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click to enlarge BRUCE ELLIOTT

"This one time," says storyteller John Stansfield in a Texas twang. "I was watching my best hunting dog go running off through the field. Now I love to watch that dog run. And I saw he was chasing a rabbit and he was quick, mighty quick, and he was catching up with that rabbit. And all of the sudden the dog just disappeared.

"It seems that some fool had left a great big old scythe lying out there in the field. And dang if my dog hadn't run into that scythe full bore and split himself right down the middle from nose to tail. He was lying there in two hunks of dog lying on the ground.

"So I just picked up the two hunks of dog and I slapped them together again. I grabbed me some of that petroleum jelly. I smeared it all over that dog to help him stick together and then I grabbed me a bandage and I started to wrap him. He looked kind of like a giant bratwurst lying there in my hand.

"In the morning when I came down to make my breakfast and start the wood stove, I heard this little 'Rrrk, 'Rrrk' back there behind the stove. When I came in at noon, I heard the dog bark. And I went to grab him and unwrapped him to see how he was healing up, and then, right then, I realized my big mistake.

"Well I'd been in too much of a hurry and I'd slapped one half of him on upside down, with two legs pointing up now and two legs pointing down. He started wagging his tail; it went both directions at the same time.

"Before long he was back chasing rabbits again. And do you know what? In one way I think my dog is better off now than before. I know he doesn't look as good as he used to, but I'll tell you. Now if he gets tired, all he has to do is flip himself over and he has two fresh rested legs to hop on."

-- by Dan Wilcock

photo by Bruce Elliot

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