I just froze for a moment thinking, just take some deep breaths and don’t think snakes. Just back out real slow and that’s just what I did. Back on the porch I dug in the sacks until I found the batteries that I had bought and went over to the chair to put the batteries in the light. When I sat down i felt something move under me, squirming and well I lost my resolve and jumped up and hit in the yard, dropped the batteries in the grass, I made it back to the bags and found the other set of batteries and managed to get then in the light and shined it on the chair nothing in it so I got closer and I heard it again the growling. I noticed the hole in the seat was bigger when I was closer I could tell it was Scrappy in the chair. Guess he went in the hole and got stuck. I reached in and promptly got nipped on the finger. Ok, so I go to the kitchen and get a little paring knife and cut a hole in the bottom of the chair and pulled the quilting back and out popped Scrappy. Ruffled with white stuffing stuck to him he sneezed a few times, then set off for the kitchen and emptied his water dish without looking up once. The little fellow must have been there all day. I got a rag and wiped him down getting the fuzz off him. We had us some beef stew and headed off to bed. I needed a good nights sleep with no excitement. I put Scrappy on the bed and he went to the head and got his nose under the covers. Like a little mole he made the rounds under the covers leaving behind a trail, it was one of those old feather beds and he made circles until he came to the center then came back out and looked at me.
Well, I got my boots off and the coveralls and climbed in. Scrappy shot back under the covers and made his rounds again and settled in in the middle of my back his back next to mine and if I moved just a hair he growled no moving allowed once he got comfortable and I later found if I turned over he had to make his whole rounds again. His nose was like ice just like they said. In the middle of the night he decided it was time for him to go out side, woke me barking so I put him down and found an old quilt box and a little stool and put a blanket on them making some steps for him and went back to sleep I felt him when he came back and made his rounds and settled in again.
I was up early and Scrappy slept after fussing about me disturbing him to get up. I went in the kitchen and started going through the cabinets with the light and found three oil lanterns and some oil for them soon I had the place lit up and in an old baking powders can that rattled I found 36 dollars in bills and silver dollars and change. About then I heard the front screen open and in come Sue Ellen and Sue, wide open into the kitchen. Scrappy right behind them. Well good morning and they immediately ate what dog food was in the dish so I gave them more as Scrappy would have nothing to do with dog food. I needed coffee and for that we needed fire so to the back yard we went I got a small fire going in what was an old outdoor fire place and went got water, soon there was the smell of coffee in the air.
About then I heard the gravel crunching something was coming down the road but not the truck as you could hear it long before the gravel. It was Jo Ann and Dewayne with the baby in an old pinto station wagon. They followed the hounds as they had gone to meet them. So we all had coffee and talked about what all we needed to get done around the place.
Me and Dewayne set to work on the pump. Jo Ann and Scrappy went in the house. Once we got the pump apart Dewayne made some washers out of a pair of old leather gloves and sent me for more water to prime the well. When i got back he had the pump together and I poured water into the top and he pumped the handle as it got quieter some black water came out, some flakes of rust then finally water came out a little cloudy but water all the same said it would clear up in no time so I took a turn at the pumping until it ran clear. I carried the tool box back to the car and went inside where everyone was gathered. Jo Ann got my middle name out of me saying country folks all used two names so I was now officially Aubrey Dean.
Jo Ann got all the sheets off the bed and some clothes she thought would fit me and towels, took the sheets and made some bundles and I hauled them out to the car she was going to wash them. I was thinking it is really nice to be part of something like a family. Now with water and light things were just getting better and better. Dewayne caught me outside and said he would be back about dark to go to the Hill Top I had plumb forgot about that. They All Loaded up and were off to the store then home. Sue Ellen and Sue stayed behind probably thinking there was more of the dog food and there was. This is America here boys, land of the free and plenty and we all found some food and set about eating, something we could all relate to and share. America, You Just Gotta love it.
To Be continued