Monday, June 15, 2009

The things one is supposed to do

"Buck is gitten on," Old Man Stark said. "He ain't right spry any more." Then the old man went to the steps and stooped down with a motion which made you expect to hear the sound of old rusty hinges on a barn door. "Hi, Buck, hi, Buck," the old man wheedled without optimism. He gave up, and lifted his gaze to the Boss. "If he was hongry now," he said, and shook his head. "If he was hongry we could guile him. But he ain't hongry. His teeth gone bad."

The Boss looked at me, and I knew what I was paid to do.

"Jack," the Boss said, "get the hairy bastard up here and make him look like he was glad to see me."

I was supposed to do a lot of things, and one of them was to lift up fifteen-year-old, hundred-and-thirty-five-pound hairy white dogs on summer afternoons and paint an expression of unutterable bliss upon their faithful features as they gaze deep, deep into the Boss's eyes.
-Robert Penn Warren, All the King's Men


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