Our neighbor, Jack Geren, was a really great friend and had a lot of good old country sayings. We had a winding road from the pavement up to our house that had gotten rough. It was full of “chug-holes” and generally in a mess. One morning about 6 AM I was drinking my first cup of coffee, looked down our gravel road towards the pavement and spied Jack. He was on his old Farmall tractor dragging a blade, smoothing out our road.

I had not said a word about my road to him. As he made his way up to the house I came out and offered him a cup of coffee. He said, “No thanks, I have to get on to the field and finish plowing.” I thanked him for grading our road. He said he had noticed it was pretty rough the other day when he came up to see me. I said, “Jack, I appreciate you’re grading the road so much. What can I do for you?” Jack sort of pouched out his lower lip and said, “A good deed, ‘specting’ one in return, ‘taint’ no good deed ‘tall’”.

A lesson in country ways was so noted by me.

We still had Duchess, our family dog, along with other dogs that seemed to accumulate at the farm. We were about five miles from McKinney, which was just the right distance for people to bring unwanted puppies and dump them off along the side of the road. Every once in a while we would discover some pups that suddenly would show up at our house. I never wanted to kill them, drown them, or even take them to the pound. We tried to find homes for them but usually wound up with another dog or two. As long as they behaved themselves they were welcome to stay but if they misbehaved they were out of there. Even old Duchess finally slipped and took a walk on the dark side.

We had a lot of chickens and they furnished fresh eggs every day for us and for all the folks that worked for us. One day after we had been gone all day, we returned to find all of the chickens dead. Something had killed every one of them and there were feathers everywhere. I figured a coyote had slipped in while we were gone but if that was the case where were all the dogs? I could not figure it out. As I was standing at the scene of the crime I saw Duchess had a funny look about her. I spoke to her and when she opened her mouth I saw it was full of feathers and on further inspection I found blood on her. No question as to who the perpetrator was. It was Duchess! We did not get rid of her but she definitely was on the unapproved list after that.

Photo of tractor blade found here.

Illustration of pointer with chicken found here.