If you carry the root only on your right side, this root will make it impossible for any white man to whip you.
Frederick Douglass's childhood was full of terrible, awful, and cruel things, which was all part of slavery. In the year of 1833, on January 1st, Frederick was rented out by his master, Thomas Auld, to a new temporary master named Edward Covey. He was known as a "slave breaker", and Frederick found out the hard way that it was true. Covey was the devil. Frederick scarcely pass a week without Covey whipping him, leaving bloody red scars on his back. Covey would give the slaves enough food to survive, but not enough time to eat it. The slaves were in the fields till the sun winked under the horizon, but sometimes worked until midnight.
Can you please take care of the pigs? Thank you
On one of the hottest days of August 1833, Frederick and three other slaves were fanning wheat, which was simple work, requiring strength rather than intellect. But at about three o'clock at noon, Frederick broke down, a violent aching in his head, extreme dizziness, his limbs trembling. Frederick collapsed, too tired to work any longer. Covey, who had heard the wheat fan stop, came immediately to see what was going on. He saw Frederick, and kicked him, telling him to get up. But Frederick was unable to, angering Covey, who picked up a hickory slat and gave Frederick a heavy blow in the head, causing blood to flow from the wound.
That night, Frederick ran away to the woods, his heart was a brick in my chest. I met my fellow slave Sandy, who told me that he was on his way to see his wife. I told him what had happened that day, and Sandy told me that in a certain part of the woods, the roots are magical. “If you carry the root only on your right side, this root will make it impossible for any white man to whip you.”I didn’t believe it at first, but it seemed like the root was calling for me, tempting me to accept it, so I got the root and fell asleep in the woods, hoping the root would work.
Frederick headed back home on Sunday morning, determined to test the power of the root in his right pocket, but as he entered the gate back to Covey's house, he met Covey who told him kindly to take care of the pigs. Frederick was puzzled, because he only had yelled or shouted at Frederick during the past five months he had been on the plantation. This unusual behavior made Frederick think that this matter had something to do with the root that he had in my right pocket.
Finally on Monday morning, the power of the root was finally tested. Frederick was working in the stables alone, when Covey entered with a long rope, trying to tie him up, grabbing his leg. Frederick got a sudden burst of energy, and so he seized Covey in return. Covey was so surprised because no slave had ever had the courage to stand up to their master, that he trembled like a leaf, giving Frederick confidence. "Hughes! Help me!" When Frederick's slave friend William Hughes came, Frederick kicked him, not only injuring him, but scaring him away. Covey repeatedly called for help, but no one helped him.
Frederick believed that he had won that fight, and that battle was a turning-point in his life. No one dared to whip him after the fight. It had made Frederick feel like he wasn't a slave anymore because he had stood up for myself, and it gave him more confidence. Frederick felt like he had rose from the tomb of slavery to the heaven of freedom.