Wednesday, March 2, 2011
No. 8 "Prince" and the fudgesicles
Perhaps no story is more telling of the gentle nature of my “Uncle Calvin” than of his relationship with his dog, Prince. Late in his life, Calvin adopted a beagle and sooner mix named Prince, that had belonged to his nephew, “Peter” (Weldon Edward Willis). Peter was just then starting to work and go courting, so he found little time for his pet. Since most water work was done in the early evening or just before day break, Calvin, on the other hand, had plenty of daily time to shower attention on what became almost like his "only child." Soon Prince could be seen everywhere Calvin went, sometimes even in his boat, and was almost always under his feet or around his legs. As time went on, Calvin and Prince would go to the neighborhood stores together. Thus it was that there evolved a routine wherein Calvin would buy a malted ice cream, called a "fudgesicle," and holding the stick in his hand, would feed it to Prince as his dog licked on the bar until it melted - literally in his mouth.
Prince grew to love fudgesicles so much that when Calvin was gone fishing, the dog would hang around the only places where his favorite treat had ever turned up - the neighborhood stores. Everyone knew why he was there, and they soon began to tell Calvin about how often his pet would come by the stores, alone, whenever Calvin was gone. Eventually there developed an agreement between Calvin and the storekeepers; namely Dallas and Dallas Daniel at Dallas's store, Norman at Norman's store, and Mart, Edith's husband, at Edith's store. The terms were as follows; if Prince came by the store and hung around as if waiting for his treat, the store clerk was to prepare a fudgesicle for Prince, and hold it out long enough for Prince to enjoy it. The store would keep a tally of how many fudgesicles they had provided, and every Friday evening, after the fishermen were paid for their weekly catch, Calvin would settle with them for any debts that Prince might have rung up during the preceding week. Thus it happened that Prince became known as the only dog on the Island to have a charge account of his own - and at three different stores.