Collected by Merlin Mitchell Ben Howell
Transcribed by Mary C. Parler Austin, Texas
Reel 71, Item 4
Sometime recently a friend of mine was working for the telephone
company. He called me up and he said, "Uncle Ben," (that's what I'm
commonly called--—-and I like it) said,"I been transferred to Dallas.
And I've got a short dog that can't be beat. And I can't
take care of him in Dallas—I'm going to have to live in an
apartment. And I know you'll be kind to my dog. You love animals.
I understand that you've trained four pigs in your life, and taken
them to New York City, to Washington, D. C., and all over the country
with the Shrine and the Legion. And I know you was good to that
hawg and you're bound to be good to my dawg."
I said "Well, I'm living on a very crowded street here—lots
of traffic—and I don't think I could take the dog, as well as I'd
like to have him."
He said, "Well, I'm going to take and bring him out there. There'
a wire in the back and you can put a leash on him."
And I said to John—"I'd rather not have that dog."
And he said—"Now, but I'm gonna give you that dog because you'll
take care of him."
So he insisted, so I taken the dog, and when time permitted I
taken him out on a hunt one night. And I want to tell you he was
doubly good. We'd caught some coon and possums, and a squirrel or
two. I made some stretchin' boards—certain size for a squirrel and a
certain size for a coon and a certain size for the possum—to stretch
those hides on. And the dog set there and watched me.
Reel 71, Item 4
Well, sir, that dog got to where I'd take out one of those
stretchin' boards and show it to him, and if it was a board for a
coon, he'd go off and bring me a coon back; if it was a possum board
he'd bring a possum.
Mrs, Howell, one day—she had relined her ironin' board and she
wanted to sun it, and she set it out beside the house. And I was
standin' there lookin' at it. And the dog^looked up and down at it.
And disappeared for about six weeks. I advertised for him and wrote
my friend about him.
One day he come draggin' an alligator in. His hide just fit that
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