Poor Miss Bessie. She got herself into a fix by saying she had been working on a costume for Arf to wear to the doggie Easter Parade. The truth is, she hadn’t even thought about it until she blurted it out to Brad and Jamie. Now, she had to spend the biggest part of the night, crafting Arf an Easter hat.
Miss Bessie made me a colorful Easter hat and one for herself that was exactly like mine. I wasn’t sure I liked wearing a hat, but if Miss Bessie wanted me to, then I would.
“Goodness…look at the time,” she said. “Brad and Jamie will soon be here and there’s still so much to do. I must get the eggs ready to take to the General Store, put the hot cross buns in the oven, and get the ham ready to bake.”
I knew there was one thing I could do to help. I went to where Miss Bessie keeps her egg crates and brought some to her.
“You are such a smart dog, Arf. What will I do without you?”
Without me? Why would she be without me? Was Jamie coming back to get me?
A little while later, when everything was in order, Miss Bessie changed her dress and put her Easter hat on. She put mine on, too. It sort of looked like a boy’s hat, I guess, until she tied a bow under my mouth to keep the hat on. I looked funny.
“No, that won’t do.” Miss Bessie said. “I can’t make you wear that hat, but I have another idea.”
“What do you think Arf?”
I barked at the one with the bandana.
“Here comes Jamie and Brad.” Miss Bessie was so excited. “They’re both on horses and the hired hand is driving Jamie’s Jeep. Look! It’s decorated for the Easter Parade.”
We loaded up the Jeep and headed for town. Mark, the hired hand, drove and Jamie and Brad rode the horses.
I kept my Easter stuff on all day. We all had fun being in the parade. I walked beside a real nice golden retriever. Afterwards, I got a hot dog and then it was time to go home. I sure hoped Miss Bessie would give me some scraps of that ham she was cooking.
“I’ve made a ham with all the trimmings for Easter dinner,” Miss Bessie said. “And Brad, there is also a fresh apple pie.”
“I want to thank you all for a wonderful day,” She said. “I don’t remember when I’ve enjoyed Easter Sunday so much. Even though it’s only Saturday.”
“Miss Bessie,” Brad said. “Do you have family around here?”
Miss Bessie sat down in her chair and took her hanky out of her dress pocket. “My husband, Harold, died almost two years ago. We were never blessed with children. For fifty years, we only had each other, but that was enough.”
“I have my parents,” Jamie volunteered, “but the past four years, while I’ve been in college, they’ve traveled most of the time. They’re not even home for any of the holidays. Without any brothers or sisters, it gets kind of lonely. How about you, Brad. Do you have a family?”
“I think it’s time to go,” he said rather abruptly. “I have some chores to do. Are you up to riding back to the ranch, Jamie, or would you like me to call Mark and ask him to come back and get you?”
“Of course I can ride,”she said….”I guess Arf will have to spend the night here again. Do you mind Miss Bessie?”
Why would she mind? Why would Jamie keep coming to get me and then leaving me here? It’s very confusing to a dog like me to belong to two humans who don’t live together…especially if the dog really loves them both.
That night, I slept on my pallet at the foot of the bed like I always do. It was still really dark when something woke me up. Was that smoke I smelled?