Saturday, September 27, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 63:
animulls


whenever ye sit down to rite yer life, thars lots of hard thangs ye gut to cunsidder on a counta mos inny life has got lots of shameful parts toot, n the die lemma is, should ye tell them thangs or not? ifn whut ye wonta git dun is to let folks know bout the miss takes to avoid n the good thangs to try fer, ifn yer a'thankin sumbidy mite git sumthin outta yer life story moren a lil idle entertainmint, then ye gut to cunsidder that sum of them shameful episodes is the ones that needs tellin mos.


even befor we bought the farm, i had a animull, a orange tabby cat name of tinker. i had gut him whenever i wuz furst deevorced on a counta i felt lack i needed sum livin thang thar with me n tinker dun the trick. i wont bore ye with reasons why he wuz the worls bes cat, lack cat luvers lacks to do. i wont rite bout how he run off n gut in a fite n had to be spayed. nor will i rite bout how mazin twuz that he cum back home nor will i waste wurds on the folks that cum over to my place in kingstun n sed i had to give him back. n i truss ye know i dint. i did pay fer the surgry.


whenever brew n me moved back in to mamas i tuck tinker with me. n that mint a fuss n fite with daddy on a counta he dint bleev in havin no animulls that couldnt pay fer their keep n we dint have no barn n dint need no cat. tinker wernt but a kitten then. i ast wuz i payin rent, witch brew n me agreed to pay $150 a munth fer the room n bathroom we wuz a'sharin downstairs, n he add mitted i wuz n i sed in that case twernt his bizness. twuz true, so he give in, but he tole me i wuz a'gone half to keep the cat downstairs.


i sed i wood, but i  knew twuz a lie on a counta how ye a'gone keep a cat up thataway. n nex thang ye know, tinker had dun won daddys hart till the two of em wood play fer a hour at a stretch, tinker a'layin in daddys lap n battin at daddys hands n lettin daddy grab his hed. n daddys hands wuz all scratched up, but he dint care. he bought toys n speshul food n all fer that cat, n twuz a site to see em playin together.


corse, i tuck tinker out to the farm whenever we moved in thar. n brew gut him a dog name of chico. n virgil n mj had em two dogs, witch one wuz arnold who i tole about in chaptur 57, n tuther wuz fluffy, witch thatn wuz one of them poodle lack dogs only they never trimmed its hair thataway. n they had em that cat name of dumpster, witch he moved out into the woods n he wood jes brang em a mouse or a squirrel ever now n then.


n that shoulda been a nuff fer us fer the furst winter but i gut a noshun we needed a cuple goats. i dint jes go doot, but i brought up the idee to brew n virg one evnin before mj had left n everbidy thought twuz a good way to keep down the weeds n all, witch thay wuz a problem in the fall. so i gut wilhelm n nanny goat fer $45 frum a farmer i met at the coop. twuz a miss take on a counta i dint half time fer no goats.


n that should been a nuff, but gretchens bes friend pam agee had a german po-leece bitch that had jes had a litter of four puppies n suze wonted to go see em n by time we had dun that, we had ranger, the pick of the bunch n a grate dog. n twuz a nuther miss take, mayhap a wurser one, on a counta i dint half time fer no dog neethur.


brew n me, we hated to make the dogs stay out in the cold, but ifn his swang shif n my graveyards cum up jes rite, them dogs wood be stuck in doors, n greet ye with a awful mess to clean up.


corse su wuz grate about ranger. she knew lots bout trainin dogs n it give us sumthin to do, n she wood even keep ranger with her durin the week n that made thangs better. n she wuz good bout takin him everwhar, up to the smokies or to the lake in the canoe or even to a restrunt.


then one day we cum home n hes a layin by the fence n we sed ranger come n slapped our knees n he whimpered n seemed lack he wuz stuck but trine to cum. n su give him a nuther ranger cum n agin he tride but couldnt move. by then i had walked over n i saw that he had been hit by a car or maybe a tracter n couldnt use his back legs. twuz pitiful how he tride. we put him on a blanket n tuck him to the vet n they wuz able to patch him back up, but twuz a painful thang to go thru.


we made it thru the winter n changed the rules on the garden n deecided we wood git us sum chickens. we gut six hens n a rooster fer $13 n put em in a coop we had built fer em. corse, that dint hardly hole em n seem lack we spint lots of time chasin chickens. we wood improov the coop n try to make it whar they couldnt git out, n it mite wurk fer a bit, but soon a nuff, one wood git out, n then tutherns wood follow.


then i gut the suze blues fer real whenever we broke up n them animulls needed lots of tenshun, speshly ranger, n i wuz still a'goin to skool n dint even half her to hep out. so seem lack brew wuz always mad at me, n then the county cum n give me a notice that ranger wood half to be tide up all the time. n mj wuz mad bout everthang innyway, n this jes made it wurser.


as ye mite magine, them animulls started into dyin. furst to go wuz the nanny goat. i dont member whut twuz, but whenver we gut our naybor pete clayburn, witch he wuz a 70 year old retired farmer who hepped us out by tellin us whut we needed to do now n agin, innywho, whenever we gut him, he sed twuz probly too late but we wood half to git the goat to the vet quick as we could. n we did, but she died, n turnt out she wuz pregnunt n the kid died too.


wilhelm goat made it a lot longer, but he wuz a'gone end up ded as well. i reckon we all are, but tiz a shame when it happens early on a counta folks lack us jes bein plug ignernt. later in the summer we had us sum whole wheat flour that gut bugs, so we pored it into the mulch. twuz maybe 20 lbs, witch we bought way too much when we wuz thankin we wood cook all our bread, witch we did cook a few loaves.


corse twernt long befor wilhelm fount that flour n eat it all up at once. then he went to git him a long drank of water n purty soon he gut to brayin n laid hisself down n bleated bout his sufferin till he died.


then the dogs gut to whar they lacked to eat the chickens, n pete cum over n sed we wuz a'gone half to kill our dogs on a counta once they gut a taste fer eatin chickens, ye cant brake em of it. but them chickens wuz all ded befor we could figger whut to do.


but thay wuz good thangs bout them animulls. wilhelm cleared everthang we put him to. n twuz nice to git fresh eggs ever mornin while we could.


n mayhap best of all wuz how ranger n tinker wood play together. twuz a game a lot lack thatn tinker played with daddy. he wood be lyin on his back n ranger wood have em practickly in his mouth n tinker wood be a kickin n battin at rangers neck n face. n tinker wood git up n run off a lil ways till ranger cum after him n he wood bat at rangers face till ranger lunged n tuck him in his mouth, n they wood go thru the hole thang agin. twuz a real joy to watch em n they could carry on lack that fer hours.


n folks wood cum over n watch em n that led to many a discussion bout wuther animulls had soles. n it gut to whar i couldnt thank nuthin else. i noticed how they wuz all differnt n even two cats wuz not the same. n the more i knew inny animull, the more it seemed lack they wuz distinkt individuals. n i wuz readin books by that alan watts guy n a'studyin mistysism n flossofy n thar wuz lots of speckulayshun bout animulls.


we wood talk bout it a lot, speshly durin the weeks of the church of the callus basturds. randy n lesalle dint thank nuthin had no sole n purty much whenever ye died twuz the end of the hole universe, lease frum yer point of view. twuz such a friteful prospeck that dint nobidy else add mitt to bleevin it, but i thank mos everbidys afraid it mite be thataway.


virgil n brew n me purty much thought animulls had sum kinda soles, but we dint agree on everthang. i dint eat meat, fer instunts, n i felt lack they had em cumplete soles n heres how i splaint my argumint. i figgered ifn ye cummence with the assumpshun that everythang thats ever born has eggzackly the same intelligents n sole n all, but the instunt innythang git stuck in a particular bidy, the bidy of a fish fer instunts, thars only a few things that thar sole n intelligents kin do. it mite could be jes as much of a person as yew or me with the same potentchul intelligents but whut could it do? it couldnt talk on a counta it dont live in air n it couldnt write on a counta it woodnt have no hands. so i figgered thar wuz no reason to cunclude fer a fack that yer animulls wuz inny lessn we wuz.


n that mint ye mite as well treat em lack they had soles on a counta ifn twuz true, twood be a sin to treat em otherwise n ifn twernt, treatin em rite woodnt hurt nuthin. n that led to a argumint over whuther that mint ye couldnt eat meat n if it did, that would hurt the meat eaters. n ye kin jes magine how ye could kill a evenin sittin roun watchin ranger n tinker play n drankin jack n smoking theevil weed n all.


whenever mj cum back frum californy, she tole us we wuz all crazy n ast wuznt it obveeus that the animulls wuz jes lack us? she wuznt one to use a argumint, but i wuz glad she wuz on the rite side on a counta she lacked to git mad n turn thangs into a fuss n fite.


later that year ranger caught hisself a nuther tracter, n this time it killt him. i wuz at school when it happent, so by time i gut home, thar wuz his corpse a lyin by the rode n mj wuz splainin whut had happent. n thay wernt nobidy thar but tinker n mj n me.


the way she wuz a'huffin n a'puffin seemed lack mj wuz mad at me n jes trine to keep frum bustin out with sumthin. n i wuz specktin it to git the better of her, but she jes splained maybe three or four times whut she saw, witch wuz she herd him yelp n then saw he wuz thar lyin in the rode cryin n the farmer dint even stop.


n she sed tinker wuz thar furst to the bidy n thar he wuz even then a sittin n watchin rangers bidy beneath our feet. n he dint go off, not while we wuz diggin the hole, n not even after we had put rangers bidy in it. befor we covered it, tinker jumped down into the hole n sorta batted at rangers jaws n then licked his face a mint till finely i had to git down in the hole my ownself n drag him out.


i reckon i musta looked purty pitifull my ownself covered in mud n holdin that cat aginst my chest on a counta mj give me a hug n sed she luved me n she wuz glad to share the earth with the animull name of buddy don duncan.


but i wuznt sad bout ranger so much as i wuz ashamed n twood a been easier ifn she had sed i wuznt nuthin but a old so n so. n in my shame i cride, n whenever she hugged me agin, i cride harder till tinker jumped down n run off into the woods.

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