Wednesday, August 21, 2013



Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1896-1953), Cross Creek, 14 (Toady-frogs, lizards, antses, and varmints): "
Martha," I asked, "just exactly what is a varmint?"

"Why, a wild-cat be's a varmint, Sugar," she said. "Skunks be varmints, an' 'coons an' foxes an' 'possums. Minkses, too. A panther be's a varmint, an' a bear. All them wild things, Sugar, out in the woods. Tigers be varmints, an' lions. A lion," she said earnestly, "he'll kill you right now. We ain't got tigers an' lions, praise God, but did we have, they'd be varmints."

She pondered.

"But a cow, now, Sugar, hit ain't a varmint. Nor a hog. Them's beas'es."

She chuckled.

"Heap o' folkses be varmints," she said.

A varmint then, is any one of the wild things in the woods either definitely predatory or of no domestic service. A human varmint is one who possesses skulking qualities and may be expected to be "low down."

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