brucine (broo'-seen), 1) n. Pharm., Chem. a bitter, poisonous alkaloid, C23H26N2O4, obtained from the nux vomica tree; 2) n. Bruce Bortin's 'low-impact' weblog
Saturday, May 07, 2016
This is a true story.
Abe Rabinowitz decided that he needed a hobby that would take him outdoors and give him some exercise. After some thought, he called his friend Ben, who was an accomplished hunter. Ben said, "Of course, Abe, I'd love to take you hunting. I'll pick you up next Sunday, we'll get an early start, we'll go out in the country and see if we can bag us some ducks. I have a duck blind near a marsh, and we'll bring my dog Sparky to retrieve the ducks that we shoot."
So that Sunday, out in the blind, Abe, Ben and Sparky waited for the ducks. Before long, they heard a quack-quack, and saw, in the sky, a V-shaped formation of ducks on the wing. BLAM-BLAM, Ben fired his shotgun, and a duck fell out of the sky into the marsh. Sparky was very excited, and sat quivering, waiting for his master's word. "Okay, Sparky, go get em!" yelled Ben, and Sparky ran, jumped into the water with a huge ker-SPLASH, dogpaddled to the duck, picked it up in his mouth, dogpaddled back to shore, shook the water off his fur with a huge spray, came back to the blind and released the duck at Ben's feet.
Abe was mighty impressed, and while he didn't shoot any ducks that day, he decided that he liked hunting. He went out and bought some gear so that he and Ben could go out hunting more often. Abe, Ben and Sparky became good hunting buddies, and after some time, Abe decided that he wanted to get a dog, too. He went out to a puppy farm and picked out a cute little golden retriever pup, named it Rex, and took it home.
Abe and Rex just loved each other. Rex was a quick learner. Soon he could beg, speak, roll over, sit, and stay. Abe took Rex out to the park and taught him to fetch, which is like the main job of a hunting retriever. Abe would show Rex a fake 'duck' that he had made out of an old t-shirt and some socks. "Here's the duck, Rex. Now STAY. " Abe would show Rex the duck, and then fling it as far as he could across the field. Rex really wanted to go get the fake duck, but Abe made him "Stay...stay...stay, now GO GETTEM, REX!" and Rex would dash out and pick up the fake duck in his mouth. Rex eventually learned to bring the 'duck' back to Abe and drop it at his feet.
Wellsir, the next weekend, Abe and Rex went out to the duck blind. Ben was out of town, so he and Sparky couldn't come along. Rex was very excited, and when the first formation of ducks flew overhead and Abe BLAM-BLAM! shot one down, Rex nearly wet his pants.
"Stay, Rex! Stay...stay...stay, now GO GETTEM, REX!" Rex leaped out of the blind, dashed to the edge of the marsh, and stopped short. He looked at the water. He looked back at Abe, over his shoulder. He looked back at the water, then at the downed duck floating 30 yards out. He looked back at Abe and made a tiny whining sound in his throat.
"It's okay, Rex, go get the duck! Go gettem, boy!"
Rex looked back at the water. He gingerly inched his right forepaw toward the shimmering surface. "Go ahead, Rex, go GETTEM!" Rex put one foot onto the water, tested his footing, and then started to walk across the surface. He didn't sink in, he didn't get wet, he was walking on the water. Abe was flabbergasted. Rex walked over to the duck, picked it up in his mouth, walked back across the water over to shore, brought the duck to Abe and laid it at this feet.
Abe didn't know what to think. He was just deciding that his eyes had played tricks on him, what he thought that he saw was impossible, when another formation of ducks flew overhead and BLAM-BLAM, he nailed another one.
"Stay, Rex! Stay...stay...stay, now GO GETTEM, REX!"
Same thing as last time. Rex stopped at the water's edge, looked back, Abe encouraged him, Rex trotted out to the duck, trotted back across the water to the shore, and laid the duck at his master's feet. Abe realized that what was going on was real, shook his head, and praised Rex enthusiastically for the good day, first time on the job as a real hunting dog. Two ducks per day is the legal limit, so Abe and Rex went home.
Abe couldn't wait to show off Rex to Ben. He didn't tell Ben about Rex's Christ-like ability to walk on water, he wanted it to be a surprise. The next weekend, they all went out to the blind, but Sparky was sick and had to stay home. By and bye, quack-quack, ducks fly overhead, BLAM! BLAM-BLAM!, two ducks drop into the marsh, Rex gets all excited, "Stay, Rex! Stay...stay...stay, now GO GETTEM, REX!". Rex dashes to the water's edge, stops, looks back at Abe and Ben. "It's okay, Rex, go GETTEM!" Rex trots out across the surface, picks up one duck, trots over to the other duck, picks it up, trots back to shore, back to the blind, and drops the ducks at Abe & Ben's feet.
Abe can hardly contain himself. "Well!? Ben? Did you see that? DID YOU SEE WHAT REX DID? What do you think of my dog?"
Ben looked a little uneasy. He paused. "Abe, I wasn't going to mention anything, but since you asked, sorry to have to say this, but I don't think your dog knows how to swim."
Thursday, May 05, 2016
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