Tuesday, May 7, 2013

In Memory of Sir Henry

Once upon a time, when my husband and I first started gardening with our small children, you know how it is with small children:  you also have pets--dogs, cats, guinea pigs, gerbils, even canaries.  We had Sir Henry, a wire haired Scottish terrier with a mind of his own.  Sir Henry belonged to our oldest son or it could have been the other way.  Where one diaper clad butt was in the air, the other black tail was wiggling right beside it.  Both were equally mischievous.

We had a nice green backyard just becoming for vegetables to be planted, sowed, grown and harvested.  We felt that we were so self-sufficient with only trips to the store for staples.  Otherwise, we went to the local butcher and to the fish market.

That spring, the shad were running and we decided to get as much as our bicycle baskets would hold.  We took our catch home, cleaned it, and put it in the freezer.  Now, what should we do with scales, innards, and heads?

Aha!  Let's plant corn as the Native Americans once did!  What a brilliant idea!

We buried the remnants of the fish in the garden where we were going to plant corn.  The fish would decompose and provide the corn with nutrients to grow strong and healthy.  We made holes about a foot a part in rows and dropped about five seed kernels in the holes.  The kernels along with the fish were covered and patted down.  

Time went by and we forgot about the corn and the fish until one day when we were playing with the children in the front yard and this immensely foul odor descended upon us.  Gee, it stank!  What the . . . ?  Immediately we knew that Sir Henry had been digging in the corn furrows and rolling in the decomposing fish.

Mercy!  Mercy!  We thought the dog's days were counted and so did he.  Yes, we scolded him.  We cleaned him up and made him presentable again.  Sir Henry lived with us for a long time and during this time, he continued to get into mischief.

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