Sling Blade
written (and performed) by Billy Bob Thornton

Karl: I reckon what you'd wantin' to know is what I'ma doin' in here. I reckon the reason I'm in here cause I killed somebody. Mm-hmm. But I reckon that you'd wantin' to know is how come he killed somebody. So I reckon I'll start at the front. Mm-hmm. I lived out on my mother's and father's place. Most of my life in a little ole shed that my daddy built for me. Mm. They didn't too much want me up there in the house with the rest of 'em. Mm. But mostly I just sat around out there in the shed looking at the ground, mmm. I didn't have no floor out there. But I had me a hole dug out to lay down in. Mm. A quilt or two to put down there. Mm-hmm.
My father was a hard-workin' man most of his life. Not that I can say the same for myself. I mostly would just sit around out there in the shed tinkerin' around with a lawnmower or two. Went to school off and on from time to time. But the children out there they were very cruel to me, make quite a bit of sport of me, make fun of me quite a bit. But mostly I would just sit around out there, in the shed. My daddy worked down there at the saw mill down at the planter mill fer an old man named Dixon. And old man Dixon was a very cruel feller. Didn't treat his employees very well. Didn't pay 'em too much of a wage. Didn't pay my daddy too much of wage. Just barely enough to get by, I reckon. But I reckon he got by alright. Mm. They used to come out, one or the other of 'em, usually my mother, feed me pretty regular. Well, I know he made enough to where I could have mustard and biscuits three or four times a week. Mm, mm.
Well old man Dixon, he had a boy name was Jesse Dixon. Jesse was really more cruel than his daddy was. He used to make quite a bit of sport of me when I was down there at the schoolhouse. He used to take advantage of the little girls in the neighborhood. They used to say that my mother was a very pretty woman. They said that quite a bit from time-to-time while I'd be down there at the schoolhouse. Well, I reckon you want me to get on with it, and tell you what happen. So, I reckon I'll tell ye.
I was sittin' out there in the shed one evening, not doin' too much of nothin', just kinda starin' at the wall, mm, waitin' on my mother to come out and give me my Bible lesson. Mm. Mm-hmm. Well, I heard a co-motion up there in the house, mm, so I run up on the screened-in porch to see what is a goin' on. I looked in the winder there I seen my mother layin' a on the floor without any clothes on. Mm. I seen Jesse Dixon a layin' on top of here. He was a havin' his way with her. Well, I just seen red.
I picked up a kaiser blade just sittin' there by the screen door. Some folks call it a sling blade, I call it a kaiser blade. It gotta long wood handle, kinda like a ax-handle. With a long blade on it, shaped kinda like a bananer. Mm-hmm. Sharp on one edge, dull on the other. What the highwayboys use to cut down weeds and what-not. Well, I went in there in the house, and I hit Jesse Dixon upside the head with. Knocked him off my mother. Mm. I reckon that didn't quite satisfy me. So I hit him again with it in the neck with the sharp edge, just plum near cut his head off. Mm-hmm. Killed him.
My mother, she jumped up there and started hollerin' "What'd you kill Jesse fer? What'd you kill Jesse fer?" Well, mm, come to find out I don't reckon my mother minded what Jesse was a doin' to her. I reckon that made me madder than what Jesse'd made me. So, I takin' the kaiser blade; some folks call it a sling blade, I call it a kaiser blade; and I hit my mother up side the head with it. Killed her.
Some folks has asked me, "If you had it to do over again, would you do it the same way?" I reckon I would. Seein' how they seem fit to put in here. Here I been for a great long while. I learned to read some. Took me four years to read the Bible. I reckon I understand a great deal of it. More than what I expected in most places. I slept in a good bed for a great long while. Now they seem fit to put me outta here. They say they're settin' me free today. Any how, I reckon that's all you needin' to know. You wanna hear about more details; I reckon I can tell 'em to ye. I don't know whether or not that is enough for your newspaper or not. Mm-hmm.
Young Reporter: Will you ever kill anybody again, Karl?
[Long Pause]
Karl: I don't reckon I got no reason to kill nobody. Mm.

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