When Bill’s unsteadiness became obvious, he accepted a walker from Elaine. Bill found this a challenge. The walking was easier, he would grant that, no longer ricocheting off walls or tripping over gutters. No, the coming to terms was psychological.
The saving grace was Archie, a miniature short-haired Dachshund, that young William had unearthed out at Yagoonga. He and Elaine were looking for a ferret for his tenth birthday. William was smitten from the word ‘go’. All thoughts of ferrets vaporised.
Getting home Just before sunset, Archie and William dashed down to Pa’s shed at the bottom of the garden, beside the garage. Archie’s eyes burned deep when the old man’s gnarled hands chucked him under the chin and ruffled his floppy ears. Although Bill’s eyes remained dull and listless, there was a tone in his voice that William understood.
Alone, William scampered up the path to tell his mother.