Jocie Brooke here reporting from Hollyhill, Kentucky. We get all kinds of things at the newspaper office and when Zella showed me this, I thought of Bailey and Lucinda right away. I know Lucinda is a black cat and not a white cat and Bailey is a bigger dog than this with bushy fur, but Lucinda does feel like she has to protect Bailey even if she'd rather lie in the sunshine and ignore him. More of their story is below.
It's slow writing now that I'm back to school. Those teachers love giving homework. Doesn't matter if you already know how to do something. You've still got to do another ten pages to prove it. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration. Maybe it's only five pages.
Then, I've got to help Aunt Love to make sure she doesn't burn the house down when she starts cooking and then goes in the other room and forgets she's cooking. Tabitha could do that, but she's about as bad. She chases after Stephen and forgets all about supper. She does have to keep the baby out of things. None of us want him to tumble down the steps or anything. On top of all that, I have to help Dad at the paper and try to keep Wes halfway straight. Wes laughs at that. He says he's the one trying to keep me straight. But whichever, that doesn't leave much time for writing stories about dogs and cats. Not when there are other stories to write. Like about the 4-H meeting or the thunderstorm knocking out the electricity at the Courthouse.
Of course, we don't have it so bad with the weather. Down south there's a hurricane headed toward Florida. The second hurricane of the year. They've named it Betsy. There are all kinds of warnings out that it might hit Florida tonight. Betsy doesn't sound like a serious enough name for that kind of storm.
What would you name a storm? Maybe Beulah. A Beulah would be one to watch for. The weathermen say Betsy is one people better be watching out for too. So I guess the name doesn't matter that much. It's how strong the winds are that matter. Dad said we should pray for the people down there and so I did. Guess we'll hear on the news in the morning what happened.
Have you ever been in a hurricane? I can't imagine a storm like that.
Well, here's the next episode of Bailey's Bug.
BAILEY'S BUG by Jocie Brooke
(continued from last week)
Lucinda sighed heavily as if she’d just heard the weather forecast with no sunshine expected for a month. “Lean down and let me take a look.”
She examined the nasty leash with her paw and nosed his collar. With a mutter of disgust, she chewed on the slimmest part of the leash. But with a shudder, she backed off. “Tastes like dog.” She retched like she was going to dislodge a hairball, but Lucinda wasn’t one to admit defeat. “You chew it,” she ordered.
Bailey gingerly took the leash in his mouth expecting it to attack any second. It didn’t and he bit down on it. When it didn’t bite back, he bit harder and jerked it around. The thing grabbed his neck and banged his head against a branch. Bailey barely kept from yelping. Then they both put their paws on the leash and Lucinda told Bailey to jerk back, but the leash just slithered free and laughed at them.
“We’ll just have to let it go along.” Lucinda licked her paws and smoothed down the hairs on her ears.
“But it’ll grab my feet and get me all in a tangle.”
“Won’t be anything new about that. You stay in a tangle.” Lucinda turned away to peer out of the bush. “The coast is clear. The Robinsons have gone in the house to wait for us to show up on the doorstep which is what we should do if we had any sense.”
She kept muttering as she crept out from under the bush. As he scooted out behind her, Bailey didn’t try to hear what she said. It was better if he didn’t know. He could find Reid without her help. Of course, he could, but he had no idea what was between here and wherever Reid was. Lucinda would know what to do if something weird happened. Cats knew about things like that because they were smart. And Lucinda was the smartest of all.
Bailey bounced along, hardly even noticing the leash clattering along with him. Even it seemed to know it had to behave with Lucinda with them. He stopped to check for monster cars, then jogged across the street and into an open lot. Lucinda kept up with him without saying anything but now and again she made a growly sound that was definitely not a purr.
After they walked a long time, he asked, “Have we gone miles yet?”
“Dogs!” Lucinda hissed. “Always asking stupid questions.”
“But have we?” It would be nice if they could find Reid before the stars came out.
“I didn’t come with you to answer your stupid questions.”
Lucinda was staring straight ahead, her head high, her tail stiff and straight as she walked. For just one worrisome minute, Bailey wasn’t sure she knew how far miles were. He took a wrong step and forgot about the leash. It tripped him and he almost stumbled right on top of Lucinda.
She slanted her eyes at him. “You’ll never make it miles if you keep letting that leash trip you.”
Bailey kicked the leash to the side and felt better. Of course, Lucinda knew how far miles were. She was just a cat of few words. She’d tell him once they got closer to Reid.
Then, as they walked past the park, he decided she wouldn’t have to tell him. He’d know himself because that would be how far they’d walked. Miles. To another state. To where Reid was waiting for him.
(to be continued)
(Remember the beginning of the story is under Bailey's Bug up there on the top of my report.)