Auntie Leah was Fathers sister. Uncle Luke was the town doctor and historian. He keep the records. Health & History. Together they had seven children. Six boys and one girl. Levi was my favorite. Uncle Luke knew everything about everyone in the town. Or so he thought.
Levi's dog was Gideon. Lollipop loved Gideon and Gideon loved Lollipop. And they both loved Horseshit. Lollipops puppy. Although Horseshit wasn't a puppy anymore. Most weekends we would stay at Granny & Pop-Pops farm.
We'd spend our days riding our bikes up and down the dirt roads. And trying to keep up with Gideon Lollipop & Horseshit. We never could. Lollipop would grab hold of a scent and off all three of them would go. We'd hop off our bikes and go runnin' in the forest after them but soon give up. The trees in the forest had vines that came down from the top of em and Levi and I would grab hold and start swingin'.
From one vine to the next. We'd keep swingin' until we heard the bell. Granny had a bell with a rope attached to it and whenever she just about had dinner or supper ready she start ringin' it.
Even Lollipop, Gideon & Horseshit knew that the sound of the bell meant it was time to eat. And they always beat us back to the house. Granny made the best meals. Simple meals. Mine & Levi's favorite was chicken & dumplings.
Slippery dumplings that she rolled out thin from flour and lard. She'd cut the dumplings into squares and one by one drop em in the boiling yellow chicken broth. Granny's chickens were fresh. Right after breakfast Granny would go out into the chicken house and chase down a nice fat one grab it by the neck and start ringin' it. The neck. Round and round until finally the body flew off. I can still picture the chicken runnin' around the yard with no head for what seemed like forever. The dogs would bark and bay and Levi and I would laugh and laugh. Unless the headless chicken got to close to us. Then we'd scream. Off we'd go ridin' our bikes knowin' when we heard Grannies bell we'd be gettin' what we loved the most. Well almost what we loved the most. At bedtime Levi & I would hug and kiss Granny & Pop-Pop goodnight and then climb the steep stairs that lead to our really favorite thing. The feather bed.