If you Can't Run with the Big Dogs, Stay on the Porch

By Mary Lou McKillip

It's hard sometimes living a dog's life,but Jake was a good master, his steps were slow like mine. He'd drive the old ford truck over the Smokey mountains ridges to coon hunt and let the young men run with us dogs. Before we'd tree, he'd drive over the ridge and walk down the gap of the mountain, If he couldn't get down to where us dogs had that old coon treed, he'd just stop and listen.

My leg was so sore it felt like the time a coon nabbed me on the leg,just as he was being put in the sack by Jake. Jake knew my leg was hurt, because it was swelled over my dew claw. I thought I had started to sprout me another leg, it hurt so bad.

Jake was an ornery old cuss but he was good to me. He bent down where I lay and rubbed my sore hip, patted me on the head and said,' Blue, if you can't run with the big dogs stay on the porch"..

Why I still can out run those sissies dogs.

I heard Jake get the gun and tell old Rattler and Bumper let's go boys.He figured old Blue would stay on the porch, well he had another think coming. I sprang off the porch and it felt like porcupines quill in the bottom of my paw when I hit the ground, but I'll be darn if those smart. aleck dogs would get that old coon. He was mine.

We all set out across the ridge that night as we did every night for the last five years. I was the youngest of the hounds then. I had to strut my stuff. That coon had Blue wrote all over his ring tail. I ran ahead and smelled the ring tailest armint. Why, I didn't know that scudder was thinking up a plan to out smart me. Fooled me too, he did.that ring tail pollcat doubled back in the tree tops. His scent was beginning to leave my nose, he jumped into the creek and swam across. He'd had to practice that trick all day to be so up on his job as to trick this old coon dog.

That dang Ratter heard him crash land in the creek, I'd heard him too if my old leg hadn't been hurting so dang bad. Old Ratter knew that coon was his now.

Bumper jumped in right below where old Rattler went in the creek and they were about across the creek.

What I didn't know was Sassy, the female Collie had slipped in the hunt unvited. I ran right slap dab over top of her saggy frame. That mad her mad and she yoked me, darn near throwed me in the creek. I tried to tell that sassy thing I didn't see her. I got me a bite on her belly, as she had six puppies at home. She ran whimpering hone, where she should have been in the first place with her youngun's.

My chance to be big dog was over that night. Rattler and Bumper had that slick coon in their turf and up a tree. Time I got to the tree, old Jake done shot him a coon.

Rattle and Bumper were wagging their tails like they'd done something, just and old coon. I'd showed the if that dang female Sassy hadn't yoked me. I bet her belly was swelled worse than my leg, serves her right. Just like a dang female sticking their nose in dogs and mans business. I hobbled back on the porch my leg sorer that ever.

This night as I reminisced of that night old Jake told me., 'Blue, If you can't run with the big dogs stay on the porch." I lay still on the porch as I heard Jake's two big dogs run over the ridge. Red and Blue Jr. along with Suzy the new hound Jake bought in town. I snickered, reckon Blue Jr will be yoked by that darn Suzy hound.

I watched old Jake try to get in his pickup, the old coot tried three times to get up in there. He came back to the porch where I lay, rubbed my head and sat down in the old rocking chair beside me and said," Well Blue, If I can't run with the big dogs, I'll stay on the porch."

Listen Blue!! That's old Blue JR, Listen , dang if he ain't got him a coon.

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