The parlor games we played as children were fun, but not as much fun as those we would make up.

The parlor games we played as children were fun, but not as much fun as those we would make up.  This story occurred when my Aunt Linda was with me. She was only three years older than me and we grew up together at the round barn south of Utica.  We were like brother and sister.  I think I may have gotten my onery nature from being around her!

The Greenhills grocery near our house on S. Washington Street had a gumball machine that took a single penny!   Alongside was a nickle machine that dispensed small plastic containers that had toys inside.  These toys varied from plastic spiders to diamond rings, and even lick'em stick'em tattoos.  I have said before, our little toys did not last very long. But those little plastic containers were more fun than the toys themselves.  My aunt and I had found a good use for them.

We would lay on the bank of the viaduct facing the highway and we would each throw one half of the little plastic container out into the traffic.   The purpose was to see who could get theirs the closest to the tires on the cars zipping by.  It was lots of fun, we laid there and laughed for hours throwing those containers out and watching the cars crush them.  It was our newly-invented game!

My dog Tippy spotted us on the hill and came running to us.  I had taught Tippy to fetch and I was not thinking when I threw the next container out right in front of him.  He took off like lightning and I stood up and yelled "No! No! Tippy come back here!"

I knew he would get hit. There weren't a lot of cars back then but it only took one coming from the north.  I watched as its front tire hit him and heard a thump and a crunch. I became numb and my eyes filled with tears as my heart came up in my throat. After the next two cars passed, I went out to get him--- crying.

My aunt went to get my parents and as I brought him back to the curb his eyes were open. He was still alive at that point, but I knew enough about animals at that age, he was dying.

He died in my arms as I stumbled down the hill.  l could not see well because my tears made everything blurry.  Tippy was just a pup, but he was my best friend.  Sometimes life's lessons are hard and can hurt.

My parents said we should not have been doing that, and of course they were right.  As I dug his grave the  ground was blurred from my tears.  That day I learned to think ahead of time about consequences of my actions.

I had many dogs named Tippy since, but I stopped using that name when we moved from there.  I have a dog named Babe III today. Each Babe through the years had their own personality, even though they all looked the same.  I love my dogs.