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by Niles Reddick

We were on a walk to the country store in town from our grandmother's house with our Aunt Kate who was visiting from Jacksonville. We hoped she’d buy us Yahoos and Mary Janes, but when Aunt Kate passed gas, we all snickered.

Aunt Kate turned on her heals, put her hands on her hips. “Think my toot was funny?”

We nodded in unison. “It’s called farting, Aunt Kate.”

“No, that's not what it's called when women do it. It's called tooting. If it's a man, it's a disgusting fart and smells terrible, maybe worse than a skunk. You didn't smell mine, did you?”

“No mam,” we said.

“You boys remember that and when you grow up to be men. Don't do it around women at all, like your dad does. Even as a child, he farted all the time.”

“Yes mam,” we said.

Back at our Granny's house, Granny did more than toot. The gas rolled out from beneath her large frame planted in the chair, sounded like an approaching thunderstorm, and permeated the room. We giggled, looked at Aunt Kate, and said, “That wasn't a toot.”

“Oh, mama, for goodness sakes, I'm trying to teach these boys some city manners, not country ones like their daddy.”

“Well, here in the country, we fart. It’s natural. Got nothing to hide,” Granny said.