Part 2 of 3
Source: Crittenden Record-Press. (Marion, Ky.), May 22, 1913, Edition 1, Image 7 - Chronicling America - The Library of Congress.
(Reported by R. C. Haynes.)
"Old Bellzie and I," went on Dog-Owner No. 3, 'were, ordinarily, on the best of terms. He was a gentle creature and I often rode him around the place with perfect safety, even without saddle or bridle. On this occasion, however, as I have already pointed out, the mule, owing to my changed facial expression and the wheeziness of my voice, looked upon me as an interloper, as an usurper--as one who had no earthly right to a seat upon his back.
"When we came to the fork of the road, therefore, and I had given the mule's ribs a punch with my heels and at the same time indicating by a movement of the reins that I wanted him to keep on down the Ford's Ferry road instead of taking the road toward home, old Bellzie determined to get rid of me, then and there.
"Anyway, the mule certainly did some of the tallest bucking I ever saw pulled off on Crittenden county soil. He reared and plunged and kicked up, sprang around stiff-legged, jumped forward and backward and sideways, plunged and reared some more, finally getting me off the saddle and setting me to the rear, near his tail. This being accomplished, he gave a monstrous kick-up, dislodging me entirely from his back and sending me up among the branches of the trees overhead.
"When I had reached the zenith of my aerial flight and started down again toward this mundane sphere, I grabbed hold of an overhanging limb and held on to it with both hands and thus swung, back and forth, over the roadway.
"Old Bellzie, finding himself freed from his encumbrance, looked around as if to see where I was located and, beholding me coming down toward the earth, kicked at me, then galloped off up the lane toward the house, looking back now and then, as if to see what had become of me.
"As the limb to which I clung was not high, I released my hold and came to the ground, landing on my feet. I watched the mule until he reached the gate and then I saw Billy go and lead him to the stable.
"I knew that Fluffy, poor thing, would be very uneasy about me, seeing that--
'A steed comes at evening--
No rider is there--
But the bridle looks grim
With the sign of despair!'
"I was at that time, and am still, a temperance man and member of the Methodist church in good standing, yet I felt sure that Fluffy, knowing my dislike for appearing unsociable, would think it likely that some favorite candidate or other person had set 'em up a little too often and that I had thereby been rendered unable to get home.
"I therefore congratulated myself that such was not the case, and I started at once up the lane toward the house, being more anxious that ever to reach home.
"As soon as I had reached a point in the lane where I had a view of the house, I saw Fluffy standing on the front porch and I knew that she was anxiously watching the road for my coming. Bless her sweet soul, I reflected, I'll soon be with her.
"The moon was shining and as I walked on up the lane I could see Fluffy still standing on the porch, looking out in my direction. Through the misty moonlight, I judged, she could readily discern the outlines of my form, though probably not distinctly enough to assure herself that it was I. so, that I might help her to know just who it was that approached the house, when I reached the top of the little hill in the lane, I waved my hand at her.
"I might as well waved a salute at the gate-post, by George, or at the martin-box that stood on top of a pole in the yard, for she never moved nor gave an answering signal. On the contrary, she stood there like the statue of Venus, gazing past me down the road.
"Of course Fluffy is expecting me, whiskers and all, I reflected, and, consequently, the sweet thing doesn't recognize me through the moonlight. By George, won't she be surprised and pleased when I get home?
'Oh, hear me, dear Fluffy,
Let's haste to depart;
The moon shines so brightly--
Come, blest of my heart!'
"The waving of my hand was all right and entirely up-to-date, as waves go, but the recital was a complete failure, owing to the screakiness of my voice, occasioned by my sudden cold. It sounded more like I had, with malice aforethought, squeaked out:
'Lo, here I come puffing,
I've waded the mart;
My shoe shines but slightly--
You blasted upstart!'
"When I had delivered myself of this well-meant recital, Fluffy, instead of recognizing me, either by my voice, my physiogomy or my poetry, looked at me with a defiant stare, then glanced around, as if to see if some weapon of defense was handy."
EDITOR'S NOTE--This stirring adventure, as told by Dog-Owner No. 3, will be continued in this department of the Record-Press next week.