I was a slave. I never knew my father. I did know my mom though, but she rarely ever visited me. Visiting me was hard since she was sold to another plantation far away. As a child, I moved from plantation to plantation. On those plantations, the lowest thing you could do was not follow directions. To me, the mornings were horrible. Between all the work we had to do in the morning waking up was the absolute worst. I am Frederick Douglass and this is the tale of the “Driver’s Horn”.
You’re probably wondering why I think that waking up is the worst thing that I do in the morning? It's not because of how early it is or how we somehow have to get up off that dreadful cold damp floor. It is because every morning at 5:00 am we had to hear the dire sound of the driver’s horn. The sound that horn made was like listening to nails on a chalkboard, and as a child, who already didn't have the best life, that noise didn't make it any better.
As a slave, after we got ready we had to report to our post in a timely manner. Good heavens for the slaves who didn't hear the sounds of the horn, they were destined for the wippinn with a large hickory stick, and man, oh man, the pain of that large hickory stick was like the pain of stepping on that one needle in a haystack. The first time I ever witnessed this affair was when a man in my cabin did not hear the sound of the driver's horn.