Biographical Non-Fiction posted April 20, 2023 Chapters:  ...31 32 -33- 

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Bus Tales

A chapter in the book Novella - Unwanted Dog

Unwanted Dog-33

by Brett Matthew West

For the benefit of new readers this chapter continues my autobiography of how I was adopted by an unknown stranger I begged money from in a Walmart parking lot.

Now being fostered, I had only been on his farm he called Country Comfort a short while, and we were conversing on a rainy day.


Most of my life people have commented about me being more of the quiet and laid back personality type.

When we discussed the matter from out of the blue one rainy afternoon, Dad told me, "You're more flexible and even keeled." He paused, considered for a moment and continued, "However, you do have a bad habit of procrastinating where chores are concerned."

Consistent with just about everything I did, I knew the truth of his comment and asked, "So, I would be labeled a Type B then?"

Playful, Dad sped the palm of his hand backwards and forwards through my hair. Friction from the motion destroyed my fresh-combed smooth locks. He said, "But, don't let that get you down. You do have an uncanny ability to stay in the moment."

He told me the story about his worst experience on a school bus. His tale of woe began, "Homeward bound, the bus rumbled down the highway pretty quick at close to forty miles an hour. I wanted to talk to my friend, Gale Smothers. I stood up to move from the side where I sat, to the other side where he sat half on and half off his seat. I did not know the back door of the rickety old rambler was unlocked and stumbled against it. The door swung open and I fell out of the bus."

Surprised, I exclaimed, "You're lucky you weren't killed!"

Dad smiled. "Guess I had more to still do in you. I broke my right leg and got several abrasions from the fall. At the hospital the doctor drilled holes in my thigh and I spent some time in traction before I went home on crutches."

I remembered another incident that involved a school bus I thought was comical when it happened. Several months later, I still did and confessed, "Once, our school bus driver did the best he could to get us back to Hermitage Hall as fast as he could."

"No doubt, you boys were acting out again," Dad said.

That part I didn't have to admit. We were. In battle royal fashion. I was being as boisterous as possible. You might even say I screamed at the top of my lungs, something I enjoyed doing.

Exasperated, Mr. Bradshaw slammed on the brakes of the bus and tromped down the aisle. He grabbed my shoulder, and just as loud as I had been threatened me, "Shut up or I swear when we get back to Hermitage Hall you will have an immediate date with Big Bertha!"

I had not meant to upset the driver. Yes I did. That became my full intention. I knew the crotchety old goat needed to focus all his attention on the road to keep the bus safe. I liked to parody the staff of Hermitage Hall in exaggerated, humorous, movements. I could walk and talk like them, and did so in taunting postures. My imitative exploits and ridicules made the other boys snicker. Earning good grades never reached the Number One priority position on my bucket list. At least, not until after Dad got a hold of me.

As he often said, "Things change. Turn around and they'll change again."

I always enjoyed my boyhood time at Country Comfort. Dad insisted the farm be a peaceful place. We never locked our doors. There was no need to, not even at night. You would not do that today, would you? As I went through my growing teenage years, I never owned a key for our home. No matter what time I came back at night I knew the door would be unlocked and Dad would wait up for my arrival.

If only life could be that simple and good in these modern times. Maybe we would not have the consequential problems in our society we do today. Or at least, not at the level most of them remain.


Ready to play, by avmurray, selected to complement this chapter of my autobiography.
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Artwork by avmurray at

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