'The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart' by Glenn Taylor

When Early Taggart was baptized in the Tug River in 1903, he was two months old. His mother, whose husband had left her a week earlier, had got religion. She believed it right to bring lambs to the fold before they could crawl or sit up on their own. Before Satan could fill their little blood vessels with the seven deadly sins. It was these sins that had caused her husband to run off, that she now preached on to her twelve pound boy while he breastfed.

But it was February when she decided to baptize him, and no preacher would would agree to it. 'You'd have to break through the ice down there,' the Methodist man said, 'and that boy ain't old enough to get wet anyhow.' So Mittie Ann Taggart did it herself. She punched holes through the inch-thick ice with her shoe heel and held her baby boy by his thighs. She dunked his head like wash. He came up screaming.

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