(Unless otherwise noted, the Kathryn Tucker Windham blog is written by her daughter, Dilcy Windham Hilley.)
Ben and I went to Thomasville with a shovel to steal narcissus bulbs.
We needed them as a Christmas gift for my 80-year-old mother. She had yearned for bulbs from her mother’s garden for some time, but the owner of the property refused to let her dig just a few. So, brother Ben and I went to steal them. It’s what you do when you love your mother more than life itself and someone dares to tell her no.
At the time, Ben was being treated for tongue cancer. He was weak but was determined to come along to assist with the theft. It was twilight when we got to Thomasville. We parked down the road a piece from the house, and stealthily climbed a small hill up into the killjoy’s backyard.
And we dug, dropping our plunder into a large grocery sack.
We gave the bulbs to my mother for Christmas that year, and she cried. She wrote a little book about it called It’s Christmas.
I’m not sure the bulbs ever bloomed, or even that they were narcissus bulbs and not onions. It’s hard to determine those things when you’re stealing in the dark. But I am sure that they were bulbs of some sort from my grandmother’s yard. And I’m pretty sure the spirit of Christmas redeemed us of our sin.
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–Wayne Flynt, Professor Emeritus in the Department of History at Auburn University.
Ben Windham & Dilcy Windham Hilley
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