Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Hired Hand

The most wonderful day of my life happened on November 16, 1944.  At least it was the most wonderful day so far.  Todd Earnword limped down Promise Road with a worn satchel slung across his shoulder and a walking cane in his left hand, and turned into Grandma Otelia's driveway.

It was balmy for November and I was idly swinging in the tire swing under the nearly bare red oak, skimming through bronzed leaves piled as high as my head.  It was blissfully quiet and peaceful, because Henry and Harold were in town getting overdue haircuts.  Foxy raised his black and brown head up from his comfortable leaf pallet and glanced indifferently toward the approaching stranger, then slumped back down into neutral.  Foxy was a hound dog, not a watchdog. 

When the stranger was halfway up the driveway he stopped and waved to me, a wide, disarming smile of white teeth visible clear across the yard.  "Hello, young fellow," he called cheerfully.  "I'm looking for Mrs. Otelia Miles.  Is this the right place?"

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