Pearl owns The Busy Nest, where she sells her popular Elixerfixer. Grace writes an advice column with the help of twelve-year-old Ellie. Pearl calls her Essie. We refer to her as Ellie/Essie, whose other responsibility is to care for Pearl the dog, who belongs to Pearl the human. Pearl named her dog after herself. She figured as long as she could remember her own name, she could remember that of her dog, and if the day comes when she forgets either, it’s time for them to part ways.
Ellie/Essie is walking to Sanderson’s store. Pearl, Pearl the dog, and Grace live in the apartments above the store.
It’s Sunday and we’re taking the day off. I’m on my way over to see Pearl and Grace, but I really want to see Pearl the dog. I felt real sorry for her yesterday when we were trespassing in that cornfield. Even though I don’t especially want to relive it, I guess I better tell you what happened.
Pearl the human drove that pink Cadillac right into a wide spot in the cornfield. Then she opened the trunk and pulled out three big old gunny sacks she’d brought to put the corn in. She told Grace to keep an eye out while we picked some corn. Pearl the dog came with Pearl and me. We were headed back to the car with the last gunny sack full of corn when Grace yelled, “Hit the Ground!! A Pick-up is coming! A pick-up is coming! Hit the ground!”
Well, I hit the ground flat-out, Pearl the human just stood there, and Pearl the dog did something she almost never does. She started barking her head off. Grace, who has never in her life driven a car, started the engine up, and put the car in gear. She turned a wheelie right in the middle of that wide spot in the cornfield.
When she got up along side of us, she hit the brakes and yelled at us to get in the car. Pearl, who realized she didn’t have a leg to stand on, rode shotgun and I jumped in the back. We had lost track of Pearl the dog. We couldn’t hear her barking anymore, either. Grace gunned it, and headed for the highway.
Fear struck me to the core. The pick-up had seen us, and was heading our way. Grace suddenly realized she was driving and stomped on the brakes. The car died and there we were…sitting ducks. I still didn’t know where Pearl the dog was.
The pick-up pulled up beside us and a guy got out. Pearl got out of our car, and Grace started crying.
“Can I help you ladies with something?” The pick-up guy asked.
“Why thank you,” Pearl replied. “We’re fine. Is this your cornfield?”
“Yes, Mam, this is my cornfield…nice Cadillac. Did you have a flat tire? I see you’ve got your trunk up.”
Pearl’s expression didn’t change one bit. “No, young man, we didn’t have a flat. I was trying to teach my friend here how to drive. “Essie,” Pearl said. “Please close that trunk. I guess I didn’t slam it down hard enough when I put my walker back in there. I take my walker with me everywhere I go. I have vertigo. You’re spinning as we speak…That’s why I’m teaching Grace how to drive.”
The pick-up guy looked confused. I got out of the car and shut the trunk with all that corn in it.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Pearl the dog come out of the cornfield. She had our gunny sack by her teeth and was dragging it over to Pearl the human. It was almost full of ears of corn. I felt like the biggest heel.
“Why, there you are, Pearl,” Pearl said. “Where on earth did you get that dirty old gunny sack? Drop it right now, Pearl, and get into the car!”
Poor Pearl the dog. She thought she was doing a good thing by hauling the corn back to the car. Anyway, we both got in the car. The only one not in the car was Pearl, and she was staring down the pick-up guy, who finally said something.
“You ladies have a safe trip back to wherever you came from,” he said. “And enjoy the corn.” With that, he got back into his pick-up and left.
After he was out of sight, Pearl told Grace to get into the backseat with Pearl the dog. Then she walked over to the gunny sack full of corn and drug it over to the trunk. That scrawny old woman lifted that heavy old sack and managed to get it into the trunk.
Pretty soon, we had made our way back to the road. Grace wasn’t crying anymore, but she was sniffling quite a bit. “Well,” she said. “He did tell us to enjoy the corn.”
“Yes,” Pearl said. “He surely did. Now…what should we do next week, Dear Grace?”
Well, I’m not there yet, but I almost am. Anyway, that’s what happened.
“Hi Pearl. I’m here are you and Grace?”
Pearl the dog came running. Her tail was wagging a mile a minute. I heard Pearl call out from the living room. “We’re in here, Essie. Please bring us some coffee.”
When Pearl the dog and I went for our walk, we made a pact not to eat one bite of that five-finger discount, corn. We really mean it, too!