I’m on my way over to Pearl’s. I got up really early because I needed to check something out. Let me explain.
Every morning when Pearl the dog and I go out for a walk, we stop and pick up Aunt Grace’s newspaper. I trained Pearl to pick it up and carry it up the stairs. She takes it right to Aunt Grace’s door and waits for me to knock before she drops it. We don’t wait for Aunt Grace to come to the door, but we always knock. That dog is really proud to help out like that. I think it helps her esteem.
Well, twice now, when Pearl left to go to the Busy Nest, she nearly killed herself tripping over a big pile of newspapers in front of the door that faces Main Street. The second time, Pearl was so upset, she limped right down the street to the newspaper office and proceeded to tell them how incompetent their newspaper boy was. The editor person called the poor kid in so they could get to the bottom of Pearl’s complaint.
Pearl told us that boy swore he had thrown those papers directly onto the doorsteps of their rightful owners. Pearl told him the rightful owners must have thrown them back at him, because how else would they have all wound up on her doorstep?
The newspaper lady called everyone who lived close to Main Street and asked them if they got their paper that morning. They all said, no. Then Mr. Mann said he saw a dog run off with his. Of course, I was thinking like you are right now…that it was Pearl the dog. But Pearl never goes anyplace without me. She can’t get in and out by herself. I decided to watch the paperboy from a distance this morning. That’s why I got up so early. I was hoping to catch the culprit.
Just like he said, that kid threw the paper right up on the porch of every house on that street. I had to admire his good arm and profound accuracy. I remained in hiding and waited. Before long, here came Pearl the dog. I gasped. She ran up to the first door, grabbed the paper and took off running. She ran back and forth until she had picked up every newspaper on that street. When she got the last one, I stayed far enough behind her so she couldn’t see me, and I followed her.
I watched as she put that last paper on the pile in front of the door. Then she turned and sat there facing the street. It was only a minute or two later that I saw Berford, the motel lady’s dog, stroll on up to Pearl, who jumped up on the doo and managed to turn the doorknob with her paw. Then she backed up just enough for the door to open a crack. It was enough for Berferd to get his nose in far enough so Pearl could squeeze back inside. I watched as the door shut, after which Berferd grabbed one of the papers and ran off.
I’d bet money that motel lady was in her car someplace waiting for Berferd to bring her the stolen news. She knows everything going on in town before it hits the paper, anyway.
I’m here…Pearl is where she always is. Lying in front of Pearl the human’s door, waiting for me to take her for a walk. She probably wonders why I didn’t come from the back like I always do. That’s where my favorite dog and I come and go, and that’s where the paperboy throws our paper. Where nobody can bother it…ha ha!
Hardly anyone in Murdo locks their doors. The doors to the rooms above Sanderson’s Store don’t even have a lock.
I decided to give myself some time to think.
“I’ll grab your leash, girl, and we’ll go for a long walk and talk about this. Maybe If you stop running with Berferd and stealing papers, I won’t have to tell Pearl.
“It’s easy for you to get out isn’t it, Pearl? All you’ve gotta do is jump up on the door, turn the knob and push. It’s getting back in that you need help with. How am I going to unlearn you all of that? I will have to accomplish the impossible, that’s how!
We’re just lucky Pearl the human isn’t an early riser. Are you listening to me Pearl?”
“Hi Pearl, hi Grace, I’m here! Are you?”