Reprinted from "Crown Jewels of the Wire", February 1988, page 33
We had been gone all day, and it was good to be getting home. As we turned
into the driveway, it was evident that the usually "on at dusk and off at
dawn" vapor light was not doing its thing and the yard was forebodingly
dark! As we stopped to unlock the gate the headlights picked out our two
happy, healthy dogs and a disturbing array of scraps of paper and plastic
scattered across the front yard.
"Oh, no, the U.P.S. man left my package," Pat said, knowing that
in our absence the driver was in the habit of dropping a package (encased in a
plastic bag in case of rain) over the fence.
Father hurried to feed the ducks -- about 60 noisy, persistent, permanent
visitor mallards, and pick up the mess in the yard. I went through the house and
opened the back door where Ursa, the 8 months old Rottweiler, was waiting with a
smile and a piece of paper in her mouth. I took it and read, "Dear
Pat,". So, it wasn't addressed to me, I kept on reading it anyway.
"Here is the CD 102 Diamond with small drips and backward 2...etc." I
did not know about this transaction, so of course this pretty well goofed up one
of Pat's surprise Christmas presents for me!
After Pat came in and saw the note, and saw that I had seen the note, he gave
me a dirty look, got the flashlight and went looking for the insulator. He found
it in one of the dog houses. It was unwrapped, but unharmed except for a coat of
So the Christmas surprise was ruined, but he insulator was O.K., and we had a
laugh about the whole thing because Ursa carries things like rocks, heavy metal
sprinklers and clay flower pots around all the time. Yeti, the other dog, is
older and more mature.
This should be the end of the story, except the best is yet to come!
Because it was cold, Pat went out to light the fire in the glass house, so my
plants wouldn't freeze. Ursa suddenly appeared with another empty torn-up small
cardboard box which she smilingly presented to him. "Oh, ----------!" he said,
noticing the partially chewed-up return address. In the next few days he had
been expecting another package which, Behold!, had arrived early. No CD 102 was
this one! It was an extremely dark emerald green, tall, no button, flared skirt
I should explain that we live out in the boonies with 3-1/2 acres of creek,
pond, oak trees, granite rocks and many other miscellaneous obstacles hazardous
to a stray insulator. It was not a pretty picture to envision what could have
happened to the insulator, and the look in Father's glazed eyes said it all! Before a heart attack set in, he took the two dogs and the biggest flashlight and
started the search. They found the insulator, unharmed and still wrapped in
newspaper, up along the fence in the comer of the property where Ursa had
probably dropped it to bark at a passing jogger. The E.C.&M. survived the
experience better than Pat who will probably never be the same again!
Well, that is the end of the story, except that Ursa is still smiling....