April 13, 1966
Jocie Brooke here reporting from Hollyhill, Kentucky. Not a lot to report today. Well, Dad says every day holds its own special blessings. Didn’t the sun come up today, he’ll ask me. If I say of course it did, he’ll tell me that some things shouldn’t be taken for granted. That the sunrise every morning is blessing. When he was serving on that submarine in World War II, he went weeks without seeing a sunrise. He says you can’t imagine how amazing and special the sunrise is until you haven’t seen it for a while.
I like the sunrise. I see it every morning on the way to school. Nobody would be so silly as to say they didn’t like the sunrise. That means the gift of another day. But there are days when I’d like to pull the covers up over my head and skip the actual sunrise. I could always get caught up on the sunshine later in the day.
Aunt Love says sunrises like the one in the picture I took means bad weather’s on the way. “Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.” Dad says they say sailors instead of farmers or grocers because sailors are out there on the sea where storms can dash their boats into the waves and capsize them. Like that story in the Bible where the storm is lashing the boat that Jesus and the disciples are in. Jesus is sleeping through the storm and some of the disciples go back and wake him up. Do you think they had to shake him or just speak his name?
Guess that part doesn’t matter. But they ask him if he doesn’t care if their boat sinks and they all drown. You see, they know he could do something about it. They’re not exactly prepared for what he does do, but they knew who to go to for help. Dad says that’s a lesson for us. To know who to go to for help. But anyway, Jesus tells the storm to be still and it is. That threw the disciples for another loop. They weren’t prepared for anything that awesome. Dad says the sunrise every morning felt that awesome for him for a while after he came home for the war. Seeing the sun. Being alive to see the sun. So I’ll be glad for the sun.
I think Bailey and Lucinda and Skelley will be glad for the sun after their rough time with the storm in the story. Wonder what’s going to happen next. Here goes.
Bailey’s Bug by Jocie Brooke
(Continued from last week. Remember, you can read it all so far under the title up at the top of this report.)
It was full dark when they reached the trees, and once they’d settled Skelley into a leafy bed, Lucinda went hunting. She disappeared almost immediately into the night. How many other things were stalking unseen in the darkness?
Bailey shivered and went over to lay next to Skelley who was shivering even worse. Bailey’s shivering slowed and stopped, but the old dog’s shaking seemed to come from deep inside him with nothing to do with the cool air.
“I’m sorry about your master’s baton,” Bailey said.
“‘Tis a sadness for a truth, lad.” Skelley sighed. “It’s taken the music with it.”
“Aye, the music. Ye know I could always hear that music and fine music it was. Circus music. No matter what else happened, no matter whether there was food or not, I heard the music and was ready for the show to go on.”
Skelley raised his head to stare out into the night as if listening for a new burst of music. For a moment he even stopped shaking. But then he dropped his head back down on his paws and his old bones began quaking again.
“I miss the music.”
“It’ll come back, Skelley. You’re tired. In the morning, the music will be back.”
“I hope so, lad.” Skelley didn’t sound as if he thought it possible. “I don’t think I can go on with the adventure without the music.”
Bailey shifted uneasily as though he’d just felt a rock under him. Talking about Skelley’s music reminded him that he still couldn’t hear the hum. The water was out of his ears. The storm was long gone but no hum was vibrating inside his head.
“Skelley,” he said after a moment. “Do you know which way the sun comes up?”
“Aye, lad. it’s in the east, but I need some sign of it shining to point the way.” He looked up at the sky. “Me master could do it, night or day. He knew the stars that pointed the way, but I never could make out which ones he said mattered the most.”
Bailey stared up through the trees to the sky. He saw stars, but none that helped him know which way to go.
The night was suddenly so silent that Bailey wanted to jump up and bark just so there would be some noise somewhere. But he made himself lay still. If Lucinda heard him barking, she’d run back to see what was wrong. Then what would he tell her?
He thought maybe Skelley was asleep, but then the old dog said, “Ye’ve lost what Miss Lucinda calls your bug, haven’t ye, lad?”
Bailey perked up his ears and started to pretend. But what good would that do? He dropped his nose down on Skelley’s bony back. “I’m afraid so. It wasn’t a bug. It was a hum right in the middle of my head. Now it’s gone.”
He waited for Skelley to tell him the hum would come back, that he just needed a bit of rest. Bailey wanted the old dog to say that, but he didn’t.
Instead the old dog said, “Miss Lucinda’s going to be a mite upset when you tell her, but tell her you must, lad. And soon.”
(To be continued)