Excerpt: Bobby’s life in the small village
Bobby lives with his mom, Alice, in a small century house squatted on the outskirts of the cozy town.
He lost his sight in an accident when he was 5 years old and as a highly sensitive boy, had withdrawn deep inside himself. Both his world and his tender young life had been thrown into aloneness and darkness.
While his parents tried everything to reach him, they were locked out by his pain-filled discouragement and sadness.
Then to make matters worse, his father died a year later of cancer that nearly broke Bobby’s spirit.
His life was plunged into further emotional darkness.
This left Bobbie and his mom, to get by on the meager proceeds of the insurance policy, a stipend pension from the Feed and Grain Company were his father had worked since he was a kid and her small salary from Stella’s Fabric and Clothing store where she’s employed as a sales clerk.
Lassie is Bobby’s best friend and companion.
She is not a seeing-eye dog. It’s nothing like that.
Lassie found Bobby one day on her way into town from who knows where. She just showed up thin, hungry and tired. Since no one recognized her, Bobby got to keep her.
It was hard to tell the dog’s age. Let’s just say by the look of her, she was experienced in the ways of the world: a survivor.
Lassie was attracted to Bobby from the start. Maybe she felt a little of herself in Bobby – a spiritual kinship being a loner, different from the others.
There had been an instant and mutual attraction – as though it was meant to be.
Bobby thought she might have come initially by train and walked the long, hot country miles, until she found what, or who she was looking for.
Sure enough, when Lassie first heard the subtle, rhythmic tap-tap-tap of Bobby’s cane, and laid her hooded eyes on him, her knowing heart told her she knew her journey had come to an end. Her purpose had just begun.
Bobby chose her name from a book his mom had once read to him and he’d always wanted to have a ‘Lassie’ of his own. The time never came, until now.
Alice thought Lassie would be good for Bobby because she could offer him a special companionship that a sensitive young boy like him especially needed at this time.
The other boys at school looked at Bobby as an ‘outsider’ who couldn’t run, swim, bicycle, and play ball or soccer, like the rest of them.
He was often alone and not invited to play.
There was a small group of older boys, actually bullies, who could be very mean and sarcastic towards Bobby.
They would mimic Bobby’s awkward limp and grab his cane from him, which would later turn up, or not, in a field or behind a house.
If only he could see again and have real friends to play with, he thought.
Having to find his way in a strange new world that others couldn’t imagine often made him feel so alone, angry, confused and frustrated.
It was hard to hear the name-calling, snickers and laughter behind his back. Bobby wondered if he would ever trust anyone, or get over the hurt, and the feeling of not being the same as others.
Thank goodness he now had Lassie he could spend his time with and talk to, who would play with him and shower him with kisses.
The day Lassie had come into his life was the best day ever and he felt things might now begin to change, though he didn’t know how.