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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Some Things Are Not Always What They Seem

This is a story that has been told to me more than a few times by good friend Terry Smith. I feel it is too good not to be passed on because the lesson is such a cliché and so real, because it was. In Terry’s words.
Every summer I used to go visit my grandpa and grandma deep in the Ozarks on their working farm, I was maybe 7 or 8 and always looked forward to spending the time on the farm. I had a few highlights I always looked forward to. Hunting in the woods with Grandpa and his old hound dog , Bill. Bill was a big old mixed hound about the size of a Treeing Walker Hound, he was all black, tan and white. The yard around the farm house had a wire fence , but in the corner was a hole about 15 by 10 or so, and old Bill would run to this hole and dive and twist sideways and somehow slide that big hound body through it, heck I couldn't wiggle through it as an 8 year old.
Each year that passed Grandpa and Bill would take me in the woods and we hunted cotton tails and bushy tails, all the while Grandpa was passing on the woodslore to me. I loved it and soaked up the information, he showed me how this kind of leaf always turned to point to the north. And how the streams ran from the north west to the south east, that would help me get my bearings. This plant is always found by this kind of tree, an oak, how the bunnies made those little trails, and where the cattails grew and how to eat the roots.
As I got older I became more and more impressed with grandpas knowledge and no matter how long we were out in the woods he always was able to make a bee line for the farm. I was still lost and had no clue how Grandpa  did it. I felt I would never unravel the mystery of finding my way home to the farm .
I must have been pushing 15 years old and Grandpa and I were hunting in the woods with the by now, really old hound dog, Bill, we had been out for hours and the game bag was full. I looked at Grandpa and wondering to myself just where were we, the woods were starting to get dark and a wind was brewing all was in shadow, no sun to be seen.  Now all in one fell swoop  I learned how Grandpa always got us home straight as an arrow. Grandpa  turned to the old hound who was getting bit deaf by now and I heard him say,” Bill, take us home” , the old hound turned around and like a bee to honey went straight as Robin Hoods arrow, he led the way to the farm.
Here I thought my grandpa knew the way and all those years it was old Bill who always knew the way. Mystery solved. I said to Grandpa , ” Grandpa I always thought you were leading us home” Grandpa said ” Hell boy without old Bill here I would never find the way home,” a pause.”Some things are not always what they seem.”

By Dude McLean

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  1. now I'am waiting for Terry Smith to read this and tell what I have wrong, as if I could be wrong..


  2. thanks Dave , I have heard the story many times and always loved it ... so wanted to share it with as many folks as I can ..


  3. Great story, very similar to one in my life. When my first wife and I were still in the dating phase, she was helping me with washing the dogs. I'd finished washing my Blue Heeler/German Shorthaired Pointer mix girl Selkie, so K (my ex) took her for a walk around a nearby park to dry off. The park was essentially a thicket with trails around it, and K got so turned around, she didn't know which way was out anymore. She looked at Selkie and said, "Go home, girl!" and held onto the leash for dear life. Sure enough, Selkie brought her home on the shortest trails.

  4. Matt, great story also ... thats one of the reasons dogs are our best friends.. take me home