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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

LITTERMATES (A True short Story)


 

I recently posted a blog about a day of hunting and the necessity of doing it.

In the story I mention a dog named Zeke. Now Zeke had two brothers that became famous in some circles. They were Mac, Jack, and Zeke. To look at the three of them you would say there is no way they are littermates.

Their mother was a Shepherd not unlike an Australian Shepherd. Their father was a Walker Hound so the pups were half Shepherd and Half hound. Mac and Jack looked like hounds and Zeke looked like a large version of a Shepherd but not like his mother for he had long hair.

At about six months Mac and Jack were excellent trackers by smell but Zeke found game with his eyes. In the woods he would always be looking up and if he treed you always knew the game was in the tree.
With Mac and Jack game would sometimes slip over into another tree and be gone.
My two uncles owned the dogs and the one who had Mac and Jack sold them to some field trial hunters and the last thing I heard of them was they were in Ohio.

Mac had won the Ohio State field trials championship with Jack not far behind him.

 My uncle got forty five dollars for the pair of them and the last time I heard they were sold Jack brought a thousand dollars and Mac fifteen hundred.

My uncle was working for three dollars a day at the time.

The other uncle kept Zeke even though the guys who first bought the hound brothers tried to buy Zeke but my uncle wouldn’t sell him.

Zeke’s mother was by nature a sheep dog and she would try to herd the cows and the horses on the farm. She could get in and nip the heels of an animal so quick they couldn’t see her until they felt the bite. She did that both to horses as well as cows.

The animals would instinctively kick at her but she would drop flat to the ground after biting and they would kick above her head. She amazed me at the way she could get by without getting kicked.

When Zeke was six months old he was a big dog, much bigger then his brothers and he had hair on him that was about three inches long. He was one shaggy dog.

I was standing in the barnyard and I saw Zeke walk behind one of the horses and the horse kicked him. Zeke was giving out with his “I been killed yelp” and running in a tight circle. Then I saw what his trouble was the horse kicked him on the jaw and it was locked wide open.

After several circles his jaw snapped closed and he sought a place to be until the pain subsided. A few days later I checked his jaw and it had been fractured. When it healed he had a knot on his jaw from then on.

Zeke could whip his brothers and all other dogs that came to visit. He was big and hairy and thought he was top dog in the county. This uncle lived on the county road where a lot of farmers went by with their wagons and of course they would have one or more dogs with them.

The farmers who went by often - - their dogs would go way around into the field across from my uncle’s house for they knew Zeke would whip them if they stayed on the road. The ones that stayed on the road got whipped before they got by every time for you could hear the wagon coming a long ways off.

The word got out that there was a mean dog on the road and one day two men came to see my uncle. They talked around the subject but finally got around to talking about Zeke and his whipping all the dogs that came by. They kept talking until they talked my uncle into letting Zeke fight a dog they had.

They maneuvered my uncle into a position where if he thought Zeke was able to whip all the dogs around here then he ought to let him fight their dog. It finally came down to a case of pride and my uncle agreed for he was proud of Zeke. The men wanted to have the fight down by the river and on the given day we were there with Zeke.

I didn’t think it was right but we were there. There were a lot of people there and they had been betting on previous dog fights. The men brought out their trained fighting dog. He had a large mouth and was very muscular. It was obvious this was no run of the mill animal. They had set us up and Zeke was going to get the beating of his life.

The big crowd circled around us and made their bets. One of the men was yelling they have brought down a bear to fight my dog trying to whip up the crowd into betting on Zeke.

Zeke was quite a bit bigger than the man’s dog but the man didn’t seemed to be bothered by that for he knew what the outcome was going to be in a few brutal minutes.

The man released his dog and he went for Zeke.  Zeke was loose standing by us not knowing he was going to be fighting for his life in a second. The dog went directly for Zeke’s throat.

He grabbed Zeke by what was supposed to be the death grip. Once he got his grip his Jaws would lock and it would be hard for men to get him off even after the fight was over. As he grabbed Zeke’s throat all he came up with was a mouthful of his long hair and Zeke got him down and with his strong jaws proceeded to chew him up.

The dog had never been eaten up like this and when he could get loose enough he lit out running and one of his owners was chasing him shouting don’t let him get into the river. I wondered why he didn’t want him to get into the river I thought there must be a reason and left it at that.

We took off as soon as it was over and Zeke followed along with us. My uncle was angry at himself for getting talked into doing the fight. We found ourselves in the middle of a crowd of brutal men that were willing to see animals killed for their pleasure.

We both had a sick feeling in the pit of our stomach. Later the men showed up and wanted to go on the road with Zeke and have him fight all comers. My uncle went in the house and got his shotgun and said if I see you around here again I will give you both barrels.

The men left rather hurriedly. I checked Zeke over and he seemed to be fine except he may have lost a little hair.

I had to join my dad for we were moving west but Zeke lived out his life on the farm, his pro fighting days were over. His record was one win and zero losses.

Finis

2 comments:

  1. You have so many great memories of growing up and of your Uncles. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I sure LOVED the pictures that you shared and it made me SMILE and chuckling. Thank you so much for what and how you reach out.

    ReplyDelete

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