Billy slowly raised one eyelid and looked around. Boots and Desdemona, Aunt Ada’s cats, were curled up, one against his belly and one against his back. Billy hated to wake the cats, but when a guy has to go find a tree, well, call it collateral damage. He got up, stretched and yawned and trotted out to the kitchen. Aunt Ada greeted him with ear rumples and a bowl of kibble, and then opened the door so he could go to work.
Being the official town dog isn’t always the easiest job, Billy thought. I mean, not if you take it seriously.
Billy went down to where his dog house was by the elementary school. He cleaned up some scraps that some good soul had left for him, then rested his chin on his paws and waited. The blue car came, and Martin, the crossing guard, emerged with his smile, his sign and his whistle.
Billy greeted Martin and the two of them waited. Two third graders arrived. Martin walked to the center of the street, held up the sign and blew the whistle. Billy walked the children across the street, then returned. Martin returned to the safe shore with his paddle.
There wasn’t a car in sight, but you never can tell.
Half an hour later, all the kids were safely at school and the blue car went away.
Billy wasn’t sure, but he thought this might be sale day down at the cattle auction. It … seemed … like that kind of day, so he headed toward the edge of town. He stopped at the back door of the Soup ‘R Market and scratched. Sure enough, Annette opened the door, gave him an ear rumple and a bone, and went back in.
Yes, it felt like sale day. You know, something in the air. But what if it isn’t sale day? What if none of the other dogs show up today? Oh, well, there’s always a nap at the dog house and before you know it, the kids would need his help crossing the street to go home.
Life is good.
Like dogs? Especially coonhounds? Read the award-winning children’s book, Ol’ Jimmy Dollar, available now at www.lpdpress.com.
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