Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Dachshund Christmas Yore

As the horrific events of the world come crashing down around you this holiday season, just stop.  Stop, relax, grab a long dog and invite them on your lap.  Caress them, fondle their ears, hug them, and read with them this Dachshund tale of a Christmas Yore:

He Should Have Known
By Bart Reedy

So, you thought your Christmas was a tough one?  Wait 'til you hear about mine!
It began early in the morning - much earlier than I am used to being disturbed.  But all of a sudden my two sisters and myself were pulled out of our warm bed and three pairs of hands started to brush us and wash our faces and clean our ears.  I even had two toenails clipped.
I should have known right then and there that this was the day our mother had been telling us about.  She kept saying we were all going to other homes.  In fact, she kind of gave me a complex about the whole thing.
Every so often she's let out a snide crack like, "I don't see why one of you couldn't have been beautiful like me.  Then you could have stayed here."  You see Mother never quite got over the fact that she won all kinds of prizes in some beauty contests.  There's a whole cabinet at the other end of the room filled with silver cups and dishes and things.  She won them all - or so she told us.
Well, it was pretty obvious that this was the big day.  I was put in a box that was awfully dark inside when they closed it.  However, it had a couple of holes punched in it so I could get some air.  I got air all right - it was plain drafty and for a long time after we got into the "wagon" I sat and shivered.  I know it was a "wagon" 'cause I heard that nice guy, Johnny, who used to feed me, say, "This old wagon needs a good going over.  I believe the battery is about shot."
After a while, I was lifted up in my box and the next thing I knew everything was bright around me.  Four persons were staring at me.  One was a man with a silly grin on his face.  One was a woman, who looked as if she had tears in her eyes.  Then there were these two kids - a girl with long golden pig tails and a smart aleck freckled-faced boy that I knew right away was going to give me a hard time.
The woman lifted me out of the box, held me against her shoulder and kissed me - yes, she actually kissed me.  Now, I don't go much for this sloppy stuff - so I started to wiggle.  Wouldn't you?  Next she handed me to the man, who gave me a playful pat on the rear end - only it wasn't very playful to me.  That guy has a mitt like a rock.
Next the little girl took me and somehow I got my left foot tangled in one of her pigtails and it took everybody to get it loose while she let out a long loud wail.  All the time that freckled-faced boy kept leering at me.
This pawing and squealing and loud talking seemed to go on forever.  Finally, one of them, I forget which one, put me down on the floor and I took off.  I ran to the nearest hiding place, which was in back of a big tree in the room.  Then you should have heard it!  Everybody was on their knees trying to coax me out.  But I had made up my mind.  This was a bunch of kooks!
Just when I was feeling safe, that freckled-faced kid lay on his belly, reached under the tree and grabbed me by the back of the neck.  I let out a yelp and that started the noise all over again till the lady said, "Stop, you're hurting the little darling.  Give him to me."
Would you believe it, this sort of thing went on for hours.  One of them put some milk in a dish and insisted that I drink it.  But I didn't want it.  Then they dipped my nose in it.  I honestly thought they were trying to drown me....and did I struggle!  At another point, that freckled-faced kid kept rolling a big ball at me and I kept running away from it.  What do you think he was trying to do?
Then, all of a sudden, someone decided to take me outside.  So the two kids put on some coats and hats and took me outside and stood me on the cold ground.  There I stood and shivered.  I was thinking, "What kind of a nuthouse did I get into?"  Well, whatever they wanted to happen didn't happen so after a while they took me back in the house.
I was no sooner inside when I had to go - you know - go.  So I looked around but I couldn't find any paper.  Now paper is a very necessary thing at a time like this.  But there was none.  So I just went.  If you think they were noisy before, you should have heard them this time.  I don't know what they were so upset about.  It certainly wasn't my fault if there wasn't any paper around.
Sometime later, they gave me a dish with some food in it.  I tasted it and it was pretty good stuff, so I ate some.  That started it again!  This time everybody was happy.  Boy, I'll never get used to this crowd.
Oh, yes, I almost forgot to tell you.  Early in the day someone asked what my name was and.....this you won't believe.....even I don't believe it.....the answer was Hector.  Imagine, Hector!  Well, I've got news for them.  If they think for one minute that I'm going to pay any attention to that freak name, they have another jolt coming.
I did manage to get through the day somehow but it wasn't easy....and boy, was I tired when they finally put me in a nice soft bed.....kinda like a basket....and everything got quiet.
I'll just bet they thought I would object to being alone....but I fooled them.  I was darned glad to be rid of them.  The last one that said goodnight was the freckled-faced kid.  He kinda jabbed me in the belly with a fat finger.  He and I are going to have a showdown one of these days....I can just tell it.
So you thought your Christmas was a rough one!  How would you like to be a 10-week-old Dachshund puppy?


This article was originally printed in The Reading Times, December 26, 1969, and then re-printed in the December, 1970 American Dachshund magazine, and now, typed out once more for the readers of The Long and Short of it All, December 15, 2012.  Vintage photo circa 1950-60, source unknown.


Alison said...

Written 43 years ago. It could have been written yesterday. That's exactly what we do when there's a new puppy in the house!

Coralee and Finn said...

So funny! I think my cat had similar feelings when she was "repatriated" to our home!

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