Friday, April 8, 2011

Long Live Cody Bear

This week marks the second year I have been without my furry sidekick.  Cody Alexander, better known as Cody Bear, was a constant source of comfort, laughter and drool for twelve wonderful years.  I still occasionally think I see him at the back door or have to look twice if there is a dark colored shirt left on the floor.  I find it hard to believe I will never again find my feet pinned to the floor under his sleeping weight. He will never again nudge me against the knee under the dining room table when he wants me to share my food.  No more slobbery tennis balls will be dropped at my toes.  No more half eaten bones will be found in the corners of my house.  And, I will not wake up to find him beside me during a thunder storm.  Even as I write this blog two years later, tears are slipping down my cheek to fall with silent finality on my shirt. 
Today however, is a happy day.  Today is a day for celebration of a life that was and a life that will now live on forever in fiction.  For today, I want to share with you an excerpt of Abigail’s Secret where Cody Bear will forever fetch balls and beg for food.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Do you have a little furry one you’re missing today?  I would love to read your comments.

Abigail’s Secret
Charles Towne, South Carolina
     “These are my cousins, Sarah and Emma Terrington.  They are…presently in my care.” Alex refrained from saying to Banyan what he truly felt about his cousins at that moment.  Instead, he looked past them and into the stone covered streets of the city he would now call home.  The buildings were all tall and thin, stacked like books on the shelf of a library.  It was a clean city when he compared it to soot covered London, where he had just come from.  The businesses that lined the streets all seemed peaceful and quiet, adorned in muted colors and topped with red tile roofs. Perhaps this would not be such a horrible fate after all. 
     “Nice to make your acquaintance Sarah and Emma,” Banyan said easily with a twinkle in his eye.
     The twins were obviously happy to be on solid ground, and in the company of someone who did not want to kill them.  They beamed up at Banyan as he began tossing their bags into the back of his wagon.  Alex noticed a large coal black dog sitting up on the front bench.  It seemed to be taking advantage of the premium views the bench offered of the action around him.  Just then, the dog hopped over into the back of the wagon, came to the side of the conveyance where Alex stood with the girls, and began sniffing them.  Sarah turned her face up to him, and he licked her from chin to eyebrow; she laughed and reached out to pet him. 
     “That’s Cody Bear,” Banyan offered as he lifted one end of a trunk and indicated for Alex to get the other. 

As Alex lifted the trunk he watched the girls giggle and fuss over the beast of a dog.  "If there is an animal within sight, Sarah will befriend it,” he shook his head and looked back at Banyan.  “I’ve never seen that breed in England, what is he?”
     “He’s a new breed.  I found him while on my travels,” he said with pride.  “He’s a Labrador Retriever.  He’d be a great hunting dog if he weren’t gun shy, the worthless fur ball.”  Banyan looked up at his dog, and scratched him behind the ears lovingly. 
     “I had a mastiff as a boy; however, when he ate most of the stores in the kitchen during the dead of night and then moved on to the drawing room furniture, my father insisted I give him away.  Never had another,” Alex finished wistfully, as he looked into the warm brown eyes of the dog regarding him as a slobbery ball was dropped at his foot.
     “Now Cody, we don’t have time to play right now,” Banyan said as picked up the slimy ball tossing it back into the wagon where it was pounced on like a jungle cat would devour its prey. 
     “Last one,” Alex said lifting the last of the trunks into the wagon.  “How far is it to Darby House?”
     “Oh, just right up the way, not far at all.  I’ll give you the grand tour as we go.”
     “I think Charles Towne is a lovely city,” Emma interjected looking up at the building tops looming above their heads on the street behind them.
     “That it is,” Banyan agreed.
     “There sure are a lot of churches,” Sarah observed gazing at the steeple tops that dotted the skyline of the port town. 
     “That there are. Charles Towne is even called The Holy City on occasion because of that very reason.”
     “Why are there so many?” Sarah asked, as she ran her hand over the black fur covered head of the hound leaning on her shoulder where it left a puddle of drool on her dress that she would never notice.  
      “I reckon that’s because nobody can agree on what they believe.  So, they just build another building down the street, and invite the friends who agree with them to sit there on Sundays instead of where they sat the Sunday before.  Nobody agrees, and we don’t have to, welcome to the New World.” He grinned and handed Sarah up into the wagon.
     “Well, they are lovely nonetheless.  I think Charles Towne will be a wonderful place to live,” Emma offered, as she joined her sister in sitting on a trunk at the back of the wagon. 
     Banyan raised the gate at the rear of the wagon and hooked it with chains to secure it before looking up at Alex, a question in his glance, “Once you get settled in, I’ll show you around some of the establishments in town if you like.”
     “If one of those establishments is a place where a gentleman can get a moment’s peace from family, and have a glass of something that numbs, I would like that,” Alex returned with a slight smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. 
     “Ah, I know just the place that will suit your needs,” Banyan laughed in a great booming voice that reverberated off the pastel painted buildings of the city.  “You might not be all bad Darby, not bad at all.”  He laughed again, and jumped up onto the front bench of the wagon to set off for Darby House.


Heather Molloy said...

My lil' prince's name was Harley. He was a Doberman Pinscher who thought he was a water dog. Loved the lake, streams, puddles, ponds, and pools. Loved the snow, loved to go for rides and long walks, HATED carpenter bees and motorcycles. :) We lost him 5 years ago this September and we still tell "Harley stories" as though he's on the couch beside us.

It's not the end of slobbery tennis balls though! It's time to get another pooch! Our plan is to get Sean a puppy maybe on birthday #2. I think it's time for y'all to get one too!

Loved the excerpt, btw!

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