Old man in his truck, with his dog.

Quarter-Mile Pappy

Sometimes we all have a relative we wish we could hide away in an attic somewhere. I have one. My dad, also known as Pappy.

Seventy plus years old, he is still going strong. Involved with senior citizens meetings, he brings his special recipe canned carrots. Canned as in grocery store canned, not garden canned. He carefully sauté’s them in a skillet, adding sugar and butter until they are just so. The senior ladies love them, knowing no different. The bowl is emptied every luncheon.

He and his little dogs trot through town each morning to collect his mail. Everyone calls out to him,waving and smiling. Everyone in town knows pappy.

Pappy ran out of gas one day coming home from my place. Not one to ask for favors, he and his little dog walked the four miles home. Rummaging through his garage, he finds what he needs. A gas can.

He and his little dog get in his spare truck, fill the gas can, driving back to his stranded truck. Now, pappy has two trucks to figure out how to get home.

He puts his little dog on the seat of the newly gassed up truck. For the sake of sparing you confusion, we’ll call it truck one. Doesn’t drive it home to ask for help from a friend or neighbor. Doesn’t call me to come help. When pappy sets his mind to something, he’ll get it done.

He drives truck one a quarter-mile up the highway and parks it on the shoulder leaving his spare truck behind. He and his little dog walk the quarter- mile back to his spare truck. They both get in, off they go, passing truck one on the shoulder waiting for them, stopping one quarter-mile ahead of it.

He walks the quarter-mile back to truck one he had left behind, his little dog following on his heels. Hops in, driving it just one quarter of a mile ahead of the spare truck, parking it.

Back and forth he and the little dog go, driving each truck just one-quarter of a mile ahead of the last, parking it, walking back to the truck left behind. He was gradually gaining a quarter of a mile, after loosing the same on the walk back. Not to mention the four mile walk home he had just partaken.

Nearly four miles and three hours later, he finally reaches town in the spare truck. His little dog had already quit on him.

A neighbor a few blocks down sees pappy park his truck on the shoulder, leave it, walking back to where he had come from. Carrying a very irate little dog.

“Marshall, ya need any help?”

“Naw, I’m alright, I‘ll get it done.”

Soon, the neighbor sees pappy drive by in a different truck, parking it a quarter mile ahead of the truck left near the neighbor’s. Pappy walks back by him once again to the truck he had left behind.

“Marshall, you sure you don’t need any help?”

“Naw, I got it done now.”

Pappy collects the last truck, smiling and waving at the neighbor as he passes him, heading home.

Pappy was again at the senior citizens meeting the next day, with his special recipe canned carrots.

“Marshall, we heard about you and them two trucks yesterday. What happened?”

“Ran out of gas. But I got ’em home.” he mused over those tasty carrots.

“You ran out of gas in both your trucks?”

“Naw. Just one.” and he left it at that, scraping his luncheon plate clean.

One thing is for sure, pappy will get it done. Another, that little dog isn‘t real keen on riding with him anymore.

~ Shelley Madden ~
<shellmadde at aol.com>
Copyright © 2010

Shelley Madden is a short story author who resides in Wise County, Texas. She enjoys raising poultry and ponies on her small farm. Please email Shelley and let her know what you think of her story.

[ by: Shelley Madden, Copyright © 2010, ( shellmadde at aol.com ) -- submitted by: Shelley Madden ]

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