Connecticut Yankee

A Connecticut Folktale

Now, here in the South, we all do not approve of your so-called Connecticut Yankee peddlers. So when one appeared in the yard of my tavern, I was not of a mind to give him room for the night.

He was a scrawny fellow with a mop of white hair and a withered face. He did not seem like a crafty Yankee peddler. He looked more like a grandfather on his last legs. Surely this Connecticut Yankee had no harm in him!

Curiosity being my downfall, as my wife would be the first to tell you, I was keen to see a real Yankee trick. So I told him that he might have lodgings for the night if he would play a Yankee trick before he left. Well, he promised me the trick, but said he was tired and went directly to bed.

The next morning, everything went wrong. My yard boy never showed up. I was forced to care for the horses myself while my wife cooked breakfast. When I finally got inside, my wife was leaning over a table full of the peddler’s wares. She was fingering a coverlet which matched the ones we had upstairs. The peddler named a ridiculously low price and my wife nodded eagerly. Just then one of our other customers called me to his table to pay his bill, so I did not see the peddler finalize the sale. It was only after the peddler had called for his buggy, paid for his room, and begun to drive away that I suddenly remembered his promise.

"Peddler!" I called. "What about the Yankee trick your promised? I did not see any trick!"

"You will," he said, whipping up his horse.

Just then, my wife stuck her head out from one of the rooms upstairs.

"Harry!" she cried. "That sneaky Yankee just sold me the cover from off his bed!"