Yesterday, I was sent to stone quarry, located across the river in enemy territory and a few miles north. I'd been there before and had been impressed with the gentleness with which the loader-man put the half-bushel sized stones into the truckbed, as opposed to dropping them from several feet in the air, like some guys do. I was only half watching in the driver's side mirror as he loaded, mainly for a hand signal from him that he was done, and that I was ready to leave.
The big machine is called an excavator by some, a track-hoe by others, and sometimes still, a “steam shovel” by old-timers like me who are having a senior moment. As the guy loaded, the front edge of the machine swung a smooth arc of as much as 270 degrees between where he picked up the stones and my truckbed. Gradually, I became aware that there was a little face in the area below his right knee. Lying there serenely, watching the world swing by from side to side, was a little pooch. His (her?) erect ears and “glass eyes” indicated an Australian Blue Heeler. His face looked like he might have had a Beagle somewhere in his ancient ancestry. His eyes were watching mine at times, so I knew that HE knew that he was being watched. That fact didn't seem to bother him any more than the swinging of the mighty steel machine.
When the guy signaled that he was done, I stepped out onto the truck step and told him that I'd never thought about him needing a body guard back there, working alone in the quarry. He laughed, and if I heard him right, he said that he'd set him in there one day and that's where he's expected to be every day since. I told him that it was nice to spend the day working with your best friend and he agreed.
I thought of you folks as I pulled away and wished I'd had my camera. I know some of you would have found it as cute as I did. © 2015