The Fugitive

Written by Janette Blackwell

Continued from page 1

“If he got arrested, he might or might not get convicted. And if he got convicted, he’d get maybe six months in jail,” said Mamma. “And when he got out of jail, he’d come back to our neighborhood to live. And one night our barn would burn down. Or maybe our house. Or someone would shoot our cows or maybe even us. Something. So we leave that situation alone.”

Now thatrepparttar rest ofrepparttar 148926 country has discovered Montana and taken over a good chunk of it (the goodest chunk, in fact), people no longer think that way. The Bitterroot Valley has five timesrepparttar 148927 population it had in my childhood. The sheriff has deputies, and according torepparttar 148928 local newspaper they are busy day and night responding to complaints of barking dogs, domestic violence, and petty theft.

But, during that week inrepparttar 148929 late sixties, we andrepparttar 148930 Davises kept watch onrepparttar 148931 shack and did what we had been taught to do: nothing. “Look!” said Daddy, as our car drove slowly by one night. We looked, and, sure enough, a dim, grey light shone throughrepparttar 148932 shack’s window, which window was pretty dirty now that Grandma no longer gave it her attention. “He’s litrepparttar 148933 kerosene lamp.”

“Must be reading in there,” said Mamma softly.

That week we lockedrepparttar 148934 doors of our house every night -- something we had never done before -- and Daddy slept with his pistol close at hand.

In caserepparttar 148935 dog barked inrepparttar 148936 middle ofrepparttar 148937 night.

So that was why we’d put up with all that barking all those years, I realized. That and our family’s soft hearts and, where some of those dogs were concerned, our soft heads as well.

“The Davises tell me they haven’t seen a light in that shack for three nights,” Daddy said a few days later. “I’m going up with my pistol and investigate.”

He went up at noonday, stood like a Western lawman with his back to one side ofrepparttar 148938 door, gun ready. He suddenly whirled to facerepparttar 148939 shack and kickedrepparttar 148940 door open.


He went inside, gun still atrepparttar 148941 ready. Butrepparttar 148942 shack was empty. Our fugitive had fugited, leaving behind only a couple of well worn detective magazines and a pile of cigarette butts. And an unmade bed. Sure proof he hadn’t been brought up right, you bet.

And, in case you wonder, Daddy didn’t takerepparttar 148943 dog when he reconnoitered aroundrepparttar 148944 shack that day. Daddy was pretty fond of that little dog, and he didn’t want him to get hurt.

Go STEAMIN’ DOWN THE TRACKS WITH VIOLA HOCKENBERRY, a storytelling cookbook -- and find Montana country cooking, nostalgic stories, and gift ideas -- at Janette Blackwell’s Food and Fiction, -- or visit her Delightful Food Directory,

The Cat and the Evil Parakeet

Written by Janette Blackwell

Continued from page 1

The Superior Milking Team of Daddy and Der Doc stepped throughrepparttar living room door side by side, heads held high. Der Doc saw and smelledrepparttar 148925 parakeet inrepparttar 148926 same instant. Without thinking, he instinctively made a flying leap acrossrepparttar 148927 room and ontorepparttar 148928 cage.

And, without thinking, Daddy instinctively gave Der Doc a boot with his foot that sent him flying.

Our good-looking member ofrepparttar 148929 Superior Milking Team did not believe for a moment that Daddy, who was so very kind, had given himrepparttar 148930 boot. Clearly we had an evil bird, one who could, from inside its cage, send a cat flying.

Der Doc never again stayed inrepparttar 148931 same room asrepparttar 148932 parakeet. This inconvenienced him a good deal, particularly whenrepparttar 148933 parakeet flew intorepparttar 148934 room while Der Doc was asleep onrepparttar 148935 living room sofa. He nevertheless stuck by his motto, “Better safe than sorry.”

Enjoy our cat mystery sleuth and find gifts and stories for cat lovers, at Janette Blackwell’s Cats and Flowers, -- or visit her at Food and Fiction,

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