…continued from yesterday.
Dooley was not around for breakfast the next morning. I suspected he was out sniffing happily up and down the run for Jessie’s treasure. I thought briefly about walking out that way and checking on him but I was working on a new electrically charged pest fence for my garden and never got around to it. Dooley came in about dusk, tired, hungry and covered with dirt. I filled his bowl with some fresh food but he was already sound asleep in the corner. Next morning his bowl was empty and he was gone again. Around noon I fixed some lunch and sat down to plan my seed purchase for the spring. I glanced over to Dooley’s sleeping corner and casually made a note to myself that I needed to sweep up the dirt he had been tracking in. Then a terrifying realization hit me. Dooley wasn’t just sniffing for the bacon cache; he was digging the pa’jeebers out of Raven Run. The Run is where my secret wild ginseng patch is located. Good, sellable, ginseng root takes years to cultivate. Last year it was selling for as much as $500 a pound. I had inadvertently turned a small tenacious digging machine loose on one of my most valuable crops. If my ginseng patch was gone I had only myself to blame. I could have said the treasure was over at Owl Rock or Fish Trap Hollow, but I specified Raven Run.
No, I didn’t run right over to stop him digging. Dooley’s fun meant more to me than a few roots. I did, however, fry up close to 3 pounds of bacon, stuffed it into a coffee can and buried it on a hillside over at Raven Run that night as Dooley slept.
For legal reasons, I can’t say whether or not Dooley dug up my ginseng patch. The growing and digging of ginseng root is stringently regulated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and to suggest Dooley may have “over harvested” my patch with his digging could result in punitive action being taken by Federal officials. I will end this saying only, ”Who knows what is good or what is bad.”
*Irene Note: So, where is this patch exactly….?
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