Grandfather and Esther are sitting on the shaded veranda. Grandfather

is tilting snuff from the lid of his snuff box

into his lower lip, holding the lip outdrawn between thumb

and finger. They look around as I cross the veranda

and dip the gourd into the water bucket and drink.

When I was a boy I first learned how much

better water tastes when it sets a while in a

cedar bucket. Warmish-cool, with a faint taste like the hot

July wind in cedar trees smells. It has to set

at least six hours, and be drunk from a gourd.


Paraphrases from the novel As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner.