• R. E. Maynard

Tuckered Out

A blistering blizzard carried a record-breaking snowfall in the Midwest. Citizens of Orion, Ohio began to feel trapped in their inconvenient circumstance that the winter brought over night. One person in particular felt the severity of this weather, as Buford Swill lived in the heart of a gully. During the warm months in Orion, Buford’s property was a beautiful forestry setting with a pond and creek to fish carp and bluegill.

Tuckered Out

Buford’s morning began like most days, a swine breakfast with toast and eggs over easy. He would sit at the table and read books about various adventurous themes. The little house had a rustic appeal and Buford looked the likeness of a truly proud hillbilly. No swanky clothes or material things gave this middle-aged man more enjoyment than Tuckered—Buford’s old tick hound.

“Come on! Come on, Tuckered!” Buford yelled out for his lazy old dog to join the morning feast. The fact that bacon filled the air, Buford felt it odd the damned old hound had not already started begging for a few bites and by this late hour of 7:43 a.m.–the aroma caused Buford to begin to worry. Bacon always sparked an interest in awakening to stroll across the cold wooden floorboards for a bit of Buford’s meal.

“Come on now, boy!” Buford sounded out in an excited voice. He became unsettled with a growing curiosity now, as not even a rumbling around sounded from the family room where Tuckered laid most nights. Once Buford rounded the hallway and entered the family room, his Tuckered pup appeared curled up on an area rug by the fireplace. Buford talked to the pup with a fair amount of laughter in his voice, he said, “You old man... get on up, boy!”

Buford placed his hand upon the dog’s chest, and no heartbeat found told the heartbroken man the truth about his old friend. Tuckered passed out early by the fire, nevertheless, sometime during the night, Buford’s dog had died of a natural cause. Buford kissed his head gently and spoke from his heart, “Old boy, you were just Tuckered out, huh? Love you, bud.”

Buford had Tuckered cremated and placed him upon the mantle in an urn––an engraving simply read, “Tuckered Out.”

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