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  • Tom Boyd

Meet Pumpernickel - My Best Friend

When I was in middle school my folks moved to the country. One day, they bought home three barnyard (mutts or mixed breed) Bantam chicks, one rooster and two hens. Mother named them Nelson Eddy, Janette McDonald and Henrietta. They were so old that the hens laid very few eggs. Only one egg actually hatched. The chick was a petite brown hen which I named Pumpernickel.

As I wrote in my prior post, Grades 7-12 was a lonely time. I was isolated and bullied by my classmates. My brother had joined the army, and the boy nearest to us was part of the “in crowd” that made my life a misery. Books were almost my

only friends.

Pumpernickel was my best friend. (Note this isn't an actual picture of her). She would come running when I got home from school. We had 20+ purebred, some of which I showed at the county fair.

However, Pumpernickel, a “mutt” was my favorite.

I would hold her in my hand and sit under a shade tree until dinner was ready and often after. Neither of us having much to say but taking comfort from each other.

Pumpernickel and her folks were the only bantams allowed to run free during the day. The others were all in chicken coops at all times.

One day I came home and Pumpernickel was gone. A chicken Hawk apparently had snatched her. I cried for hours if not days at age 15.

About then Mother had given me a Bedlington Terrier puppy which I had named Cindy.

When we moved back to town in my junior year, Mother sold Cindy as she only wanted her two dogs in our household, and I would be joining the army after graduation. Mother was always the practical German. The loss of my chicken and dog was a lot of loss to process at such a young age; they will forever be in my heart.

My daughter, Cindy Ann Boyd, was born on October 8th, 1976.

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