Listen to a drunk gravedigger's tale about his bizarre "co-worker."
|I've seen some peculiar things in my days–so done my daddy and so done his. Life as a gravedigger lacks normality. Things never seem quite right. I've buried best friends side-by-side, holes in their heads over entitlement to the final beer. I've showered earth on many a loving couple, who met their ends when one came home a little earlier than planned. Still, ain't nothing stranger than good Ol' Billy.
Not a minute sooner than midnight and he hunts. Here he comes now, burrowing into graves. He pushes sand away from his nostrils with whip of tail. About five feet long, white and brown stripes and no legs to speak of, he is quite the character. His tongue flickers in moonlight, like a raindrop's glint in the desert. He sports a beat-up top hat, taking it off by tail before he sinks into some dirt. He looks pretty cute until he showcases a set of human teeth–right before he munches.
Ol' Billy's always been here, always out hunting for ripe corpses. He never disturbs the new ones evident by the crunch that comes right outta his mouth. It's gotta be old, making rot waft off his breath while he's at work. On hot evenings, I leave a beer for him. I'll return at dawn to find the can empty. I figure he somehow pops the tab off with the tip of his tail. It must be thirsty work when you reckon how he plows through that rocky soil.
Now, you got the right to question why I don't go screaming to the sheriff over this grave robber. But when a man digs a grave, it can be back-breaking work. Billy's talent for diving helps to loosen the dirt–it eases my shovel and me too. Without that slithering thing, I'd done had a stroke by now. I don't question what Billy is–I know better than look a gift horse in the mouth. Whether organic or simply satanic, I owe him silence. None but the dead and us gravediggers know of his work, and that's fine by me. It only pains me each morning to clean up the bones he spits up.
Some evening, years down the road, when my boy takes up the mantle and I'm napping in dirt, I hope Ol' Billy comes to munch on me. It's all I can give for the help he gives me and my family.