September 15, 1965
Jocie Brooke here reporting from Hollyhill, Kentucky. Boy, am I glad I don’t live where hurricanes can hit. Last week I told you they were watching out for Hurricane Betsy and I didn’t think that was a very good name for a hurricane. Well, I guess it was because it blew into Florida and Louisiana and tore up stumps and flooded everything and made this storm surge that went over the levees in Louisiana. The papers said maybe as many at eighty people died. It was so bad that Dad says they’ll never use the name Betsy for a hurricane again. The name will be dropped from the list.
Scary stuff but here in Hollyhill things just go on like always. I go to school. Zella types and pretends not to like Cat, but I know she slips him bits of bacon. Wes keeps the press running and watches baseball. Aunt Love lets the beans burn. Folks at church have potluck dinners. Things that seem so ordinary, but as Miss Sally tells me ordinary can be good.
Speaking of baseball – well, I wasn’t, but Wes was. He said we might as well not worry ourselves to death over hurricanes and think about Bert Campaneris. He plays for the Kansas City A’s, and Wes says the A’s have been losing nearly every game. So to try to up attendance, the manager decided to play Campaneris at every position in one game. Pitcher, catcher, fielder, baseman. All nine positions. They did that last week. Wes couldn’t wait to read about it in the city newspapers. And he told me all about it at least ten times. He said that’s the way they play ball up on Jupiter. Switching positions all the time. Said it made him almost homesick, but since Bert was playing down here on Earth, he guessed he’d stick around to see how the World Series turns out. One thing sure, the A’s won’t be in the World Series. Not losing every game like that.
We’ve been playing softball in gym at high school. I’m the worst. Can’t hit and can’t catch. But I can run if I happen to get on with a walk or something. Did you ever play softball?
Guess I’d better share a few more pages of Bailey’s Bug.
Bailey’s Bug by Jocie Brooke
(Continued from last week – the beginning of the story can be found on the Bailey’s Bug link above.)
behind the buildings in front of them, Lucinda began to talk about soft
cushions and beds. She never actually said they needed to go back to the
Robinsons, but she did stop every few blocks to lick her paws and stare off
into the distance as though she could see something Bailey couldn’t.
made him glad to plop down beside Lucinda while she worked on her feet.
looked around. Nothing looked right. People were there all right. Rushing
everywhere like the sidewalk was too hot to stand still for more than a second.
Now and again, a person smiled toward him, but more of them yelled as if they
were afraid he might give them fleas or something.
people yelling at him, but Lucinda expected people to be respectful. The nasty
voices made her fur spike up along her back and her tail kept getting stiffer
as it shot up into the air.
and spotted them behind a garbage can. He not only yelled, he picked up a rock
and threw it at them. The rock bounced on the sidewalk and almost hit Lucinda.
She sprang up with a yowl and snarled at the man. Bailey jumped in front of her
as another rock whistled past. They raced around a corner away from the man and
his rocks and stopped to catch their breath between two parked cars.
Bailey hoped that would make Lucinda feel less insulted.
shrill. “It’s not safe to be a stray in the city. Even the dumbest dog should
feel like a stray. He knew who he belonged to. Reid. Bailey peered under the
dark, silent car next to him. There were a lot of cars clustered around a
building where light spilled out of big windows. Inside, people were
moving around. The door swung open and the noise practically hurt Bailey’s
ears. It was that loud. But more entrancing was the smell of food.
that were Reid. But it wasn’t. The boy got into a car not far from Bailey and
the car woke up and inched out of the parking lot and out to the street. Bailey
didn’t know why he felt so disappointed, but he did.
looked at Lucinda. “What are we going to do now?”
bug in my ear.”
and moved his head to the left and then to the right. His tail stuck out like a
flag behind him as he sniffed the air. The hum was still in his ears. He’d come
the right way, but he couldn’t tell how much farther it was to Reid.
know.” Lucinda’s mood wasn’t improving. But she didn’t say they should go back
to the Robinsons. Instead she leaped up on the car beside them to look around.
slid down the hood to the bumper and jumped softly to the ground. “My feet
hurt. I’m not going another step tonight.”
limped to a huge metal bin. Bailey jumped up on the side of bin. Lovely smells
came from inside it. Food smells. But he couldn’t reach the opening, no matter
how he stretched.
starts throwing rocks again,” Lucinda ordered.
out of sight behind the bin. “You’ll just have to be hungry till morning.”
Bailey followed the cat into the shadowy darkness behind the bin. Lucinda had already found a piece of foam to curl up on. Bailey lay down beside her and did his best
not to think of bones and doggie treats and the wonderful whirr of Mrs.
Robinson’s can opener. He wondered what would be different in the morning that
would get them food. But there was no use worrying about that.
had to be closer to Reid tonight than last night. He might not be miles closer,
but he was closer. He wasn’t alone. Lucinda was with him and could be she knew
something she wasn’t telling him about morning and food. Lucinda liked having
back and forth.