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Last Meals

When we lived in New Jersey (for me that was 8th grade – 10th grade), we were in a brand new neighborhood built on an old farm. The house we lived in, a two story Jamestown, had an older house behind it with an even older dog. The dog was caged in the corner of a yard with the old wire fence that surrounded the yard as two of the cage walls. Either the same wire of the fence or chicken wire was used to make the other two walls. It had a rotting dog house and about enough space for the dog to lay stretched out…not even enough space for the dog to walk about. If I recall correctly the dog’s name was Timothy (or at least now it is for the sake of this story).

Timothy was getting along in his years and not looking so hot. He was certainly did not receive much TLC.

There are some things I love. Animals, and at this time particularly birds, were way up on my list. Food probably came before animals. Our breakfast window faced Timothy’s house. We had a bird feeder outside that window and I kept it filled with a custom mix that I’d hand make from the feed store on Main Street. I’d ride my bike down to Main Street and buy some candy from the crankly lady in the ugly mold green candy store. Then I’d ride to a Andy Ward’s house and spend some time. Then it was off to the feed store and home.

The neighborhood had a cat that enjoyed my birds more than I and many a bird had its last meal while I had my breakfast. At this point in my life I had never experienced allergies but I rapidly developed an allergy to cats. That psychological reaction has long since gone.

My folks love to cook a fancy meal. One night my mother cooks venison (could have been lamb) and my father, my brother and I force it down and lie to her about how good it was. When she leaves the room my father looks up at us, collects our meat, and says, “Timothy needs a good meal.” The dog loved that food! Never had we seen it so perky! It died the next day.

Don’t eat my mother’s venison!

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