May 30, 1966
Jocie Brooke reporting from Hollyhill, Kentucky. This picture wasn’t taken in Hollyhill, but you knew that. It’s a picture Dad showed me of a cemetery in France to help me think about what Memorial Day really means. It’s not just picnics and the local swimming pool opening for the summer and school being out. Memorial Day is for remembering the men and sometimes women who gave their lives fighting for their country. But look at all these crosses. And this is just a little part of the graveyard in the picture. All those people lost to the world. All dying in a war. Fighting for freedom.
Dad fought in World War II and I’m so glad he came home. He was in a submarine. He doesn’t talk about it much, but he gets really sad on Memorial Day as he remembers those that didn’t make it home. He told me we should all say a prayer for those soldiers’ families. So I did. But I also said a very thankful prayer that my dad was one of those who did make it home. I went with him to our local cemetery and while we don’t have rows and rows of crosses like the cemetery in France, we do have some men’s graves there who gave their lives in service of their country. So we took roses from Aunt Love’s bushes and laid a bloom on each of those graves and Daddy prayed.
I’ve almost finished with Bailey’s story. Right now it’s pretty sad for Bailey since his boy didn’t recognize him. Do you think Lucinda is going to be able to figure out a way for them to get back with their family?
BAILEY’S BUG by Jocie Brooke
(Continued from last week. The complete story so far is under the Bailey’s Bug title up top.)
The sun was going down when at long last Bailey pushed through the bushes back to where Lucinda kept guard in a tree over where Skelley was sleeping. The cat looked down at Bailey from her perch and then beyond him to where no Reid was following.
Bailey placed the scraps he’d found on the ground. “I brought some food.”
Skelley woke and raised his head to look at the meat. “That was good of ye, lad.” The old dog’s head wobbled a bit before he dropped it back down on his paws. “I’m sure I’ll feel like a bite of two later.”
Lucinda pounced down out of the tree and landed inches from Bailey’s nose. “You didn’t find him.”
“I did find him.” Bailey scooted back a couple of steps. “It’s not far from here. A town. Lots of trashcans.” Bailey nudged the scraps toward Lucinda.
The cat didn’t even give it a sniff. “Then where is he? You were supposed to bring him back with you.”
“I tried.” Bailey felt like a ball losing its air. His tail and ears were dragging the ground, but even worse, his heart had lost hope.
“You tried?” Lucinda looked ready to spring at something.
“They didn’t know me. Reid fed me his sandwich and rubbed my head but didn’t know who I was.”
Lucinda stared at him for a few seconds and Skelley raised up his head again to listen. Finally Lucinda asked, “Did you do your silly hopping dance?”
“I tried everything. I hopped and bounced and jumped and barked. I even licked Reid’s face, but it didn’t help. Reid said I sounded like Bailey, that I ate like him. But I didn’t look like him. Too skinny and not even the same color as his Bailey.”
Lucinda twisted her head this way and then that as if to get a better look at Bailey. Her eyes were glittering strangely in the dimming light as night was creeping closer. Skelley was staring at him too. For a few seconds, Bailey was fearful they were were going to decide he really wasn’t Bailey too.
Skelley spoke up first. “For a truth, lad, ye don’t look the way ye did when I first laid eyes on you behind that trash bin. We’ve had a lot of adventures between then and now.”
“Bother the adventures,” Lucinda hissed. “You may look different, but you’re still Bailey. Are you sure you were at the right house?”
“It was Reid. I’d know him anywhere. But he thinks we’re still at the old house with the Robinsons. Guess nobody told him we ran away.”
“Surely they told them. That’s been days ago. Weeks ago. A lifetime ago.” Lucinda’s tail shot up straight into the air.
“But we know where Reid is now.” Bailey perked up a little. His tail swished back and forth in the dry leaves behind him. Lucinda would think of something. She was the smartest cat ever. “I came back so you could tell me what to do next.”
(To be continued)