‘Rain On Tanyard Hollow’ by Jesse Stuart

Rain On Tanyard Hollow by Jesse Stuart, 1941

The magic trick:

A religion of natural wonder

This story dabbles in religion a little bit, but I think it winds up asserting a kind of religion of Jesse Stuart. That is it promotes a worldview in which you respect and appreciate the natural world around you. The Christian prayer in the story is used more for comedy. The moral lies in the beauty of the land, not people.

And that’s quite a trick on Stuart’s part.

The selection:

The storm was over. It was light again. The chickens flew down from the apple trees. The big yard sycamore shade trees went with the storm but the apple trees stood. There was mud two feet deep on our floor. It was all over the bedclothes. There were five big rocks on our house we couldn’t move. We’d haf to take the floor up and dig holes and bury the rocks under the floor. Trees were split all over Tanyard Hollow hillside slopes. Great oak trees were splintered clean to the tops. Our corn had washed from the hill slopes. There wasn’t much left but mud, washed-out trees, rocks and waste. Roots of the black-oak trees where the dead-leaf loam had washed away, looked like bundles of clean washed black snakes. The big rock upon the steep hillside that bothered Pappie when he was plowin’ had washed in front of our door.

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