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Going for the Green by Tom King
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My Grandpa told this as though it were a true story. I have a picture of him at age 5 in his knee britches with "Old Bob" and her puppy "Dixie", so I know Old Bob existed. Grandpa told lots of stories of her prowess as a retriever.
She was so famous a rich businessman came up from Houston just to hunt with Old Bob. They went out by the little lake outside of town and he picked off a duck. Grandpa sent Dixie splashing off into the lake while Old Bob just sat there.
This happened several times till the Houston man finally said, "When am I going to get to see Old Bob in action? I mean I did pay for the privilege."
Grandpa kinda shrugged and didn't say much. The Houston man picked off another duck and it splashed down out in the middle of the lake.
"G'wan, Bob," Grandpa pointed toward the duck.
Old Bob backed waaaay up and took a running start at the shore. Her feet were spinning around so fast that when she hit the water, she just kept on running on top of the water! She snagged the duck with her teeth as she went by, made a long wide turn throwing up water like a jet ski and tore back toward shore. A moment later, she laid the duck down by the startled hunter's feet, then ducking her head, slunk 'round behind Grandpa's legs looking shame-faced for all the world.
"Wow!" the Houston Man said. "I've never seen anything like that in my life!"
Grandpa looked down at his feet. "I'm sorry about that," he told the Houston man regretfully. "I never could teach this danged dog how to swim!"
Grandpa never would say whether that one was true or not.
(c) 2009 by Tom King
*The photo to the right is my grandpa, Thomas Adolph King, Old Bob (left) and her daughter, Dixie (right) circa 1915.
That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoe-making and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse. -Mark Twain