Daddy always had a hound dog.
The dog went with him when Daddy left the house with his single-barrel shotgun, a hundred years removed from the high-tech weapons that our deer hunter friends use today, to go squirrel hunting. A good squirrel dog was as essential to Daddy as Mama's iron skillets were to her.
Daddy's hound dogs were always female, and he named them all Queen. One could argue that they were Queen I, Queen II, and so forth, but he just called them Queen. I don't know if Daddy loved them more as hunting dogs or as constant companions that didn't talk back.
In the early sixties, Daddy had a beautiful, sleek hound dog that had earned a reputation for being an excellent hunter. A fellow came to the house one afternoon and offered Daddy a hundred dollars for it. Remember, this was a time when a hundred dollars could top off your gas tank, fill the bed of the pickup with groceries, and leave enough to make a big dent in the Christmas shopping. Daddy thought about it for a long time, taking his cap off and rubbing his head occasionally, but finally decided that he just loved ole Queenie too much to let her go. The fellow left, telling Daddy that the offer was good if Daddy ever changed his mind.
Just a few days later, Queen ran out in the road at the precise moment a loaded pulpwood truck was passing. When the dust settled, Queen was graveyard dead. Daddy was heartbroken because he had lost his beloved Queenie. The rest of us were heartbroken because we had lost a hundred dollars worth of goodies.
This is a true story. I could never make up something so tragical.
. . . . to be continued.