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Bill Allen, Fables


Excerpt from: The Unforgettables and Other True Fables

On the morning of March 9, in a cotton field just outside Hernando Mississippi, on the (Leslie) Anderson Place, Eddie Mack Farrior shook me awake and said:

“You want to see her now?”

“Hail Farr, Ed Mack,” I mumbled, “a feller’s hafta be crazy AND drunk to take a dog out this morning. I already looked out!!!”

“Let’s go,” he said, his Hallmark Trademark Adam’s Apple bobbling in delight.

“It’ll be a real test!” I admit to having had favorite dogs when I began in trials. I had a derby the same year Warhoop Jake was a derby, and I saw him. He was nonpareil. He was as good as ever lived. I saw him win and I saw him robbed. I saw Jake win one-course trials on liberated birds and I saw him win on the wildest birds in the rottenest conditions. He was also a “Fountainhead.”

I asked Eddie Mack to find me a Warhoop Jake dog. He said he had a white and black bitch, less than two. He brought her to Hernando. The ground was like permafrost, with a layer of sleet under five inches of snow. The big cotton stalks, Mississippi sized cotton stalks—had a good inch of ice around stalk and branches. It was a bright morning and the field looked like miniature jeweled trees in perfect rows.

Sue was straining at the leash. We couldn’t get mounts, so we were afoot.

“I’m gonna turn her loose,” Ed Mack said, “She’s never been lost.”

“You got more guts than money,” I laughed, “but, then, one never knows…”  Eddie Mack Farrior was notoriously F R U G A L!

Well, he unsnapped the leash and she filled the air with glittering crystals, running crossways of the huge cotton field’s rows, reminiscent of Texan Boy when he won the Free-For-All at Shuqualak.

On the other side of the cotton field, she whirled suddenly. I realized just then she had been racing down about a 10 mile per hour gusty breeze.

Now, this heartbreaking harlequin demon slid at point through a cotton stalk, and a close-knit covey burst up as she stayed, just a moment, and then powered off after the one she picked out….

Joe Hurdle, Florida Championship, Chinquapin Plantation, 1989. Photo: John Criswell

Presales of Bill Allen’s “The Unforgettables and Other True Fables” will be available through Strideaway in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!!

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ABOUT STRIDEAWAY

Strideaway is an online publication founded in 2008. We are dedicated to promoting the great sport of American pointing dog field trials, in particular American Field sanctioned trials for pointers and setters. Our objective is to present the voices and ideas of experienced trainers, handlers, breeders and other knowledgeable participants and enthusiasts from the past to the present � amateurs and professionals alike. Whether All-Age or Shooting Dog, Horseback or Walking Trials, we place particular emphasis on wild bird field trials and the dogs that compete in them. We present richly illustrated articles and stories, podcast interviews and other types of media on a regular basis with the hope of providing an ever expanding, searchable archive of information relevant to pointing dog field trials.Read article

This website is dedicated to our ever faithful friend and Strideaway contributor, Bill Allen, whose book The Unforgettables and Other True Fables we published in 2010.

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