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Write On! Creative writing group starts at library

Community writers are invited to share original stories through the Write On! program sponsored by Davie County Public Library. Participants meet virtually once a month to read aloud their stories written in response to the assigned prompts. The next meeting is Monday, Aug. 9 at 4p.m.; interested persons can link in by going to the library Facebook page and clicking on the meeting link or contacting Jazmyne Baylor at jbaylor@daviecountync.gov. The August prompts are: “this time will be different,” and “a family sitting around their brand new radio after dinner.” The July prompt, “create a myth,” yielded the following two stories.

The Legend of Fluffy, the Dog

By Linda H. Barnette

When James went off to fight in the Civil War, his dog Fluffy went with him. In 1861men traveled to Raleigh to enlist in the Army. They took their own horses. James, his horse, and his dog Fluffy had an uneventful journey that took several days. Each time they stopped to spend the night in the woods, Fluffy was a faithful guard.

In Raleigh James was assigned to the 40th Regiment of the North Carolina troops and was sent to Virginia where the fighting was heaviest.

It wasn’t long before James realized that war was not at all what he had envisioned, but dangerous, bloody, and full of deprivations. In addition to the dangers of fighting, they never had enough food or water, and only if they were lucky did they get to sleep in a tent. They fought in the rain and slept on the ground.  Most of the men could neither read nor write, so there was no opportunity to communicate with their families.  But James had his own horse and Fluffy, his constant companion and comfort.

After an especially hard-fought battle at Chancellorsville, Virginia, James was captured and taken to Elmira Prison in New York state where he miraculously survived near starvation, bitter cold, sickness, vermin, and every other evil known to man. The worst part for him was the loss of his dog, who did not make the journey with him. When the war ended in the spring of 1865, he and the other prisoners came by train to Virginia where they signed the oath of loyalty to their country and were sent home.

James arrived back in the Center community of Davie County after his long and arduous walk from Virginia. His family was thrilled to see him, and his mother spent days cooking his favorite foods so he would be strong and healthy again. After a few weeks of her tender care, James was back at work in the fields on the farm near what is now Godbey Road.  In the distance he noticed a dog limping down the road.  He watched for a few minutes, suddenly realizing that the dog was his own dear Fluffy!!  He ran and picked him up and carried the tired and hungry dog to the house where his mother gave him food, water, and a bath. At last the two childhood friends were reunited, and Fluffy slept in the bed with James for as long as he lived!!

As the author notes, “Although I don’t know the real names, this incident really happened in the Dwiggins family.  When I was a young girl, my grandmother told me about it.  I wish that I had asked her for details.”

Skye, the Miracle Worker

By Jane Satchell McAllister

My five-year-old son‘s fever had run about 101° for four days.  We teetered on visiting the emergency room every evening as it seemed to worsen at sundown.  Finally on the fifth morning, I got up and went to check on him. To my great surprise and relief, I found him awake and cheerful, clearly feeling better. I took his temperature and it registered 99° so some corner had been turned during the night. I asked him how he felt.

His reply startled me greatly.

“Mom,” he said, “Skye came to visit me last night and said I would be well again soon.  She laid down on the bed beside me and we both went to sleep. Have you seen her?”

I must admit that I was not sure how to reply.

“No son, I don’t know who Skye is. Can you describe her to me?”

“Yes, you do, mom,” my son replied, “Skye is the big white fluffy dog that grandma used to tell us about.”

Then I recalled my mother’s stories about Skye the miracle worker. She was a Great Pyrenees that her parents kept on the farm to help protect their animals. My mother used to tell me stories of how Skye always seemed to know when someone in the community was under the weather and would go and visit with them, spending just a few hours, and then returning home. Neighbors reported back that they immediately began to feel better.

I can remember her saying that Jim Sinclair had been laid up with pneumonia for over a week when Skye came to call. Jim told her later that Skye came into the bedroom, sat beside his bed, and proceeded to put her huge head across his chest and stayed there for an hour before leaving for home. Within two days, Jim was back up on his feet and working again.

The Robinson family told my mother how Skye frantically pawed at their door in the middle of night to be let inside. She immediately went into their son’s room and began barking loudly. Their son was diabetic, and when the parents checked on his blood sugar, it was running dangerously low. Skye alerted them and possibly saved little Ben’s life.

My mother used to say that Skye was an angel in disguise put here on earth to protect those we love. She lived for sixteen years, an exceptionally long life for such a big breed, and never slowed down on her visitations.

Now, Skye has been gone for well over five decades, so my son never had occasion to meet her personally. Nor had he seen any photographs of her. And yet, here he is telling me that Skye spent the night with him and made his fever break. And you know, who am I to question him?