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Sunday, August 22, 2010

THE LEGEND OF BILL LEE HILL

Bill is an uncomplicated man. He talks slow and simple. He grew up on a hog farm where the work was hard. Bill loved all the animals on the farm, especially the piglets; he could never get enough of them. The ones they kept for breeding were pets. He named them and would talk to them like they were human. Billy was always a little different, instead of having a dog for a pet, he had a goat. The goat was born on the farm and required special attention. The goat's mother died three days after giving birth to him. The little goat had to be bottle fed. Billy was determined to do everything possible to see that the little goat pulled through. He began an around the clock vigil, even sleeping with him in the beginning, giving the little goat warmth and attention; his mother called it "Love". After that they were inseparable. The goat was a male commonly referred to as a "Billy" so everyone just called the goat "Goat" to avoid confusion.

Goat would walk with Billy to the school bus every morning and return in the afternoon to walk back with him. Goat spent his day grazing and sleeping until time for the school bus. Then he would run down the lane and escort Billy to the house. Goat would playfully butt Billy as a show of affection as they walked up the lane.

One day after school, Billy was walking up the lane and Billy's mother was watching as she always did. She loved watching them walk up the lane together. They were always so excited to see each other. One day Billy saw a quarter and bent over to pick it up. At the very same time Goat was on his way to meet Billy. This is where the story comes to a head, yes two heads meet. Both lay on the ground, out cold. Ma rushed Billy to Doc. Jones and after a few hours Billy woke up. He had a big grin on his face and the story goes something like this.

Billy said "HI MAW, WHAT WE DUIN HEER? I GOT TO TAK KEER OF ME PIGS". Now ma faints upon hearing these words.

Doc. Jones said "It is just temporary, he will return to normal in a few days". He did not.  Coincidentally, Goat without a doubt became the smartest goat anyone has ever seen. Both Billy and Goat were local celebrities. Goat was capable of doing amazing feats. Everyone thought they were tricks.  Billy's Ma and Pa were convinced the head butting incident had altered their family forever.

The feats between Billy and Goat were adding, subtracting and dividing of simple numbers. If Billy could do the math, then Goat could do the math by stomping out the numbers or nodding his head the amount of times showing the correct answer. Simple mental exercises were completed successfully by Goat. People would say that Goat had the intelligence of a second grade child. However, Goat was only able to do these amazing feats if Billy was with him. They got the nickname "Bill & Billy the Kids.

When Ma and Pa believed this to be a temporary condition they were amused, but when it became clear this condition was permanent it was no longer cute. Doc. Jones was sorry and apologetic and took special interest in Billy, but no medical book could help the doctor with this case.

Billy was in most ways a normal child, a hard working boy who loved farming. Goat was always with him; even allowed to sleep by Billy's bed and was house trained. Not once did Goat mess up or destroy anything in the house. Goat would sit beside Billy and watch television. Ma and Pa swore Goat knew what was going on and even laughed at his favorite cartoons. They also believed Goat was learning human vocabulary, for example, his normal "Baaaa" was being replaced with "Baaaad--Gooood--Biiiilly--Fooood---Daaaaffey Duuuuck--oouut (you get the picture.)

Ma and Pa worried what Billy would do when it was Goat's time to die. They discussed this at great length with Doc. Jones. He thought that Billy, having grown up on a farm, and seeing the life cycle of other animals would prepare him for the loss of Goat. That proved to be right. One day Billy told Ma and Pa that it was Goat's time to go and not to feel bad for him. They were outside watching Billy and Goat play, for what was to be their last time. Billy dropped to his knees and hugged Goat. After the hug, Billy bent over and Goat gave Billy a head butt. It was enough to knock Billy over but not out, however Goat was down. Goat had given Billy his last bit of energy, a loving head butt. Billy walked to the barn and brought back a shovel. He buried Goat on the side of the barn that was closest to his room. After that Ma and Pa gave Billy big hugs and he went to the barn to be with his pigs. He was never lonely, but admitted to missing Goat, because they shared a special bond.

According to Bill's mother & father, his intelligence leaped "ahead" over night. Bill reached a normal intelligence level, however he a simple man with simple ways and simple logic. Doc. Jones has known Bill all his life and tells people that he is the wisest man in the county. Everyone laughs at that, they think he is joking.

Doc. Jones and Bill's Mother and Father understand what Bill's life is all about:

If you love what you do, it's not work.

Living life is simply, is best.

Pleasure can be found everywhere.

Love is giving.

THE LEGEND OF BILL HILL LIVES ON. MORE ADVENTURES OF BILL HILL WILL BE COMING.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Max

It was a beautiful summer day at the campground. Adults taking life leisurely, the children were running around playing. Happiness and tranquility was in the air. The Ohio River was unusually high because of recent rains.
A man pointed toward the river and yelled look! There appeared to be a dog resembling a beagle on a log smack dab (always wanted to use that word) in the middle of the rain swollen river. Everyone turned toward the river and stared in disbelief.
It's true, a dog looking like a character out of a Mark Twain novel - Huck Finn riding down the mighty Mississippi. People gasped and shouted "What can we do?"
A boat was fired up and became the Ohio River Rescue Unit. The boat carefully pulled alongside the log and snatched the frightened beagle from an uncertain fate. One lucky fella, everyone agreed. People talk to him, pet him, feed him. He's now the campground mascot.
He spends part of his day sniffing and chasing up rabbits, when no ones around he becomes lonely. He takes a nap and has nightmares of the ride down the river. One day only a single family was at the campground, he was extremely Happy because he recognized them as the ones who rescued him from the river. He had companions; they took a long walk, played fetch, patted his head and talked to him. He couldn't understand a word. The beagle didn't care, he loved the company.
The couple looked in their rear view mirror as they drove away. The beagle was in pursuit, but the short legs were no match for the pickup truck. After stopping for lunch the lady said we  must go back for him. Well you can just imagine how happy the beagle was to see them. He had touched their hearts. Instead of riding a log down the Ohio River, he was now riding in every dog's dream - a pickup truck.
I would like to say this is where the story ends, sadly, there is another crisis. The wonderful couple took the beagle to the veterinarian. Oh no! The log riding beagle has heart worms. He will certainly die if left untreated. Sadly enough the treatment itself might kill him. Thankfully the treatment was a success.
It's time to bring this extremely "heart warming" story to its finale. I would like to thank the kind couple who rescued a poor beagle from an uncertain fate. Max became the beagle's name. I understand Max spends his days outside, coming in at night to his very own blanket on the couch. I truly hope he has no memory of his ride on the Ohio River. Hearts have been touched by the beagle. I now add  mine.