A Good Old Boy
Bobby brought the drowned body of Little Bob into the kitchen. He had carefully wrapped it in a rag that was in the clean pile where his dad kept the rags for working on the tractor.
“Oh, no! What happened?” Mom put her dish towel down on the edge of the kitchen sink.
“It’s Little Bob,” said Bobby.
“The turken with the black feathers on the top of his head?”
“Yeah, I found him in the horse trough. He was already drowned.”
“So, no mouth to mouth to save the stupid thing, huh?” said Dad from where he sat at the kitchen table reading the Mason City Globe Gazette from yesterday.
“Todd, don’t joke like that. It’s morbid.”
“I’m sorry, Sandy. I should be more respectful of the mutant turkey-chicken.”
At that moment, Grandpa Butch wandered into the kitchen from the den. “So, another chicken dreamed of being a penguin and drowned himself, huh?”
“Dad, don’t joke like that. It’s the turken we named after Bobby, Little Bob.”
“Oh, sorry, Bobby.”
Bobby smacked his forehead with the palm of his hand. The sense of humor in this family was genetic. And probably a mutant gene at that. Bobby could grow up to be an X-man… Bad-Joker Boy, or something like that. Paralyzing criminals with stupid jokes.
“How did the stupid chicken come to be in the horse trough, do you think?” Grandpa Butch asked.
“Well, Horatio thinks it might be a rat that chased the stupid naked-necked chicken in there,” answered Bobby.
“Old Horatio talks now, does he?” asked Grandpa. Horatio, on hearing his name, padded over to Grandpa for a good scratching behind the ears. Grandpa had originally bought Horatio as a puppy almost fifteen years ago now.
“You mean he’s still talking,” said Dad.
Grandpa Butch laughed at that. He looked down at the old collie dog that he was scratching on. “So, you can talk now? Who’s a smart boy, then?”
“Bobby is the smart boy,” said Horatio. “He’s the only one in the family who knows I can talk.” Of course, no one but Bobby heard him say that. Everybody else heard something like, “HROWLWrrrrrUmmmph…” and then followed up by slobbering noises.
“Horatio and me will use Horatio’s detective skills to find and execute that murdering rat.”
“Horatio is a detective too, is he?”
“Sure, he is… Horatio T. Dogg, super sleuth!
“Wow. Last name and everything. What does the T. stand for?”
“It stands for the word THE. And Dogg is with two G’s at the end.”
“Well, isn’t that something?” Old Butch Niland smoothed down the hair on the back of Horatio’s neck. “But don’t be surprised if this old boy doesn’t have the get up and go it takes to track down and eat any old criminal rat. His best rat hunting days are in his past.”
“But he’s still a pretty good old boy, isn’t he?” reminded Dad.
“Being old means I am definitely not a boy!” said Horatio. Though nobody but Bobby heard him say it.