A Dixie Sleigh Ride
An excerpt from the Waterford News, Vol. I, No. 7, Seventh Day, 1st Month, 28th, 1865
I wonder if our friends in the United States have enjoyed their numerous sleigh-rides this winter more than we did our one, taken under the seraphic influence of a clouded moon. ‘Twas not one of your couplet rides, never to be spoken of save by you and he, but a real jolly, funny, enjoyable ride; there were five of us. We started after tea, and also after repeated injunctions from our several parents to be careful, not stay too long, don’t let any accident happen, remember Fanny stumbles sometimes, and Blindy can’t see. They were our horses. Fanny was not as young as she was twenty years ago, but we didn’t want any better horses, no indeed. We took the best road to the river, and some of our party seemed to have a strong notion of going on to Frederick. You know what most every body goes there for. Our driver thought it would be just the thing, and let his imagination run on to the time when they should be old, and he would have the honor of saying, when that distinguished gentleman’s name was mentioned as a candidate for the Presidency, why I took him to Frederick on his wedding trip; but it could not be accomplished. He said he could not choose-one without making the others feel badly, such vanity is man’s, but we knew She was not there. On we sped, meeting with no accident, save losing our whip lash, and which we concluded was providential, as it would afford an item for our next paper. We laughed and talked, and chatted on every subject, interspersing each interim with an exclamation, And isn’t this elegant! Did you ever enjoy any thing more? Then one of our party, of the genus homo, who flourished in the last generation–may his shadow never grow less for many generations to come–would tell us of the winter of 1857, when they had sleighing parties every night for four or five successive weeks. I believe he did except First-day night, but from the way he spoke, one would think they went thirty-five nights in one month. There was no war then, and consequently no rebels to be afraid of. He remembered the time very well when our big Brothers and Sisters used to wake us up out of our good sleeps, and tell us what a splendid time they had been having, how Lew’s sleigh ‘most upset, and Frank’s horses like to have run away, and what they had for supper, and the way we asked if they brought us any thing good, and how we went to sleep again, wishing we were big too, and now we were, but this cruel war came, and there were no such good times. But happy in the present, we envied not the enjoyments of the past, and when we reached our homes, we spoke in rapturous terms of the most delightful time ever was. Then those parents of ours said “Oh yes, the last time’s always the best,” to which we agreed, and went to bed dreaming of sleigh-bells, blind horses, warm bricks, and wishing for another sleigh-ride soon. -A
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