Monday, October 20, 2014

What Would You Do with Lamb's Ear?

October 20, 1965

Jocie Brooke here reporting from Hollyhill, Kentucky. Well, actually this weekend I've been out visiting Miss Sally on the farm. It's been great October weather. The sun has been shining and the trees are gorgeous. I'm hoping it won't rain for a week so the leaves won't fall off. It's always sort of sad when the leaves fall off. At least until you get used to all the bare branches and the cold weather. 

But look at the plant I found. Miss Sally says it's mullein or lamb's ear. I like the name lamb's ear best. Whoever way back when, maybe even Adam in the Garden of Eden, must have touched one of the leaves and thought it felt like a lamb's ear. The leaves are all soft and fuzzy. Miss Sally says that's why frontier folk used it for toilet paper. At least that's what she heard. Plus, she says it made a great bandage when somebody got hurt out in the wilderness. I think that's really neat, don't you? 

Miss Sally knows all about plants and what they're good for. She says you can even make a tea out of these leaves or boil it for dye. Doesn't sound like something I'd want to drink!! 

Do you like learning about plants and the funny names they have? What's a plant that you think has a funny name?

Now it's time to check in to see what's happening with Bailey and Lucinda. Last week the old dog, Skelley was running back into the abandoned house the bulldozer was about to knock down. Remember, if you missed part of the story, you can read it all so far by clicking on the Bailey's Bug link up top of my article here. 

BAILEY'S BUG by Jocie Brooke
  (continued from last week)

Chapter 7

   "Stop him!" Lucinda yelled at Bailey.
   Bailey looked from the cat to the hole Skelley had slid through. 
   On the other side of the house, the bulldozer monster rumbled deeper, and the house shuddered and groaned. Bailey dodged a shingle flying down from the roof. He stuck his nose close to the hole and barked, but if Skelley barked back he couldn't hear him over the bulldozer's growl.
   Lucinda slid up beside him. "Do something!"
   Bailey pushed his head into the hole, but he couldn't wiggle through. "I can't get through the hole. Not without Skelley holding up the plank for me."
   "Dogs!" Lucinda shook her head. Suddenly she perked up her ears. "Listen. That thing sounds like it's backing away. I'll go find that crazy dog."
   "You can't go back in there, Lucinda. The bulldozer might come back."
   "If it does, you better stop it." Lucinda glared at him, then ducked through the hole.
   Stop the bulldozer! How could he stop that monster? 
   "Lucinda," he called, but she was gone. He whipped his tail around in a circle and tried to think. He had to do something. And fast. The bulldozer's growl was getting louder again.
   Bailey raced around the corner of the house and froze in his tracks. The yellow monster was inching closer, its enormous metal front a hungry mouth. Bailey looked behind him. If only he could see Skelley and Lucinda crawling out of the house, but they weren't anywhere in sight.
   And the bulldozer kept coming. He couldn't let it bite into the house while Lucinda and Skelley were inside. He couldn't. 
   Barking as loud as he could, Bailey ran at the terrible bulldozer mouth and attacked. His teeth wouldn't grab on the slick blade. He slid to the ground and landed on his side.
   He couldn't let it beat him. He scrambled up and charged again, barking louder than he thought possible. Nothing had ever been afraid of him or his bark, but he was sometimes scared of other dogs barking at him. Like the huge, black dog the day before. 
   Bailey tried to sound every bit as fierce. He crouched down close to the ground in hopes that would make his bark deeper, more ferocious.
   He was about to retreat when all of the sudden the monster stopped moving and simply sat there and stared at him with an angry rumble. With trembling legs, Bailey stayed where he was.
   "Hey, I didn't tell you to stop!" Whoever was yelling sounded as mad as the monster. 
   Bailey peeked out the corner of his eyes at a man waving his arms at the bulldozer.
   Someone, maybe even the monster, yelled back at the man on the ground. "A dog's in the way."
   "A dog! You stopped for a dog!" 
   That made Bailey growl.
   "I ain't mashing no dog," the bulldozer said and stopped rumbling.
   With the monster silent, Bailey's barks bounced off the metal mouth and pounded into his ears. But he was afraid to stop because between barks, he could hear the house creaking and groaning. 
   Where were Lucinda and Skelley? They should be out by now and he really wished he could stop barking.
   The man and the monster kept shouting. Then the man grabbed a plank and swung it at Bailey. He barely dodged in time, but he didn't turn tail and run. Even if he wanted to. Instead, he rolled over on his back and stuck his feet up in the air. That had to make the man know Bailey wasn't going to bite him. 
    But the man kicked Bailey in the side anyway. Hard. "Get out of here, you dumb dog."
   Bailey could keep from yelping.

   "Aw, don't hurt him, boss," the bulldozer said. "He's sort of cute. And look there. He's got a collar on with a leash. Somebody must be in the house."
   The boss stared from Bailey to the house. "Guess we'd better check it out."
   Just then Lucinda appeared in the gaping hole that had been a window a few minutes ago. She meowed her best.
   "Look, a kitty cat." A man climbed down the side of the monster. 
    He must have been doing the talking instead of the monster. Maybe all it could do was growl. But it was quiet now.
   "I hate cats," the man who kicked Bailey muttered. Bailey bounced up on his feet, ready to attack again. He wasn't about to let the man kick Lucinda. 
   But the cat disappeared back into the house before the men got to her. The man who'd been on top of the monster stepped up on a rock and peeked through the window. "Hey, boss. There's an old dog in there with his foot caught under a beam."
   "We can't just knock a house down on top of him."
   The boss looked in the window too. "I don't know why not. From the looks of him, it would be a mercy killing." 
   Bailey growled and scooted closer to them. He didn't know what a mercy killing was, but it didn't sound good. Not good at all.

(to be continued next week)


  1. Hi Jocie! Bailey's story has me almost in tears worrying for Skelley. Please don't let anything bad happen to them. Anyway, you asked about funny sounding plants. Right off I thought of stinkweed. I don't know if I have smelled it or not. Must not have since it sure sounds like it has an unpleasant smell. But one plant that I like and saw for the first time last year at this time is sorghum. I think it is a funny name. You can't chew it like gum, but it is a pretty plant. Don't tell anyone, but I thought it would be nice to put in a crock on my kitchen table. Next to pumpkins it fit right in! I like plants! Karen C in NC

    1. Karen, believe me, I've smelled stinkweed. It is absolutely awful!!!! It can make you upchuck it smells so bad. It grows at a creek not far from where we live and you have to hold your breath till you get past it. But it's not as bad as nettle weed. Maybe I should write about that sometime. Or maybe about sorghum instead. I've seen sorghum being made. Did you know that plant can be made into syrup? It can. I'll tell you about it sometime. And I stayed awake worrying about Skelley and trying to figure out how to rescue him.


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