November 24, 1965
Brooke here reporting from Hollyhill, Kentucky where as usual NOTHING
is happening. Well, the sun comes up in the morning and goes down at night if that counts. Plus there’s school, but that’s the same old same old every day. Get up. Catch the bus. Ride forever. Have homeroom. Go to
classes and try to stay awake to listen to the teachers. Ignore boys doing silly stuff.
Sneak time to talk to friends. Ride the bus home. Do homework that steals any time to read or write. Go to bed and get up the
next morning when the sun comes up to do it all again. Sigh.
Dad says I should be thankful. That the same old same old is good. He says I should be counting my blessings instead of complaining and wishing for something that I might be sorry happened. He said he remembers wishing for something to happen and then something did. The war. The next thing he knew he was far from Hollyhill and wishing, even dreaming that he could be home with the same old same old happening to him each day.
I guess he’s right. I mean Dad’s always right. He’s a preacher. He has to think about what’s right and what’s not all the time. And then figure out a way to tell the people at church. I guess I sometimes give him inspiration on those sermons because last Sunday he preached about Adam and Eve and how Eve was bored with her same old same old in the Garden of Eden. She shut her eyes to all the blessings around her and just wanted something different. Then along came the serpent with his temptation basket of apples to upend her world.
That’s not exactly the way Dad told it. His version sounded more Biblical and sermony. But I heard the lesson he was preaching right at me. When I told him that, he laughed and said he wasn’t preaching at me directly. He was simply delivering the sermon the Lord laid on his heart and that if I felt like the words were for me, then that was the Lord’s doing too. That’s how sermons are supposed to work. How the Lord intends things.
It did work. I’m thinking about my blessings this week. Guess that’s a good thing since Thanksgiving is this week. Wes will come to dinner and Miss Sally and Leigh. Leigh will come early to help us cook and Miss Sally is bringing pies. Pecan and pumpkin. I can’t wait. So maybe this week won’t be the same old same old. All week I’ll keep count of things to be thankful for and maybe write about that next week.
Wonder if Bailey is wishing for some of his same old same old instead of having to face off bulldozer monsters. But then he has to find his boy. Here’s what happened next.
Bailey’s Bug by Jocie Brooke
(Continued from last week. The full story up to now can be found under the Bailey Bug link in the menu up top.)
Bailey pointed the direction with his nose and Skelley let them through alleys and twisting short cuts that kept them away from the streets choked with roaring and honking cars.
Even with their roar, the cars weren’t so scary to Bailey now. After all, he’d faced down with a bulldozer monster. When one zoomed up close to them, he stood his ground and barked to warn it away.
“They aren’t so big.” Bailey looked around at Lucinda and Skelley when it honked and then went on past. “Not like that bulldozer.”
“True enough,lad.” Skelley bumped Bailey’s side with his head to push him back from the road. “That bulldozer was a mighty masher, but these others have plenty of mashing power of their own. Besides, they’re speedier than the bulldozer. It’s best we don’t tangle with either one.”
Lucinda growled and swiped her paw at Bailey’s nose. “Dogs! Stop one bulldozer and you think you’re invincible.”
She walked away, her tail high in the air. Bailey and Skelley followed her. They walked and walked until their feet were sore. Here and there they knocked over a trashcan to find a bite or two of food.
At last they came to a park with a big pond of water and nice big boulders around it. Lucinda stretched out on top of the rocks in the sun and went right to sleep while Bailey and Skelley settled down in the shade below her.
Skelley said if they kept going the way Bailey pointed, they would run into some big highways with rivers of cars.
“Best to wait for the dark of night to try crossing them. While they never really stop, the car rivers slow some at night. Makes crossing a bit safer.”
“Are we safe here?” The high pitched scream of one of those cars with flashing lights sounded nearby.
Skelley looked around. “A dog on his own is never entirely safe, but it appears nobody much is around to take notice of us. So we should be fine for a spell.”
Bailey rested his head on his paw. His neck still hurt, but he guessed it was good he had a neck to hurt after the tussle with the bulldozer.
To keep from thinking about his neck or how far they still needed to go, Bailey looked at the old dog and asked, “Have you been on your own a long time, Skelley?”
“It seems so. Not sure how long. Lost count of the months some time back.”
“I’m sorry.” Bailey thought about Reid and how good it would be to see him again.
“For a truth, I miss me master.” Skelley sighed. “But I have me memories of him and I’ve made my way.” The old dog laid his paw gently on the painted stick.
“Did that belong to him?” Bailey sniffed the end of the stick. “Is it a circus stick?”
“Ye could call it that, I suppose. Me master used it when we were out in the ring doing our tricks. He’d tap it on the hoops I was to jump through or point it toward me when I’d done a trick so the folks would clap.”
“Did they clap a lot?”
The old dog’s eyes got a dreamy, faraway look. “That they did, Bailey lad. That they did. Folks are different when they come to the circus. Ready to laugh and have fun. For a truth the circus is a fine place when the show is going on.”
“Were there clowns and lions?” Bailey tried to remember the things Reid had talked about when he came home from the circus.
“That and more. Clowns that made the little tykes laugh and lions that made them gasp. The Martino family flew through the air on trapezes and leaped from one to another. Our elephant, Anne Marie was her name. She could balance on one foot and stand on her head. Aye, it was grand, it was.”
“I’d like that. To be in a circus.”
Lucinda raised her head up to look down at him. “What trick would you do? You remember when Reid tried to get us to do that awful trick after he’d been to the circus.” Lucinda shuddered. “You couldn’t even make two circles with me on your back without falling on your face.”
“Miss Lucinda has a point. A dog has to know some tricks to be in a circus. All the animals do. Even the lions and tigers jumped through hoops and sat on stools. Snarling to be sure, but they did it. Very exciting it was too.”
“I’m not too good at tricks.” Bailey thought about the plastic toy that he could fetch and brightened. “But I can make people laugh. I could be a clown dog.”
“That I can believe.” Lucinda snorted and lay her head back down on the rock. “But if you’re going to join a circus, tell me now so I can head back to the Robinsons’ house.”
“Do you want to go back, Lucinda?” Bailey sat up and waited for her to open her eyes. “If you do, maybe you should go now. Because we’re not going to get there before night again. I think it’s still a long way to wherever Reid is.”
(To be continued.