'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

08 June 2011

Work And A Joke

The garage got here on Tuesday. Lu and are armpit deep in assembly. Pictures in a day or two. In the meantime a joke. It's from Richard Wolters' seminal book, Water Dog. If you've ever shot over a good dog you'll understand.

A friend was relating a story to me the other day. He got an invitation to go waterfowling from a new acquaintance, a man I also happen to know quite well. Never having had the pleasure, he took him up on the offer. By dawn the next day they're ensconced in a blind, overlooking a large lake, with a veritable flotilla of something called "Decoys" floating in the water before them. Also in the blind is a large, black dog. My friend was curious but reticent to ask too many questions.

Over a cup of coffee the hunter quickly raises his eyes heavenward and shouts "Mark". Suddenly, the hunter and his large, black dog are kneeling on the floor of the blind like monks praying before the altar. Their hypnotic eyes peer upward, through the drifting fog. My friend had no idea what to expect but readied himself for whatever came next. Without a sound, 2 ducks materialize from the murk, winging their way toward the blind. A command is given. "Take 'em". My friend fumbled with his cold shotgun but managed 2 quick shots. A Mallard drake falls with a splash. He hears the roar of the hunter's shotgun and sees the second duck falter and wheel drunkenly into the surf.

The hunter turns to my friend with a maniacal gleam in his eye. "Watch this." He turns to the dog, now poised at the water's edge, his body aquiver with anticipation. His eyes fixed on the now still water as if on the very meaning of life. A single word is spoken. "Back".  The dog leaps forward.

My friend watches the dog tear across the water, not swimming but running across the surface. He picks up one duck, runs back to deliver it to the outstretched hand of the hunter. A strange hand signal sends the dog off to repeat the performance. He never once sank into the dark, cold water.

His story told, my friend turned to me and asked me what I thought about that. His look is both triumphant and incredulous. His wide eyes challenge me to doubt the veracity of what he has seen.

What was I to say? This was my friend. I had to be honest and tell him the truth lest he get the wrong idea.

"That damn dog can't even swim".

Back tomorrow.



innominatus said...

Heh. Back in the late '70s I remember my stepdad (who wasn't my stepdad yet at the time - I know, kinda complicated) loaned my dad a copy of Water Dog. Future stepdad had checked it out from the Bakersfield Library back in the '60s.

Wonder what the late fees on that would be now?

Six said...

If we go by government practices it's a million dollars and a visit by a DOE SWAT team. Wolters was a right wing nut doncha know.