Holdin' Steady

Easy dere, Massa, easy dere. Don’ get all excited, we boys jus’ wanna have a talk with you, dat be all.

Boys… heh, you been callin’ us boys so long now, we callin’ each other dat. Well, dat needs to stop Massa. We be grown men, an’ you’ll be addressin’ us as such.

Woah now, woah now, Massa! Hold ‘im steady Jesse, hold ‘im steady.

Ain’t no harm in talkin’ Massa, is dere? We jus’ have some questions dat been rollin’ round in our heads dese last nine years an’ we got to thinkin’ it about time dey got answers. You see Massa, we be most deeply confused in regards to de manner in which you been treatin’ us an’ we was hopin’ you could put things straight for us simple folk, bein’ d’ educated man dat you be.

Now, we know you be a man of deep faith – we hear you preachin’ de good Lord’s gospel at your social gatherins each an’ every Saturday evenin’, in between bites of de fine food our brothers prepare for you an’ your high an’ mighty guests. Don’t you know dat we pray to de same God in heaven, Massa? Don’t you hear us singin’ His praise as we bend our backs to work His good earth? We be readin’ from de same bible, ain’t we? Cause, lemme tell you Massa, we can’t find no place in His good book dat says de way you treat us squares with His teachins.

Why you look so surprised, Massa? Don’t you know dat we can read?

Ah, dat matters not now, dat matters not. But here be de other thing we no unnastand Massa: we can see dat you’re a good family man, dat you love your wife an’ three lovely daughters very much. We know dat ‘cause our own womenfolk have helped you raise dem, helped you take care of dem. Treated dey wounds, seen de joy in dey eyes when you come into de room. An’ yet, Massa, an’ yet you keep us men separate from our own families. We know you be aware of d’ importance of a close family Massa, so why you keep us away from our fathers an’ mothers an’ wives an’ chil’ren? Dat just don’t make no sense at all.

So many things we no unnastand Massa. But fear not, fear not – we did figure one thing out, all on our lonesome. You should be proud dat you have such intelligent men workin’ for you Massa.

You see, for de longest of times we could no unnastand why you were so… generous with your using of this here whip.

Hold him steady now, Jesse! Quiet ‘im down a touch, won’t you? Dere we go, dere we go.

Now Massa, we done a lot of thinkin’ on dat one, yessa we have. An’ here’s what we finally decided: a civilized man such as ya’self would never make so much use of this… barbaric instrument if’n you were aware of just how much pain it does cause. But how could you be knowledgeable of such a thing if you never felt these cruel lashes against your soft, rosy skin?

So we decided, Massa, dat it be time for dat to change. Now hold him real steady, Jesse, hold him real steady…

The End

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