February 23, 1966
Jocie Brooke here reporting from Hollyhill. Not much happening around here. The snow melted. We went back to school. I guess I'm glad. Nobody wants to go to school all summer. Better to just get it over with in the winter. And school's not all that bad. One of those necessary things and I like learning stuff.
I like the winter skies too. Those great looking clouds in the extra blue sky. Did you ever wonder how it might be to float around on one of those clouds? Maybe like being in a hot air balloon. Free to float wherever. Nothing holding you down. You'd have a bird's eye view.
Of course, Wes says he knows all about that from when he was on that Jupiter spaceship. He says they were up pretty high because it's not good to let the earth people see those flying saucers. They get all excited when that happens. Wes is so funny. Sometimes I think he floats around on a cloud.
But I do like his Jupiter stories. I like stories period. That's the kind of class I'd like at school. One where you could just read and read and read. Without having to write book reports or look for hidden meanings behind every words. Just a class where you got to enjoy the story for the story. I guess that would be more like a school recess than a class. But I do like to read. Don't you?
Time to see what's going on with Bailey.
BAILEY'S BUG by Jocie Brooke
(Continued from last week. The whole story so far is under the Bailey's Bug link up top.)
Bailey pulled his tongue all the way into his mouth to sniff the air in the barn. Coyotes had been there, but not for a while. He told Lucinda that and then added, "And I do smell mice."
"Then you catch them," she said crossly. "Cats can't hunt when they're wet."
With that she climbed higher in the barn. Bailey sniffed around in the hay, but he couldn't concentrate on the smells. He wasn't any good at catching mice anyway. He couldn't creep up on them the way Lucinda could even when the thunder wasn't making his legs all trembly.
Bailey looked up at Lucinda, but she was hunched in a ball with her eyes closed. Maybe sleeping would make her feel better and then she could catch some mice.
Bailey scratched out a hole in the hay close to Skelley. The old dog was already asleep with his nose on the painted stick. Bailey lay down with his head on his paws. He wished he had the plastic toy with him. That might help him hear the hum again.
Beside him Skelley gave a shiver. Bailey stood up and brushed some of the hay over on the old dog.
Skelley opened one eye. "Thank ye, lad." Then he went back to sleep.
But Bailey couldn't sleep. So instead he tried to work the cockleburs out of his fur. Still, he was sort of glad he had the cockleburs to pull and bite on. And when he finished with them, he could worry with the thorn in his foot. That might keep him from thinking about how hungry he was or how the hum wasn't humming in his ears.
Maybe the hum hadn't really left him. Maybe it was just the noise of the rain and the roar of the stream racing by outside that was keeping him from hearing it. The thunder was fading away, but the rain beat down harder than ever.
Even if the hum didn't come back, he could just keep walking toward the sunrise. He wouldn't have to tell Lucinda. Sooner or later they would have gone enough miles and Reid would be there waiting for them.
With that thought, Bailey quit worrying the thorn in his foot and put his head back down on his paws. Water was seeping in around the edges of the barn to join with the rain leaking through the roof. But it was dry where he and Skelley were and very quiet other than the pounding rain.
For a minute before Bailey closed his eyes, he wondered if it wasn't too quiet. No birds. No owls. No raccoons. Nothing moving anywhere. Everything was probably just holed up sleeping through the storm the way they were.
(To be continued)