The Ghost part 23 (old Sam and a bloody mess)

This spring snoops has fallen into a habit of scratching at his door at 5am. His incessant request to be let into our beds and his shifting body, from then until we wake, is making us tired by lunch time.

Mum fell heavily on her knee while chasing the Harrogate to Wetherby 770 bus yesterday. I took snoops for a morning swim in the sluggish Wharfe. She’s laid up and canceling all her social occasions and suggesting she may need to venture to a&e. Her knee, although bruised and painful, won’t be broken as she’d be agonizing and be unable to walk on it? I have tried to talk her out of a long and unnecessary trip to Harrogate hospital.

I see that preschools now have a safety measure in place to prevent the kind of accident I had early in my school life. At Loftus Infants/pre school I put my right smallest finger in the space between the hinge and the door and had my finger split from tip to first join. It was my third or fourth memory, one may be false and a memory of my mothers I’ve assumed to be my own. I was rushed to a hospital to repair the vivid and deep wound. I recall the doctors made a decision not to use stitches or a thing they called a butterfly stitch. Whatever they did has left my right hand deformed with a tear like bulge that has foreshortened the final section of that digit. I look at it now in it’s dumpiness and recall the colour of the gashed skin: a deep purple. I was a child who’s finger was saved in time. I think that health and safety requirement in preschool is a useful one.

My second memory is our dog, a Red Setter called? Hmm… Sam. Almost forgotten! Getting run over escaping from our garden and coming to meet mum and me and Emma. I heard the screech of brakes, the simultaneous smell of  burning tire rubber, the thud and yelp of surprise and pain, the wail of pity and desperate urgent need and then the terror struck moaning of my mother: we were a young happy family and that dog was a short part of our early life as a unit in Easington.
I’ve no idea who ran Sam over or how they felt in that instant. They maybe were dog lovers and suffered horrendous grief. Poor Sam, a giddy and reckless dog free with careless fun and adventure. He was put down.
Today is windy and torrentially wet, sweetly humid and carrying that smell I associate with summer storms: like a mighty night in July 1994 when it bucketed and sparked luminosity across the skies from 11pm until I had to rise for breakfast shift at 6am the Jarvis Hotel. People duck into Pret to hide the fury.

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