Jocie Brooke here reporting from Hollyhill, Kentucky on Valentine’s Day. Not that Valentine’s Day means much to me because I don’t have a boyfriend. Thank goodness. Boys are nothing but trouble. My girlfriends are always liking this or that boy and then something happens and there’s tears and gripes. But you have to be careful not to agree with them when they’re griping about their boyfriends. That’s because the next minute they’re all “in love” again and you’re the bad guy just because you went along with them fussing about the guys. I’m in absolutely no hurry to join that tears and jeers club.
Leigh says I’ll change my mind when the right guy comes along. She sure changed hers when Dad came along. They are true Valentines. So maybe someday I’ll be like that. But right now I’ll just hug on my dog, Zeb and whip up some homemade chocolate candy and enjoy red cardinals instead of hearts.
I do love red. I wore red all week. And I made Dad and Wes Valentines with silly verses on them. This is what I put on Dad’s.
Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
I’m not sad
That you’re my dad.
Okay, so I’m not much of a poet . I know I was supposed to rhyme that last word with blue, but nothing fit. I think writing rules can be broken if you want to. Especially for Valentine poems.
So you want to know what I wrote for Wes? Okay.
Roses are red.
Jupiter is green.
You’re on earth now
Part of a new scene.
At least I rhymed scene and green.
I do better writing stories. You want to know what happens to Bailey next? You remember he lost the hum in his ear that was telling him which way to go to find Reid. What more can go wrong?
BAILEY’S BUG by Jocie Brooke
(Continued from before)
Just then thunder rumbled in the distance. Bailey’s head came up, and his tail almost flopped back and forth. He never heard the hum when it was thundering. So if Lucinda opened up her eyes and noticed a tree she’d already seen, he’d have an excuse. He could say it was because of the thunder.
He stopped and sat down, his tail brushing back and forth on the ground in spite of his best efforts to keep it still.
Lucinda looked at him. “You do hear the storm come?”
“I heard it a long time ago,” Bailey said.
Lucinda’s eyes narrowed on him. “Then why aren’t you trembling?”
“I am. Inside.” Bailey wrapped his tail up around his body and put his paw on the end of it. He did his best to look afraid even though for some some reason the thunder was just bouncing off his ears without bothering him at all.
“That knock on your head must have done more to you than we thought.” Lucinda glanced over at Skelley who was studying the sky between the tree branches.
“The lad could have a sore head for sure.” Skelley looked at Lucinda and Bailey, then back at the sky. “But I think we best hunt some cover. These clouds put me in mind of a storm once that near blew away the whole circus. Folks were already in the bleachers and the clowns were peddling their balloons and such, but all the while me master kept going out of the tent and muttering up at the sky. He tried to get the ringmaster to call off the show, but he wouldn’t. Then the wind picked up the tent and carried it clear away. People scattered pretty quick then.”
Overhead the trees bent over in the wind and the thunder let loose a great clap that didn’t bounce off Bailey’s ears this time. His tail jerked away from his paw and hid between his legs.
The first raindrops banged against the leaves above them and worked down through the limbs to bounce off the ground. Not raindrops at all, but bits of ice. Skelley held his head over Lucinda to shield her.
“We’d best be getting out of these trees,” Skelley said.
The words were no sooner out of his mouth than the wind grabbed one of the trees and knocked it part way out of the ground. It leaned toward them, catching on the branches of the other trees overhead and then falling again when those branches started giving way.
Lucinda yowled and took off as another tree crashed down. The hail changed to raindrops that hit almost as hard as the ice had. Skelley and Bailey chased after Lucinda.
Reid used to tell him that the thunder was only noise and couldn’t hurt him, but these trees falling could hurt him for sure. For the first time since he’d run away from Mr. Robinson, Bailey wished he was back there under the bed where it would be warm and dark. It would be better to be under Reid’s bed but with the hum gone, Bailey didn’t know if he’d ever be safe under Reid’s bed again.
At last they ran out of the trees and found a tired old barn leaning downhill toward a rushing stream of water. Without so much as a sniff to see what might have gone in before them, Bailey shoved aside a couple of the barn’s planks and led the way inside.
The storm didn’t seem so loud inside. Bailey shook the rain of his fur and felt better. While the roof didn’t hold out all the rain, there were dry spots between the leaks.
“A fine barn it is.” Skelley dug a hole in a pile of moldy smelling hay. “For a truth, we’ll be safe and dry in here till the blow is over.” He picked up his stick and place it close enough to touch with his nose, then curled up in the hay.
“Safe,” Lucinda muttered. “We’re wet and cold. There’s not so much as a mouse to be seen and I smell coyotes.”
She climbed up a pole to perch on a brace up in the barn. Every few minutes she growled as she licked the rain off her fur.
(To be continued)
(The whole story, so far, is under the Bailey’s Bug link up top.)