Hank's Take on Columbus...

Friday, October 11, 2013 | By John R. Erickson

Happy Columbus Day Weekend! 


Here's a great excerpt from Hank #25, The Case of the Swirling Killer Tornado," in which Hank and Drover are fixing to bark at the storm. However, Drover wants to...you guessed it...head for the machine shed: (keep an eye out for Hank's lesson on the history of Columbus)


...“Soldier, I’m fixing to tear up another part of your anatomy if you don’t hold your position. We’re in Battle Stations and the enemy is approaching. Get back to your post, and that’s a direct order.”

“Oh darn.”

“And I will not tolerate cursing and swearing in this outfit.”

“Oh drat.”

“There you go again. For cursing and swearing in the line of duty, you get three Shame-on-You’s.”

“Oh phooey.”

“Make that six, Drover. You want to go for nine?”

“Sure, might as well.”

“Okay, pal, you want to buck the system and be a little rebel, so you’re up to nine Shame-on-You’s.”

“Oh fiddle.”

“There’s twelve. How about fifteen? You want to shoot for bigger numbers, huh? We’ve got time. Go ahead, get it out of your system.”

“I thought I was bucking the system.” “You’re bucking against life, Drover.” “I knew a bucking horse one time.”

“Yes, and what did it get him? He bucked and he bucked and he bucked, and what did it get him? Tell me.”

“Well, he pitched Slim through the saddle shed door.”

“Exactly. And do you see what all this means?” “Not really.” “It means . . . it means that you have twelve Shame-on-You’s on your record. Do you want to go for fifteen?”

“No, I’m out of naughty words.”

“Good. Twelve’s bad enough. If you ever try to get another ranch job, those Shame-on-You’s will be on your record. Everyone will know what a rotten little mutt you really are, and do you think anybody will offer you a job?”

“I wouldn’t.”

“Neither would I, Drover. In fact, with your lousy record, I’m not sure you have a place in our Security Division. How does that make you feel?”

“Can I go to the machine shed?”



“There’s eighteen, Drover. You keep piling them up.”

“I think it’s only fifteen.”

“Fifteen, eighteen, what’s the difference?”

“Columbus discovered America in 1518.”

“Yes, and the reason he discovered America was that he didn’t stand around cursing and swearing. He sailed his ships. He studied the stars. He wrote in his log.”

“Slim burns logs in his stove.”

“That’s exactly my point, Drover. Do you want to burn logs or sail across the ocean?”

“Well . . . I don’t like water.”

“Exactly. And if you continue this pattern of foul language, you’ll spend your whole life . . . 
hmmm, was that a raindrop?”

“I think it was the ocean.”


“Columbus sailed across the ocean, but at the end of every ocean there’s a pot of raindrops.”

I walked several steps away and gazed off at the approaching storm. I took a deep breath and let the wind blow my ears around.

“Drover, I must tell you something.”

“Sure, anything.”

“Sometimes I think the stress of this job is too much for me. I . . . I’ll be honest. Now and then I feel that . . . that the things I’m saying . . . just don’t make sense.”

“I’ll be derned.”

“Please don’t curse and swear.”

“Sorry. I won’t be derned. I’ll never be derned.”

“Thanks. I hope you mean that.”

“Oh, I do.”

“Good. Drover, sometimes . . . sometimes I have this, this strange sensation that . . . my mind is a bowl of scrambled eggs. Have you ever had that feeling?”

“Boy, I love eggs.”...




Book #25 Available here:

Book 25 in Hank's Store


And, also available as an ebook from these retailers:

Book 25 for the Kindle (Amazon)

Book 25 for the iPad (iTunes)

Book 25 for the Nook (B&N.com)

Tags: Hank the Cowdog books
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