Monday, August 18, 2014

Mushroom Spotting and Bailey Makes His Escape

August 18, 1965

Jocie Brooke here reporting from Hollyhill, Kentucky. What do you think about these toadstools? Aren't they something? Dad says he might put the picture in Banner if news doesn't pick up. 

News never picks up in Hollyhill. Never. The most exciting thing that happened all summer was Mr. Wallace's cows got out day before yesterday, and were in the middle of the road. When Miss Harley who lives down the road, came around the corner and saw that big old black and white cow in the middle of the road staring at her, she slammed on the brakes. She said it looked like that cow wanted to play "chicken." If so, the cow must have won. Miss Harley ran her car off the road and smack dab into a fencepost. Dad went out and took a picture. The cow was gone by the time he got there, but Miss Harley's car kissing up against the post was still good. She wasn't hurt, but Dad said she was mad as a wet hen. Seems like we can't get away from chickens here. Ha! Ha!

School will be starting next week. They used to wait until September, but I guess the teachers got bored. Not me. I keep busy out hunting mushrooms. They are sort of pretty, aren't they? In a decaying type of way, Zella said, and it would be best if I stopped wasting film. She gives out new rolls of film from her supply cache like it was gold. But a newspaper has to have pictures. Dad says the pictures sell papers.

Zella says she doubts if mushrooms will sell anything. Car wrecks maybe. Zella never likes anything I do. I could take a picture of that Jupiter spaceship Wes says he came on and she'd tell me I was wasting film. But I'm pretty sure that would sell papers!!

But I can't worry about Zella. Time to write some more about Bailey.  See you next week.   


BAILEY'S BUG by Jocie Brooke - CHAPTER 3 (earlier chapters in page link to Bailey's Bug in menu above)

     The next day was Saturday. That meant Mr. Robinson didn’t go out to his car and drive away in the morning. It meant sausage for breakfast and even one for Bailey. I meant Mr. Robinson might take him for a walk.

     They did that on the street. Outside the fence. But Mr. Robinson always hooked the leash on Bailey’s collar before he opened the door.

     The leash was a terrible thing that jerked at Bailey’s neck and made it hard to breathe if he wanted to run. It grabbed and held tightest whenever he needed to jump at a bird or sniff out an odor somewhere off the sidewalk.

     Even when he ignored the birds and smells, the leash still attacked and tied up his feet. Then Bailey had to stand still while his people freed his legs and called him a clumsy old dog. That hadn’t been so bad when Reid did it because he would laugh and hug him too. But Mr. Robinson never hugged him. Worse, he always blamed Bailey instead of the nasty leash for getting tangled up.

     So Bailey barely managed a half-hearted thump of his tail when Mr. Robinson got out the leash and talked in the booming voice he saved for Bailey. “Time for a walk, old boy. You’re getting fat.”

     What was wrong with being fat anyway? Bailey gave him a look and wanted to lie back down on his rug instead of letting the man hook the leash to his collar. But Bailey was an obedient dog. If Mr. Robinson wanted to walk, then he’d have to walk.

     Lucinda raised her head as he passed her chair. “You can’t get away. Stop thinking about it.”

     “You could help me.”

     “I told you. I like it here. Sunshine and food. That’s all I need.”

     “But don’t you miss Reid scratching under your chin and rubbing all the way down your back, even your tail?”

     For a second, Lucinda looked as if she might admit that she did miss Reid. For a second. Then she turned her head away from Bailey. “I can scratch my own chin and rub my back on the table leg.” With that, she put her head down and closed her eyes.

     At the door, Mr. Robinson jiggled the leash as though it were a doggy treat. “Come on, Bailey. Day’s a wasting.”

     Bailey couldn’t keep from shuddering when the leash grabbed on to his collar. That made his ear itch and he sat down to scratch it. The leash came alive and jerked him up.

     Before they even got out the door, the leash wrapped around his front left paw. When Bailey tried to high step away from it, the thing grabbed his other front paw. Out on the porch, Mr. Robinson fussed as he took control of the leash.

     The leash didn’t care. Instead it reached and grabbed Mr. Robinson’s feet to pull loose his shoestrings. The man sat on the porch steps to tie them back. Bailey hadn’t figured out shoestrings, exactly. Big people were always worrying if they came loose and little people like Reid didn’t care if they stayed loose all day. Even so, Bailey was used to waiting while shoelaces got wrapped up in bows. Even the leash waited quiet as anything at times like that.

     In fact the leash was extra quiet right now. The loop end that Mr. Robinson usually held onto to try to make it behave was loose on the steps. Mr. Robinson didn’t seem to notice as he wrapped the ends of his laces just so.

     This was Bailey’s chance. The leash needed somebody or something holding on to that loop to be powerful. Once a long time ago, Bailey dragged the leash across the park before he let Reid catch him. The leash had run along beside him not doing a thing. Just bouncing on the ground.

     Bailey hesitated. He was already feeling a little hungry in spite of gulping down that sausage. And it didn’t seem right to run off without saying goodbye to Lucinda whether she wanted him to or not.

     “That should hold them.” Mr. Robinson jerked on the laces. In a second, he’d be reaching for the leash to make it come to life.

     The street was in front of them. No fence to stop him. The hum got louder in Bailey’s ears. GO!
     The first step away from Mr. Robinson was hard. The next one wasn’t much easier, but by the time he reached the edge of the yard, he was running. Nothing was choking him, and his feet felt fine.

     Mr. Robinson yelled at him. “Stop, Bailey.”

     The word bounced after Bailey and almost jerked him to a stop. But he kept going. He had to find Reid.

     The front door opened and Mrs. Robinson was wringing her hands. “Oh my! What if he gets run over?” She sounded so worried Bailey felt bad.

     “I’d better catch him,” Mr. Robinson said.

     Bailey didn’t hear any more. The blood was pumping in his ears and he was getting out of breath. He hadn’t had a good run since Reid left. Mr. Robinson didn’t throw the red toy and when he walked Bailey, the leash choked him if he tried to run.

     But he wouldn’t stop now. Even if they got in the car and came after him. Even if the leash did turn on him. So far it just clattered along the sidewalk beside him, not causing the first problem. But that might not last.

     Mr. Robinson called, all happy like he had a handful of doggie treats. Bailey could almost smell those treats, but he didn’t stop running. Reid would have doggy treats for him. And even if he didn’t, what was a doggie treat to his boy’s hug?

     Bailey shut out the man’s voice and concentrated on the hum in his ears. He could hear it. And it sounded like Reid’s whistle.

     He crossed one street, then another, without any screeching around him. He raced through strange backyards and past a fence where a dog lunged against the wire to get at Bailey. He ran under some bushes to get away, and the leash jerked him off his feet. But when he backed up, the leash came along peacefully again.

     Bailey didn’t know where he was going, but he kept going. When he absolutely couldn’t run another yard, he slowed to a walk. A man yelled at him, but it wasn’t Mr. Robinson.

     He turned around a corner and knew the houses. He stopped to get his bearings and saw the Robinsons’ car coming toward him. He couldn’t run faster than a car. They would catch him and he’d never find Reid. The hum burned in his ears.

     “Hiss. Over here.” The sound came from under the bush beside him.

When Bailey hesitated, the voice got louder. “Hurry up, you dumb lummox of a dog. They’re going to catch you for sure.”

Bailey scooted under the bush.

“Stand still. You’re shaking the bush.”

“Lucinda.” Bailey stared at the cat. “What are you doing out here?”


  1. This story is getting good. Josie. Lucinda under the bush! Who would have thought that would happen?! If nothing is happening where you live, you sure are making it happen to Bailey. And Lucinda.

    1. You have me smiling, Karen. Glad I'm finally getting Bailey and Lucinda started on their adventure. Gosh, now I have to figure out what next. Guess I'll be doing some daydreaming in Civics class. I already know all that stuff about Congress anyway. Did you have to study Civics?


  2. Hi Jocie! I am sorry I am so late in answering your question. I have been lost visiting, well not really lost mind you, but I have been visiting with the Worthams in Illinois. They had so much going on in the past years of their lives that I couldn't just leave them alone by themselves. To answer your question about Civics. I never did have to study Civics. Or maybe I should say, if I did I don't remember it. But I have heard people talk about the stuff of Congress before. Generally I try not listen. Probably I should be ashamed I do that. We do all have a responsibility to know what is going on around us I suppose. Mainly I don't pay attention because Civics and doing your civic duty seems like it should have something to do with being civil and usually I am not hearing things that are civil or even decent when I read about Congress. But I hope where you live is different and nothing like the politicians I hear about! Thank you for asking me Jocie. That was very polite and kind of you to ask.

    1. Dad says everybody should know how the government work. That's our CIVIC duty, he says. So I guess I should pay attention, but to be honest I think I learn more by reading the papers than I do from our civics teacher. Mr. Brown doesn't seem all that interested in Civics either. Politicians do tend to poke at one another when they are in a race, but Dad says we should be glad when more than one person is running for office here in Hollyhill. Advertising is how we pay our bills at the paper. Thanks so much for coming back to answer me. I hope your friends in Illinois are doing okay now.



Jocie loves to know what you're thinking about your visits to Hollyhill.