Title: Ole Smokin Joe
Author/Narrator: Brooke Folk
Ole Joe, A Family Pet who lost his keepers but not his heart.
References: Divine Love, The Padgett Messages.
Divine Love Short Story ‘Ole Smokin Joe’
Author/Narrator: Brooke Folk. June 2nd, 2021
Ole Joe was old when he showed up one evening while I was smoking my pipe on the back porch. Mom Naomi wouldn’t have me smoking up her house. Wouldn’t stand for it no how, ever since we were united 58 years ago, coming up this November.
I’m kinda set in my ways and her ways are her ways and I was soon to find out that ole Joe was pretty set in his. Ole Joe and I go back a few years ever since Ernie and I became fishing buddies. Ernie went to join his maker just a few weeks ago. Nobody was left to look after Joe but he always knew where a handout would be, should he need one.
I sense his loneliness and know his hurt. You just don’t wake up in a morning and realize your fishing buddy is gone on before you, without that soul hurting feeling. Ole Joe needed me just as much as I needed him. There he sat, looking up at me with those sad browns. Won’t be long Joe till the flurries get spitting about. Are you going to come stay with me or are you still attached to the ole place? I ask him that every night and it’s every night that he takes my pipe from my hands and carries it out into the yard where he drops it and returns for a petting.
You and Naomi, the two of you trying to change my ways. Prince Albert doesn’t fancy your big ole nose I guess. For the next half hour our new ritual is scratching his ears and rubbing his neck that he lays in my lap. Must be the exact ritual he and Ernie went through every evening after supper. Is tonight the night Joe? Is tonight the night you come inside with Ma and me? Ok, I understand. Just be sure you have your meal that Ma fixed you, before you go home.
The October chill is sending me inside early but tonight is not the night Joe will enter. Ernie’s scent left on the property and Joe’s outside summer house that Ernie built him, will draw him back yet another night. The bale of straw bedding will keep him warm until he is ready.
The next evening ole Joe didn’t come by for our new friendship rituals. I told ma I was going over to Ernie’s to check up on ole Joe. His dog box was empty. I walked around the home place that Ernie tried so hard to keep up. I was meaning to help him mend that screen door on the mud porch this past summer. I find that it is now Ole Joe’s entry point into the house. I found him on that ole ragtag sofa staring at Ernie’s easy chair.
Mind if I sit in Ernie’s chair, Ole Joe? So this is where you and Ernie had your evening rituals. It will be my pleasure. I instinctively reached for my pipe but thought better of it. I need to let go of that crutch. As I scratch his ears and neck, me and Ole Joe communicate in silence. A strong scent of a season ending rose garden permeates the room.
Ole Joe and I see two hummingbirds hovering at the window and know that they migrated south over two months ago. What the dickens? Ole Joe knows. His tail slowly wagging, he makes his way to the window and sits down on his haunches, cocks his head to one side, puts one paw up on the sill and marks the moment with two small gentle barks, his acknowledgement. His knowing and mine too.
Ole Joe returns to my side. I know Joe; I know it as well as I know that Ma and me are one. Maybe even ‘Soul Mates’. Mimi’s rose garden sure smelled good didn’t it?” Remember Joe how Ernie always said that he was Mimi’s little hummingbird?
With that, Ole Joe nudged my hand and started for the door. I now carry the scent of Ernie and Mimi as we walk out the broken screen door. Ole Joe looked up and I knew his permission was given to lock up the door, no need to return. Walking past his dog box, Ole Joe enters and retrieves an old leather saddle horn that Ernie would throw for him to fetch relentlessly on good days. Joe scratches at loose dirt on the side of his box and his nose pushes the dirt over his old toy. An era gone by and time to move along.
Ma saw the two of us coming and held open the door. “Come on boys, supper is on.” “Ma, how did you know?” “I had visitors,” she said. “Ernie and Mimi,” I said matter of factly. She nods. Since we’ve been praying for God’s Divine Love to enter our souls, Ma began being sensitive to spiritual things about her. Visions she calls them and knowing of the soul she says. Gifts of the soul. It was Ernie and Mimi who introduced Ma and me to God’s truth. The Padgett Messages. The four volumn’s were gifted to us by Mimi and Ernie. The simple truths. The very truths Jesus taught in his ministry. It has been our evening reading material going on three years now.
Ma and Me are getting along in years, just like Ole Joe. It won’t be long until we shed these physical ragtag bodies that treated us so well. A comforting thought. We all meet up on the other side of the vail. Kinda looking forward to eternity with my loved ones. Ole Joe seems to agree with my thoughts.
Just one more thing I need to attend to Ma, I’ll be right back. Ole Joe and I walked out past the tool shed where the grounds were always soft. The hoe was left there since the garden season. A few quick chopping strokes and the grounds parted, ready for planting. No ceremony, no tearful releases. If ole Joe could do it, so could I. Time to move along. A soft ‘bark’ from the pup. His tail showing his approval. “Your welcome ole Joe”.