Though my grandpa Roscoe Holdaway worked as a farmer back in the 1920s, once he took the opportunity to get temporary work for a few weeks at a logging camp deep in the woods somewhere in Northeast Texas, taking his young wife, Lizzie, and baby Annie along, since family quarters were provided. Raised platforms were provided for them to pitch improvised tents, with cooking to be done outside. It was a pleasant break. A close community of friends worked together. The women spent the day visiting while they minded their children, cooked, sewed, often having the evening meal together when the men finished for the day. Good fishing was nearby, so there were frequent community fish fries. Tent flaps could be raised for a nice cross-breeze. They all visited in the cool of the evening as the kids played.
One night Lizzie slipped into bed next to her sleeping baby, stretching out luxurously. Her foot connected with something cool and smooth. She realized instantly, a snake had crawled into the bed, seeking warmth. Frantically, she signalled Roscoe, trying not to move a muscle and alarm it, hissing, “Snake!” She pointed to the covers at the end of the bed. Thinking quickly, Roscoe reached for his axe propped by the door, gesturing for her to move her foot as he snatched the quilt back. She held her breath, waiting. He grasped the edge of the quilt and counted tacitly. At three, he snatched back the covers as she jerked back her foot out of the way. Screaming, she snatched up Annie, waking her just in time to see her beloved porcelain baby doll beheaded!