Lucy Muskgrove


My name’s Lucy Muskgrove. I’m a woman. And I own a pipe shop. I don’t know what that means to you, but I’m mighty proud of the facts.

I assemble all of my pipes wit’ my own two hands. Anyone who goes on to tell ya’ that ya’ can’t build yer own is lyin’ to ya’. E’rything ya’ need, ya’ can find it on this here Earth. S’all a matter of knowin’ where to look for it.

I’m also the proprietor of a great deal of land, and it ain’t easy for me to protect it, on account of the fact that I’m the only one livin’ on it. Now the truth is that I inherited all of it from the folks who done raised me. I guess you could say that I’m darn lucky. But they also say that e’rything happens for a reason, an I s’pose that must apply to luck too.

Like I may have mentioned earlier, t’ain’t easy for me to protect my land. I haf’ to take drastic measures. Anyun’ comes onto my property, I go up to ‘em, I look ‘em straight in the eye, and I shoot ‘em. T’ain’t no exceptions. I know it seems cruel, but I’m a skilled practitioner at shootin’ without killin’. An’ all wounds heal with time.

Now y’all might be wonderin’, if I’m so protective of my property, how does anyun’ get around to procurin’ one of my here pipes? Well there’s a way for ya’ to safely get into my shop, but it requires a bit of explainin’.

The first thing ya’ have to do is send me a letter that informs me of what yer lookin’ for in a pipe, and what yer plannin’ on doin’ wit’ it when ya’ get it. I know it would be faster to communicate wit’ me through the internet, but I ain’t never been on it. I heard there’s Russians over there. Anyhow, if I’m satisfied wit’ yer story, I’ll send back a request for ya’ to mail me yer birth certificate, just so I can be sure that ya’ is who ya’ says ya’ is. And let me tell ya’, there’s a considerable people out there who ain’t who they says they is because I’ve been given a whole lot of stories, but I ain’t been given a whole lot of birth certificates.

Now if yer one of the few people who is who they says they is, I’ll grant ya’ permission to enter my property. The road ends about four miles away from my door, so you’ll half to get out of yer car and hoof it. But I’m forewarning ya’, my frontyard ain’t easy to navigate. And my backyard ain’t any easier, if yer thinking about sneakin’ around behind like a good fer nothin’ cheat.

If ya’ end up makin’ it out to my shop, you’ll come to notice that the door is locked. When ya’ naturally decide to start a knockin’ on it, I’ll tell you to leave yer payment on the steps, and to come back for yer pipe in a month. Folks get mighty upset about this, and I agree that it don’t seem rational, but they ain’t aware that it’s been store policy since before I was around. They should be cursin’ at my grandpappy instead of me, but I don’t take no offense to it.

There was an occasion when somebody agreed to this condition I just talked about, and I must admit, I got real excited at the prospect of meetin’ him in the flesh. I circled the date on my calendar. And when the day finally arrived, I had the thought that I should make myself presentable. I brushed my teeth, I showered, and I went out to the crick to pick one of the daisies that grows so I could put it in my hair. Then I just sat there in the store, awaitin’. And when he came inside, I made the point to laugh at him for five minutes straight.

Why on earth would I give a man as desperate as ‘im a pipe?