Stephenson Tales


Buckle, the gentle giantBuckle was a gentle brown mix, so named by Lucy Slosson because he was all brown except for a pure white collar of fur with one spot of brown on the top of his neck. He was one of the puppies born to Evie's dog, Lady, in the upstairs bedroom at 2101 the night before Lucky and Danny's wedding, and was the only one of Lady's puppies we kept.

One day the poor, simple beast had an encounter with a porcupine at Interlochen. He appeared at the back door of Harper House with black and white quills all over his nose, his entire mouth - inside and out - and he was crying piteously. We lay him down on the cement by the door and covered his lower body with a blanket and with pliers began removing the quills. He must have realized that we were helping him, for he lay quite still for about an hour. In all, from inside his mouth, between his teeth, through his tongue and from all around his snout, there must have been at least thirty quills. Fortunately, not one had gone into his eyes. He was in sad shape, unable to eat, for a few days, but he recovered and became his happy moron self again.

Buckle with his family at ChristmasHe came to a sad end, being run over by a car in Ohio on Route 43 just a block from our house on Knoll Road. Someone who lived on the highway knew us and knew Buckle and actually saw him get killed. The driver did not stop. We got a phone call reporting the accident to us, and I went up and retrieved the body. I buried him in the bushes lining our yard by the back door on the other side of the big maple tree. Alas.

Robin's note: While Buckle was with us he was a source of much fun and pleasure. He was Evie's dog, without any doubt. But he and I enjoyed each other's company. One evening while Evie was getting ready for bed, Buckle and I were lying on Evie's bed waiting for her to get done. Just as Evie emerged in to the hallway I had Buckle in a close embrace and he was looking right in to my face. I said to him (in my practiced theater delivery so Evie would hear), "We've got to stop meeting like this, I think Evie is getting suspicious!" Evie doubled over in laughter and Buckle wagged.

Evie's note: Another gross and interesting thing about Buckle and the porcupine - MONTHS later he got a pusy bump on the top of his snout. Being the picker that I am, I started picking at it. It was a quill that had gone all the way through the roof of his mouth and out the top! Mark ended up pulling it the rest of the way out once I got it uncovered. Poor Buck wasn't a country dog. He got kicked in the face - the vet thought it was probably a cow, it messed up his jaw for a while. He also got sprayed by a skunk and ever after in humidity had a slight odor.

Composed 1 November 2008; Transcribed by Lucky

© Jim Bob Stephenson 2008

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