Some Dogs Just Don’t Have Names

Glenn Richardson
Wilmington, NC

Every spring we would travel from Washington DC to Oktoc Mississippi to help my Dad work the cows. He had about 200 head to push through the mucky shoot to the cattle squeeze where they were tested for brucelllosis, wormed, weighed, pregnancy checked by an arm length plastic disposable glove to the uterus and branded if they were yearlings. The young bulls were made into steers so they could eat a years worth of grass and be sent to sale. The work was dangerous, tough and would take all day. Charles, Terry, and Terry’s cousins, all young black men would come and help. We would break lunch for a slow cooked pork shoulder my mother had cooked all night long and barbecue sauce bought from the barbeque place in Starkville. Charles, Terrie and I would reminisce about younger days getting chased by bulls and talk about their dreams and there families. This trip home my sister in law from England had come to help. She couldn’t get over the arm length plastic disposable gloves. Thought they would be a fashion hit back in England. Charles had two runt dogs we were throwing scraps to and my sister in law says “hey Charles, what are your dogs’ names?” Charles hesitated and thought for a while and then said “ Well Mam, some dogs just don’t have names.” We were boyhood friends who spent many hours together working and playing . His mother made me a yellow and white quilt I still have today. We would visit his mother when we went to the farm and she had photographs of us in the glass cabinet beside the arrangement of artificial flowers. He is black and I am white. I still see him when I go back to Mississippi.


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