The Last Laugh: Dumb Dogs and Rabbit Season

Dumb dogs may not know their own names, but sometimes they know when it's rabbit season.

| May/June 1979

"If you pickup a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.—Mark Twain  

Well sir, they jist ain't nothin' like a spring evenin' to put folks in a philosophizin' mood. What with the frogs an' bugs singin' fit fer a concert hall, an' ev'rything so lush and new that the air gits to smellin' green, I s'pose it's only natural fer the mind to dwell on weighty thoughts.

Which, I reckon, is why the conversation over at the Gen'ral Store t'other night turned to the subject of dumb dogs and rabbit season ... although I must admit that Clarence Smithers' blue tick, Belle, did have somethin' to do with bringin' up the topic.

Y'see, that hound strolled over to the assembled loafers with the clear intention of occupyin' her usual spot right under Clarence's chair, but jist awaitin' fer one of the old boys to vacate a cozier position. On this occasion, howev'r, she was greeted by a barrage of corncobs, popsicle sticks, an' cussin' that didn't let up till she was well downwind and distant.

"Belle got herself tangled with a skunk, eh Clarence?" commented Doc Thromberg, whose nose was still twitchin' ... makin' his mustache look fer all the world like a woolly bear with the St. Vitus dance.

"Tangled, my foot," replied Smithers. "The ol' girl killed that polecat an' drug it home to boot! Brought the critter right through the hole in my screen door an' liked to ruin my bedsheets with it, too. I used up three quarts of last year's beefsteak tomatoes washin' her, but that bath didn't do more'n take the edge off'n her aroma. An' to make a bad situation worse, I was flat outa change when I got to the coin laundry to clean my beddin'. Had to stuff them ripe sheets into a machine that was already runnin'. I figure I can sneak in to pick'em up later an' nobody'll be the wiser."

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