It was the night before Christmas and all through the house;
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
We put poison in the basement to run the creatures away;
And we went on a mission, but not to stay.

It was a quite fer piece, for Mother and me;
"Two woop's, a hollar and a hounds bay.
Down into the "Lap Land", so they say;
The church called us down "Thar" where Missouri laps over into Arkansas.

Mother was sick along the way, and me in my seventieth year;
The children came with all the young-ins.
Put up the tree and all the trimmin's.

They opened up the house made it livable again;
It's the scene of a "heap a livin";
They always share in others strain.
And there's been a "Heap of given".

Over forty-five years the Matthews clan has kept us in this tradition;
We drove our oxen and wagon all the way, a symbol of our start to finish.
We make this gift to the clan today, and our faith is not diminished.

This team and wagon we bought as a gift;
For our Christmases to-be Tho, this space age that flies so fast.
Time has slowed us down a bit;
That is "Mother and Me" This symbol will have to come to rest.

In the shelter we built for the clan;
From the youngest child to the oldest man.

By A.Z. Matthews, December 24, 1963

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