Note: For more information regarding Flash Narratives, visit The Hattie Diaries. You can read the diary entry upon which today’s narrative is based here. On June 9, 1954, Hattie was 72 years old.


June 9, 1954: Scraps for Whiskers

The tenant house is vacant, and I am lost entirely. Dan left in a pickup at 12:45 on Sunday with their furniture, and Betty and little Calvin and Christie Ann followed in a car filled with plants and breakable things. The last of them I saw was the toy push mower with bells that Calvin got last Christmas, sticking out the back window. Their new home is south and a little west of Ainsworth, Nebraska, along a large lake where they will rent boats out for fishing. Dan’s brother also lived and worked here for awhile, but he moved away to manage a large ranch. Betty never said good-bye.

The sun has shone all day. At times in the afternoon I thought I heard a dog barking, but it was just a terrific south wind. Will went in our Mercury to Valentine, where he had noon dinner, got a spring for the pickup, looked at a side-delivery rake, and asked about getting someone else to help us. When I woke up this morning, my left side was numb and I fear paralysis, so I am trying not to play solitaire. I listened to the radio and read magazines most of the afternoon.

Will and I are alone tonight, and I do not know what to do with these supper scraps, these pork chop bones with good meat still on them and potato peelings and gravy scraped from the pan, now that Whisker’s old dented, metal dish is gone. This morning Dan came to get his cattle out of the pasture. I gave him a white kitten for Calvin and Christie Ann. He also took home most of his fruit jars piled in boxes near our basement door and Whiskers, his dog but my pal, also Will’s pal, for when Will went anywhere in the pickup, Whiskers always went along. I will have to get used to putting supper scraps with the chicken feed.

photo of Will Whitcher with Dogs, Calf, Coyote, Pigs

Will Whitcher with Dogs, Calf, Coyote, Pigs