The Fugitive

Written by Janette Blackwell

Where arerepparttar dogs of yesteryear? They all seem to be some breed or another these days. They never used to be. Back inrepparttar 148926 forties, we had dogs that LEANED in one direction or another. Or maybe two or three directions at once. But we never went out and bought a specific brand of dog. Why would you buy a dog whenrepparttar 148927 neighbors were giving away perfectly good pups for free, along with a jar of peaches and maybe some string beans?

It has always been hard to earn a living farming, andrepparttar 148928 animals on our Montana farm all had to have a use. The cats earned their living by catchingrepparttar 148929 mice that aterepparttar 148930 grain. The dogs earned their living, Daddy told us kids, by bringing inrepparttar 148931 cows at milking time.

Our dogs tended not to be real good at bringing inrepparttar 148932 cows, but we kept them anyway. Maybe because Daddy had a soft heart -- which he did -- but mainly, I think, becauserepparttar 148933 dogs had a better understanding of what they were there for than we children did:

The dogs thought they were there to bark at every single car that went by.

Back when one or two cars came by in a day, we were glad to know that someone was coming down our hill, and, unless it was time forrepparttar 148934 mailman, we checked to see whose car it was.

The forties went by, thenrepparttar 148935 fifties, andrepparttar 148936 number of cars increased. We no longer checked to see who it was. Which was notrepparttar 148937 fault ofrepparttar 148938 dogs: they still barked at every single car.

Byrepparttar 148939 sixties, I had left home but came back for vacations. And during one summer vacation I found out why we really needed that dog.

“There’s someone hiding in our shack,” said Daddy. “Whatever you do, don’t go up there. Don’t even go near it.”

The shack, which probably was built as a homesteader’s shack, was atrepparttar 148940 top ofrepparttar 148941 hill by our house. It had one main room with a table and chairs, a cupboard with a few dishes, a wood stove, and a double bed. An outdoor toilet out back beckoned with open door.

Inrepparttar 148942 forties and fifties, Grandma cleanedrepparttar 148943 shack each June. She washedrepparttar 148944 dishes inrepparttar 148945 cupboard, washed allrepparttar 148946 patchwork quilts onrepparttar 148947 beds, and put fresh kerosene inrepparttar 148948 lamp. All to prepare forrepparttar 148949 workers who came to hoe our sugar beets, under a contract betweenrepparttar 148950 Mexican government andrepparttar 148951 sugar beet company. Under that contract a good worker could make fifty dollars a day: excellent wages inrepparttar 148952 forties and fifties.

Byrepparttar 148953 late sixties, Daddy no longer grew sugar beets, andrepparttar 148954 shack had for years lain empty. Then our neighbor Nina Davis telephoned. “Have you got someone in your shack acrossrepparttar 148955 road from us?” she asked. “Because we’re seeing a light in there at night.”

“No. No one’s supposed to be in there,” said Mamma. But neither our family norrepparttar 148956 Davises went torepparttar 148957 shack to investigate, nor did anyone suggest callingrepparttar 148958 sheriff. The Davises were also native Montanans who went byrepparttar 148959 same code of behavior we did. I’d learned about this code when I was little: one of our neighbors had a practice of stealing from other neighbors. “Why don’t we tellrepparttar 148960 sheriff?” I asked.

The Cat and the Evil Parakeet

Written by Janette Blackwell

Parakeets were “in” duringrepparttar winter of 1952, and my little brother David had his heart set on one. On December 24, Mamma, Daddy, and I went to a parakeet breeder, paid $7.95, and brought homerepparttar 148925 pretty green bird we had reserved. The parakeet was hidden inrepparttar 148926 back bedroom overnight, but, inrepparttar 148927 early morning dark of Christmas Day,repparttar 148928 softly glowing bubble lights on our tree revealedrepparttar 148929 birdcage onrepparttar 148930 living room floor amongrepparttar 148931 other gifts.

At six that morning, Daddy and Der Docrepparttar 148932 cat came intorepparttar 148933 house after milkingrepparttar 148934 cows. Der Doc always supervised as Daddy andrepparttar 148935 hired man milked. He was rewarded for his efforts with a bowl of fresh milk and a good many compliments from Daddy. Pussycats can tell by your tone of voice that you are complimenting them. They love compliments and believe every one. Therefore, though Der Doc was a rather ugly grey tiger-striped cat, he believed he was good looking. He further believed that he was a superior member ofrepparttar 148936 milking team.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use