Children on the Pamell plantation led a carefree existence until they were     about 12 years of age, when they were put to light chores like carrying water     and food, picking seed from cotton lint (there were no cotton gins), and minding     the smaller children. They were duly school in all the current superstitions     and listened to the tales of ghosts and animals that talked and reasoned,     tales common to the     Negro today. Little Mandy believes to this day that hogs can see the wind     and that all animals talk like men on Christmas morning at a certain time.     Children wore moles feet and pearl buttons around their necks to insure easy     teething and had their legs bathed in concoction of wasp nest and vinegar     if they were slow about learning to walk. This was supposed to strengthen     the weak limbs. It was a common occurrence to see a child of two or three     years still nursing at the mother’s breast. Their masters encouraged the slaves     to do this, thinking it made strong bones and teeth.



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