Well, I’m on my way over to Pearl the human’s to take Pearl the dog for a walk. But guess what? I don’t have to spend the day worrying about Grace and her donut pillow. Remember, she fell off her new shoes and broke her tailbone. Pearl doesn’t make a whole lot of mistakes, but when she talked Grace into giving up her little black flats held on with rubber bands, she caused us trouble like you’ve never seen, before.
On the face of her, Grace is a pretty tolerable elderly lady, but if she’s in pain, her sweet demeaness goes right out the window. The lady downstairs at Sanderson’s Store was convinced Pearl and I were torturing Grace. What did she think we would do? Burn her with one of Pearl’s air cigarettes?
Pearl and I were in discomfort, too. Grace was simpering and in need day and night for days and nights. I sure hope she’s doing better, today.
Pearl told me I was to make sure Grace was propped up on her side and had everything she would need to get her through the day, and then I could go on over to Pearl’s Busy Nest and help her fill the little blue bottles with Elixerfixer. The busy season is upon us, and we need to be ready.
Grace is able to get up and use the bathroom, but it’s just really hard on us to watch her make that trip down the hall.
Well, I’m not there yet, but I almost am.
“Hi Grace, Hi Pearl the dog…I’m here. Are you?”
“Yes! Yes! Yes! We are here!” I heard Grace loud and clear, but I didn’t hear a whimper out of Pearl the dog. She had to be dying to get outside. I was sure I would have to yank her collar and beg to get her to come back in to spend the day with Grace. I felt bad, but not bad enough to stick around any longer than I had to. I mean, do I look stupid?
“Hi, Grace. Where is Pearl the dog? Is she hiding under your bed?”
“Oh, Ellie. You can see her from here. She’s at the kitchen door. She’s just sitting there staring at that door. She’s been like that all morning. She won’t even look at me.”
“Well, I’ll get her to go outside. It’s probably been a while since she went out with Pearl.”
“It hasn’t been that long, Ellie. Pearl had to drop pieces of the leftover meatloaf I was going to have for noon dinner to get her to move. She even had the leash on her, but she wouldn’t budge. The boy who rides the ladder back and forth along the wall to stock the shelves at the store, pushed Pearl the dog’s back-end while Pearl dropped meatloaf. Do you know what I heard him say when they finally got the poor dog inside?
He said, “I’m sorry girl, You’re in for another harrowing day with Miss Graceless. Howl down the vent if she gets too intolerable.”
Doesn’t he have any sympathy for a poor old woman with a slow-healing buttocks?
“Grace, do you remember when Pearl was giving me all those life lessons…like how to convince people to be manipulated without them knowing they were going to do what they never would have done…in the past?”
“I do remember, Ellie. What would Pearl say to do in a case like this?”
“I don’t know for sure, Grace. She got tired of teaching me before we got to understanding the inner-workings of the mind of a boy who rides the ladder up and down the wall stocking shelves at a grocery store. I’ll be back with Pearl the dog in a minute. Is there any meatloaf left?”
I have to admit, I felt slightly bad when I escaped that morning. I was not cut out to be a caretaker. Pearl said Grace really drew the short straw when she got us to nurse her back to health. We even tried Pearl’s Elixerfixer, but that just made for more painful trips down the hall. Pearl said if she’d had a little more adjusting time, it could have been a powerful cure, but Pearl’s just got too many irons in the fire.
She’s concocting a special tea for the Methodist Church basement cooks to serve before the Sunrise Easter Service. It’s guaranteed to make the congregation stick around for the sermon. I’m pretty sure the secret ingredient is Tang. Pearl says vitamin C is a much overlooked pick-me-up.
Right after Easter, Pearl is going to reveal her latest contribution to high society fashion. She will be debutaunting her younger as well as her more mature self in the form of Pearl’s Girls. Every child from here to Sioux Falls and back to Rapid City is sure to beg for one of Pearl’s Girls.
Pearl got really whistful one day when she was talking about being one of Murdo’s first interpinaters.
She said, “Essie, did you know we didn’t have Tang or plastic when I was growing up? Now, those two ingredients are going to keep Pearl’s Busy Nest flying high.”
“Yup,” I said. “Just like those two astronauts who invented them!”