BY-WAYS -1/23/41 - Buster's funeral. A Special Bit of Creation

A Special Bit of Creation

God made a world - a lovely habitation
For man, with man His first creation.
(It matters not that beast came first, or man;
We know that man comes first in God's great plan)
He carpeted the earth with restful green,
And everywhere could lovely flowers be seen,
To feed man's soul with beauty. In the air
He placed the birds, to give sweet music rare.
He filled the earth with every living thing
That swims, or crawls, or walks, or goes on wing
Some, beautiful; some made for burden crude,
And many more, to furnish warmth and food.
Then, finally, He said, "I must make one
To be a friend to man 'til earth is done -
A creature who will teach man loyalty;
Who, by his trust, will build man's faith in Me."
And so, to lift man from a hopeless bog
Of selfishness, He made a dog.

Wednesday, Jan. 15 - This morning the melting snow of last night had turned to ice. I watched my husband, then Estelle leave the house with cautious step. Virgil Jr. and his chum skated away toward school (ruining their rubbers). Charlie bade me goodbye early, as has long been his custom, in order to have a romp with Buster before the bus would come for him (to take him to sight-saving school). I went about my work. A strange premonition of danger came to me, and I hurried to the front door, to give Charlie a word of caution - to be careful. The bus had already taken him away. I lingered, to watch two beautiful creatures - a coal-black dog and a tan-and-white one - stage a sham battle on our front lawn. Three hours later the tan-and-white one - our Buster - was dead. He was hit by a coal truck, whose driver did not even stop to see if he should be put out of misery. I must not enlist your sympathy unduly, for Buster had developed either a dislike for trucks, or a mania for competing with their speed. We had tried in every way, to break him of this vicious habit. He was the victim of his own recklessness. It happened far down our street; he managed to get over to the tree lawn; our neighbor down there called me at once; I was so unnerved that she called the police for me, then assured me that he was out of his misery. The policemen were out on cruise or beat, but two maintenance men came at once. I couldn't go near our beloved dog, but one of the men brought me his collar. I suggested that they just bring him home; but both men advised against it. They were so kind, and said they would take care of him. We hadn't reckoned on the depth of a boy's love for his dog. I soon regained my sense of proportion, and thanked the good Father that it wasn't one of the children. But how to tell the boys? I shan't depress you with the details of their reaction, only to say that Virgil Jr. cried out. "Where is he? Where is he? and dashed out before I had finished speaking. The village hall is only a short block away. The maintenance men were not in at the time; but, when I called the town hall, on Virgil's behalf, one of the officials said, "Tell your boy he shall have his dog. I can sympathize with him, for we had a dog we became deeply attached to." In the meantime Virgil's chum came home from school. Bill was the only one outside the family that Buster, with his chow instinct, trusted implicitly. Bill was the tower of strength. He went with Virgil and the kind man who had buried Buster. Together they brushed and cleaned Buster's coat and laid him in a fresh, clean box, with one of my rugs for a bed, and a red apron for a shroud. They had him lie "in state" until Estelle and Charlie came home. Tenderly he was buried in our back yard - headstone and all. If you think this is sentimental tripe, read the book written by James _____, the colored valet of Theodore Roosevelt, my hero of heroes, who tells of the demise of one of the Roosevelt pets, and how the boys had a funeral procession down to the orchard, in which their father and mother, with rare understanding of boys' loves and griefs, took part. I had meant to tell you of other things, but now it is mail-time.

With all good wishes,

Sincerely yours,
Florence B. Taylor

Next -1/30/41 -Two-gun "Pete." Mr. Wilson, the Scotchman