March 23, 1966
Jocie Brooke here reporting from Hollyhill, Kentucky where not much happens in March. That’s for sure. But it is spring and Miss Sally’s chickens are getting cute little feathers and it’s warm enough for me to ride my bicycle.
Leigh and I have even been digging up a new flower bed. She wants to plant tulips. She says she loves tulips. She never met my Mama Mae, but if she had, Mama Mae would have loved her because she makes my daddy laugh.
That’s a good thing. To marry somebody who makes you laugh. I want to do that too. Someday. Not in any hurry at all. So far every boy I’ve met is way weird. Leigh says I’ll change my thinking on that when I get older, but gee whiz, I’m already 14.
Lots of girls my age are walking the halls at high school holding hands with some boy. I’m thinking it would be real hard to carry a whole armload of books while you had to hold somebody’s hand. Leigh laughed when I told her that. She said the boys were supposed to be carrying the books for the girls. Yeah, like that would happen for me.
Do you like Roger Miller? We watched the Grammy show the other night. Aunt Love said it was all foolishness, but Leigh likes music and records. She has this record of Roger Miller. He won a bunch of Grammy awards for “King of the Road.” We got to watch the award show on television and see him sing that song. It’s a good thing he wasn’t singing “Chug a Lug.” Aunt Love would have probably made us turn it off. But I think that song is funny. I can think about it without it making me want to take any chugs out of a moonshine jug. That would a crazy thing to do.
I like the way Roger Miller sings funny songs. One of the songs on the record is “You Can’t Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd.” Have you ever heard that one? It says you can’t take a shower in a parakeet cage and you can’t take a swim in a baseball pool and can’t go fishing in a watermelon patch along with other crazy things, but that you can be happy if you’ve a mind to. I like that. What other silly songs do you know?
Guess it’s time to see how Bailey, Skelley and Lucinda are making out. We left them in a pretty big mess last week. Skelley had ended up in the middle of a bunch of coyotes before he was swept away by the flood. Lucinda was on a board floating along and you know how Lucinda hates getting wet. Let’s see what Bailey does.
BAILEY’S BUG by Jocie Brooke
(Continued from last week. You can read it all under the title up top of this report.)
Bailey had almost given up hope when Skelley’s head popped up out of the water in front of him. The old dog’s ear was bleeding, but his eyes were full of fire as if the fight with the coyotes had been the best adventure yet. The painted stick floated up beside him.
Skelley caught it with his chin and pulled it back toward him. “My leap fell a bit short, Bailey me lad, but those old boys weren’t so tough.”
Bailey felt like he’d just been given a whole bag of dog food. He barked and jumped straight up, splashing water everywhere.
“Stop that!” Lucinda ordered. “You’re going to drown me.” The cat jumped away from Bailey to a different board. “The water’s getting deeper.”
Lucinda was right. The water swept Bailey off his feet. He paddled to stay beside Skelley but the water kept pushing him away.
“Grab a board, lad. Best try to ride out this flood. Swimming will take too much out of you in this current.” Skelley clambered up on a board and balanced there easy as can be.
Bailey tried to do the same, but the board tipped and dumped him back into the water.
“Try to sit light in the middle, lad.” Skelley nudged the board back toward him. “You have to shift when the board shifts.
This time Bailey made it up on the board, but when he shifted, he ended up dumped in the water again.
“Shift the other way, lad. The other way. For a truth, you’d have a hard time riding a pony.”
Bailey tried to get on the plank again. He fell off again. He was so tired it all seemed like a dream. The flood. The barn breaking up and floating around him. The planks in the water. Skelley floating away from him. He couldn’t see Lucinda. His legs felt like wood. He couldn’t get up on the plank. He’d just have to go wherever the water took him.
His head went under. It was quieter under the water. Easier. But he needed air. He pushed up above the surface and Lucinda was right in front of him. Her green eyes were fierce.
“You crazy dog! Get on that board before you drown.”
Bailey pushed up out of the water and got his front legs up over the plank. He didn’t try to stand up. Just hung on with his stomach on the board and his paws trailing along in the water. He didn’t dare fall off. Not with Lucinda glaring at him.
“Way to go, lad.” Skelley shook his painted stick at Bailey. “There be more than one way to ride a pony, I’m thinking.”
Bailey clung to the board, panting. It wasn’t so bad floating along like that. He could move his paws a bit and guide himself through the water a bit. He’d never had to ride out a flood before, but they were all still together even if Skelley did look a little worse for his fight with the coyotes. The old dog’s ear would have a new scar for sure.
He caught his breath and paddled a little closer to Lucinda. “What are we going to do now?”
“Don’t ask me!” Lucinda snapped. She was wet all over. “This is your adventure. You’re the one with the bug in your ear.”
(To be continued)