Saving Skelley

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, Heart of Hollyhill

October 27, 1965

Jocie Brooke here reporting from Hollyhill, Kentucky. Wow, what a week. My teachers have been crazy this week. They must think we have nothing to do but study. Tests and homework and who has time for all that. 

I know. I’m in school. I’m supposed to have time for all that. But I have to help Wes at the newspaper office. And help fold the papers to deliver. And try to keep Aunt Love from burning down the house by forgetting that she put something on to cook. And make sure Stephen doesn’t try to escape through the hole in the backyard fence while Tabitha takes a nap. He hasn’t been walking long, but let me tell you, that little boy can get away quick. 

All that and homework too is making it hard for me to get Bailey’s Bug written. I have to find out if Bailey can rescue Skelley, and the only way I can find that out is by writing the next scene. Homework just gets in the way. But I hurried through it tonight. It was easy. Well, except for those algebra problems. Sometimes all the x’s and y’s run together and who cares what x equals anyway. Words. That’s what I like. 

I did get part of the next scene written. I couldn’t leave Bailey facing down that bulldozer monster for another week. So here goes. Remember, you can find the whole story (so far) under the Bailey’s Bug link up top. I’m not exactly sure what a “link” is, but maybe you do.

BAILEY’S BUG by Jocie Brooke
   (Continued from last week)

   “Aw, come on, boss.” The man who’d been up on top the bulldozer monster stepped closer to the boss. “These guys must be friends. Let me go get the poor old dog.”
   “You’re crazy, Joe. This old house is going to fall down any minute.”
   “We got to do something. I can’t knock down the house with the dog trapped in there. It wouldn’t be right.”
   The boss muttered something under his breath. “Okay. I guess we’ll have to call the dogcatcher. Let him shoot the old dog.”
   Bailey didn’t like the sound of that. He pushed past them and tried to leap up on the window where Lucinda had been sitting. His feet slipped on the broken glass and he fell back with a thud.
   Joe grabbed at the leash as Bailey tried a second time, but he missed. This time Bailey’s toenails found some wood and he scrambled through the window. The leash slithered in behind him.
   Inside the house, the dust was so thick Bailey couldn’t see. Then Lucinda was meowing. He picked his way through the debris toward the sound.
    “What took you so long?” Lucinda demanded.
   “Never ye mind, Miss Lucinda. He’s here now and that’s what counts.” 
   Bailey stared at Skelley’s foot trapped under the big board. It looked stuck good. “Are you all right?”
   “Does he look all right?” Lucinda snarled.
   Skelley spoke up. “I’m in a fix, lad. That’s for certain. But if ye could put your nose under that plank there and lift it a wee bit, I think I might be able to free meself.”
   Bailey pushed his nose as far under the plank as he good. Dust got in his nose but he didn’t sneeze. He lifted until his neck hurt. 
   “You did it, lad.” The old dog pulled his paw free and gave it a lick. “We’d best be making our escape now. Me thinks I heard some mention of the dogcatcher. We don’t want to be anywhere near here if he shows up.” He gabbed his painted stick and pointed his nose toward the window.
   Lucinda was already up there. “Will you two quit yapping and come on?”
   Bailey jumped up into the window after Lucinda disappeared outside. The bulldozer monster was still there, glaring at him but at least it wasn’t rumbling. Bailey looked back at Skelley. “Can you make it?”
   “Can I make it?” Skelley said around the stick in his mouth. “I used to jump on old Asaph when he was trotting. One bum foot won’t be slowing me down.”
   Bailey leaped off the window directly in front of the bulldozer. Then Skelley was up in the window and a cheer went up from the men standing around. Skelley paused in the window to give a bow.
   “Whatever is he doing?” Lucinda muttered.
   “I don’t know.” Bailey was glad when Skelley jumped down to the ground to scramble after them on three legs.
   Lucinda kept her pace dignified, but Bailey couldn’t keep from running as they passed the bulldozer. The worm wheels were higher than his head as they crawled past toward the house.
   Bailey was glad he didn’t have to stop it again when all at once the leash jerked him off his feet. His collar tightened around his neck until he couldn’t so much as yelp to let Lucinda and Skelley know the leash had grabbed him. They kept walking.
   The nasty leash was teaming up with the bulldozer monster pulling him toward those worm wheels. Bailey dug his paws into the dirt and tried to hold his ground, but the leash yanked him closer to the monster.
   The bulldozer monster slowed when it rammed against the house, but the leash wouldn’t turn loose of Bailey or the monster. Bailey jerked and twisted but it held tight.

(To be continued.)