That Dog Won’t Hunt is rated PG by my standards. Please note: there is no specific reason the dog’s name is the same as my dad’s, it’s just what came to me. 🙂
For Uncle Bill, who loved his dogs, and a good joke
That Dog Won’t Hunt, by Deanna Schrayer
“I told you Mabel, that dog won’t hunt! It ain’t gonna do you a bit of good to ask him to go get your newspaper. The darn thing is lazy!”
“Now James, he’s a good dog and you know it. Why, he always does what I ask him, watch this.” Mabel rattled the treats in her pocket and looked down at the old basset hound, “Ralph? Ralphie? You’re a good boy ain’t ya? I know you are.” She bent down and ruffled the fur around his neck, glanced at James to make sure he wasn’t watching before she took a piece of bacon out of her pocket and waved it under Ralph’s nose. She stood back up, “Okay Ralph, go get Mama the paper.”
Ralph took off down the walk, his floppy ears slapping the concrete and his tail wagging with pride.
“Humph” James said.
Ralph returned to Mabel, holding the paper perfectly in his mouth, just sideways enough to keep his slobber off of it. She stooped down and patted his head, took the paper and gave him the treat, “That’s my baby,” she crooned, “You’re mama’s boy, ain’t ya? Yes, you’re such a good boy, yes you are.” She went further and further into the baby talk until James couldn’t stand it any longer. He stood and stared at his wife, incredulous.
“How in the world do you do that?” he asked her, “He won’t do a darn thing for me, but he’d kiss your butt in a coon’s eye.”
“I’m just good to him, that’s all,” she replied, “You gotta show him you appreciate him James, just give him a little love.”
“Come on boy,” Mabel told Ralph, “Let’s go upstairs and leave ole’ grouchy Daddy alone.
“Humph,” James grunted as he walked out of the basement.
Ralph followed his real master upstairs to the kitchen, growling his frustration along the way. He imagined himself standing on his hind legs and wagging his paw in James’s face, “Well of course I won’t hunt for you, you grouchy old man. Why don’t you try treating me like a human being now and then, huh? Would it kill you just to give your faithful dog a treat every once in a while? Darn right I won’t hunt, not for you, no how, no way!”
“Here you go sweetheart,” Mabel sat a plate of biscuits and gravy down at the table and Ralph jumped up in his chair and put his bib on.
“How long we gonna keep this charade up anyway Mabel?” he asked her, “Don’t you think we need to tell your old man I’m not a dog, that I’m really your cousin that didn’t truly get lost in the woods that day? Quite frankly I’m getting tired of fake bacon.”
“Now Ralph, you know his ole’ heart couldn’t take that kind of a shock. We can’t tell him and you know it.”
“Well I’ll tell you one thing right now,” Ralph replied, “I don’t care if he ever did start treating me better. As long as he goes on telling everybody and their brother I won’t hunt, then I won’t, ya hear? I won’t!”
Ralph and Mabel both jumped when they heard a boisterous thump! They turned to the kitchen door to see James sprawled across the threshold, his normally beady eyes bulging from his sallow face; he was panting and pointing a long bony finger at Ralph.
“Ahahahaha,” Ralph hooted, “Guess I won’t have to worry about hunting for that ole’ grouch no more now will I? Ahahahahaha!”