverish, ain't he?
- He's waking up.
Well, young'un, what's the matter?
We about run you down in the dark.
You hungry, boy?
Hey there!
Not too fast.
It's me.
It's Jody.
Come close.
Boy, we near about give you out.
You all right?
You all right. You ain't dead
nor gone. You all right.
Glory be!
- I had to come home.
- Why, sure you did.
I ain't meant what I said
about hating you.
Why, sure you ain't.
When I was a child,
I spake as a child.
- Where's Ma?
- She drove the wagon to Doc Wilson's.
Your ma's been searching for you.
She ain't done nothing else.
She'll be mighty glad you're home.
Jody, I'd be proud to know
where you been.
I been on the river.
I aimed to go to Boston.
I see.
Were you hungry?
I didn't get nothing to eat
for three days.
I'm sorry you had to learn it
that way.
Now you know Old Starvation. He's got
a face meaner than Old Slewfoot.
It's fearful!
Sit, boy.
You figured I went back on you.
That's why you runned away.
Son, there's a thing every man's got
to know. Maybe you know it already.
It wasn't only me. Wasn't only your
yearling deer having to be destroyed.
- Boy, life goes back on you.
- Yes, sir. I reckon.
You've seen how things go
in the world of men.
Every man wants life
to be a fine thing and easy.
Well, it is fine, son, powerful fine.
But it ain't easy.
I wanted life to be easy for you.
Easier than it was for me.
A man's heart aches seeing his
young'uns face the world.
Knowing they got to get their insides
tore out the way his was tore.
I wanted to spare you
as long as I could.
I wanted you to be with your yearling.
I knowed the lonesomeness be easier.
But every man's lonesome.
Well, what's he to do then? What's
he to do when he gets knocked down?
Why, take it for his share and go on.
I'm ashamed I run off.
You're near enough growed
to do your choosing, Jody.
Maybe you'd crave to go
to sea like Oliver.
But I'd be proud did you choose
to live here and farm the clearing.
I'd be proud to see the day
you got a well dug.
So's no woman here'd be obliged to do
her washing on a seepage hillside.
You willing?
I'm willing.
It's food and drink
to have you home, boy.
Go to bed and rest.
I'll sit and wait for your ma.
Yes, sir.
- Night.
- Night, Pa.
- I'll start the corn in the morning.
- Yes, boy.
- We'll make it, Pa. We'll make out.
- Yes, boy.
- Come spring, we'll hunt Old Slewfoot.
- Yes, boy.
- Good night, Pa.
- Good night, my son.
- He's done come back, Ezry.
- He's done come back different.
He's takened a punishment.
He ain't a yearling no longer.
...I thought I'd lost them all.
Ora, he's done come home.
I'll go in and see him.
Go on, Ma.
- Hello, Ma.
- Hello, son.
- You home and safe.
- Yes, Ma.
I'm grateful.
Now you get to sleep.
- Night, son.
- Night, Ma.