This is a rerun about one of my favorite childhood memories…The lady always prefaces the little Murdo Girl stories…
Well, she wanted to write about her dog today. I thought we might get away from the brother, but we weren’t so fortunate. He may have to pay for her therapy someday. In any case, I left the story about Berferd in, because it’s rather charming.
I used to have a dog named Penny. One day, she had puppies in our coat closet. My mom told me I could keep one, so I picked out the one I thought was cutest and named him Scout.
“MOM!! Billy just stuck his head in my door and called me Clara Belle Barnsmell.”
Sorry, he wants to know what I’m doing and I told him it was none of his beeswax. My cousin Trice told me her brother Blake made her eat flies before she could have a popsicle. I sure hope Billy doesn’t hear about that!
Back to Scout.
When Scout was little, I went to California with my Dad. He flew back home in a few days, but I stayed most of the summer with my Aunt Vava and Uncle Bob. Dad bought me some new clothes before he left. Do you know what a shift dress is? It doesn’t have a waist. Dad told the store clerk that he had a shiftless daughter. He bought me two.
When I got back to Murdo, I hadn’t seen Scout for almost 3 months and I couldn’t wait to see him. I went outside and yelled heeere Scout, but he didn’t come. When I told Mom he wouldn’t come, she said it was because she had changed his name to Berferd. “He looks more like a Berferd,” she said. I went outside and yelled heere Berferd. Well here came the homeliest dog I have ever seen. My dog had grown up and he had black, white, grey and brown, wiry hair. He looked like he had fallen out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. I still loved that dog.
Murdo has shows uptown on Saturday and Sunday nights. (The same show both nights.) Berferd runs all over town, but on Saturday and Sunday nights he always knows there is a show, and he always goes. He lays at the top of the aisle and Mrs. Burns, who is the usher, shines a flashlight on him so the people don’t trip over him. Mrs. Burns is also the dental assistant and her husband, Mr. Willard Burns works at the Ford Garage and also runs the projector for the show.
Anyway, I usually go to the show one night and sometimes Dad goes if it’s a cowbyer movie (that’s what he calls westerns). All the kids always go to Sanderson’s Store before the show and buy penny candy. My Great Aunt Tet works there and sells it to us. When we first sit down in the show house, we see a cartoon, then news, and after that, the show.
Berferd always goes to the show both nights and after the movie, he gets to run all around and eat the popcorn that the people spilled. When he’s done, he goes home. He usually gets home by about 10:30.
Berferd runs ahead of Dad’s car all of the time. When Dad drops me off at band practice, Berferd stays there until band is out, and then he walks me to my school.
Sometimes when Dad is driving me to school, he pretends that he is going to turn one way and Berferd takes off in that direction. Then, Dad turns the opposite way and Berferd runs that way. He yelps all the way back until he gets ahead of Dad again. It is so funny. Dad laughs so hard even with a cigar in his mouth. Dad hates cigarettes, but loves cigars. Anyway, Berferd will never ride in a car because he got car sick once.We sure do love that dog. Dad says he has personality instead of good looks.
One Saturday when I came home from the show, Mom was sitting in Dad’s chair. She didn’t look very good. She said the neighbor had been over to tell her that Berferd had been hit by a car and was dead. He put him in the trunk of Mom’s car so we could bury him someplace. It was really, really, sad. I asked Mom what time it happened, and she said it was a couple of hours ago.
I said, “Mom are you sure, because Berferd was at the show?” Well, she went right to the phone and called Willard Burns who runs the projector and asked him if Berferd was there. He said, “Yes, he cleaned up the popcorn and then he left. He should be home any minute.”
Mom said, “Then who is in my trunk?” We went out to the car to look. We couldn’t believe it. There was a dog that looked just like Berferd only he was bigger. Mom and I looked at each other and said, “Berferd’s father!!”
Berferd got home about 10:30… just like always.