Well, once upon a time back in the pioneer days Davy Crockett was walkin’ home in the late afternoon, right afore sunset. He hadn’a done much in the way of shootin’, and as folks ’round them parts was like to be, he was mighty put out. “If you wanta make a hunter madder’n a bridled bull, jist keep him from bringin’ meat home after a full day of walkin’,” they say.
Well now Davy was passin’ under a mighty tall tree near the Great Gap when he looked up and spied a fat furry coon starin’ down at him. He was just about to raise his gun when he saw the coon lift his paw and say, “Excuse me, is your name Davy Crockett?”
“It is,” Crockett said as he lowered his gun ‘Old Betsy’.
Well, that coon immediately put on the saddest face you ever saw and he said to Davy, “Then you needn’t take any more trouble. I’m comin’ down.”
The coon climbed on down that tree just as slow and mournful as could be. He just plain considered himself shot. Davy got to thinkin’ that such a courteous coon deserved better than bein’ skinned, so when the coon waddled up to him he bent down and patted the little feller on the head.
“You’re a right thoughtful feller,” Crockett said. “I won’t hurt you none.”
The coon didn’t seem surprised at all; instead he just started backin’ himself off into the woods saying, “That’s mighty kind, Mr. Crockett.”
“Hey, now,” said Davy, “what’s yer hurry?”
“Well, Mr. Crockett, it’s not that I doubt you. No, sir. It’s just that you might change your mind.” And with that, in a flash the coon disappeared into the woods.
Well of course Davy did change his mind right quick, but by the time he did, that wily coon was long gone. And Davy, why he just laughed—at himself.
It was the first, and last, coon who ever out-smarted Davy Crockett.
—adapted from Great American Folklore, by Kemp P. Battle