Kickass and tree carving

Kickass, the doorstop dog, on this eve of Valentine’s Day, indulges the keeper as he recalls how he once spent hours using a new pocketknife to carve “BS & AH” into the bark of an oak tree in the most remote corner of the cow pasture where it was obviously never to be seen by another human.

“BS” was for his ‘Bill Stokes’ name, and “AH” was for ‘Alice Hanson,’ a tall, pretty girl several grades ahead of the keeper at the country school, who not only rarely spoke to the keeper but also denied his existence in other ways.

Alice graduated and disappeared completely from the keeper’s life, so a romance that never was is defined only by those initials once carved in the isolated pasture oak but now obviously obliterated by time.

Where are you now, Alice, some 80 or so years after the keeper’s carving? If you are still around, Happy Valentine’s Day!

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