Well, I never. . .some folks ain't born with no kinda sense."" And Piney shore seems to be one of them. He's taken in by the story that a mule hair left in a bucket of water overnight will turn into a snake; he loads his pockets with gravel to help him remember to tell Mama that preacher is coming to dinner and forgets anyway; he runs away to save his pet hen Honey Putt from the frying pan but gets no farther than the stream just down the hill. There are a few intrusions of raw reality (in the most disturbing, a polite escaped convict is hauled off by a whip-brandishing sheriff) and Piney gets his own back at last, when, on the first day of school, he surprises the boy who hoaxed him with a dead garter snake and talks the prankster into buying a ""special mule hair"" for 30 cents. Baughman, who hails from a town called Eclectic, Alabama, has kept her childhood memories spruce and accent agile. But the indulgent, adult's eye-level-view of Piney soon cloys.