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Rescue Flame on the Mountain

Updated on September 5, 2016

‘Are you up for it?’ asked the sign she had seen in the bakery shop. She realized that the question was referring her to the streusel pastry in the glass display case. But her mind was wandering elsewhere to other challenges which haunted her.


Nevertheless, she could not keep her mouth from watering as she peered into the glass display at the goodies expertly placed to lure her.

With her precious box of yummy streusel for her breakfast in the morning, safely wrapped and still a little warm from the oven, she bids the baker ‘good afternoon’ and takes the shortcut in her Volkswagen to her rustic home on the outskirts of the village, tucked into the mountainous countryside.

Once there, she quickly puts her purchases away to save time so as to not miss the perfect light remaining up in the turret atop her cozy cabin. She hurriedly ascends to its circumferential windows view for a late afternoon surveillance of the countryside.

It is a favorite respite which often inspires her to write or sketch. This evening, though, she’s simply nostalgic, ruminating on the precious history surrounding her.

♥ ~ ♥

As is her custom, she pulls over the rolling stool and seats herself on it, an advantageous post from which she can move from view to view around the windows as she gazes out and soaks up familiar, beloved scenery.

She sighs, viewing the now-empty old barn and silo nearby from out the southern turret windows. The silent surviving trace remnants of the past are still standing, but the barn's metal roof is rusty and pieces are loose or missing. The silo tilts slightly. Weeds grow up around the once-busy artifacts and a nearby fence sags.

She envisions her father working the adjoining fields, then coming in for lunch or dinner when the big brass bell summoned him.

Her dad was always ready with either an amusing or a serious story. She’d sit enrapt listening to his sonorous voice recreating tales of earlier times. Recalling it all now is like a warm crackling flame.

Now she ponders about how many crops of feed for the sheep and goats have been harvested and stored there in that self-same barn and silo. Many. Many years' worth. Many trips up and down the rows with the tractor and harvester. Again, she sighs. How she loved the aroma of freshly cut alfalfa!

Sometimes, Dad would take her for a train ride in the quaint train which was used for happy joy rides between her village and the neighboring village when she was a child. But now the train is a defunct historic novelty, the barn and silo are useless, and the fields are silent and resting. Her father has gone on ahead to join his ancestors, except in her frequent reminisces.

She loves her cabin, many miles from the snow-topped mountains off in the chilly distance, mountains covered with blankets of snow, which her ancestors had mastered, and which she sees now in their majesty from the northeast turret windows. It is an ideal viewpoint, near enough to feel the mountains' massive power but distant enough to be spared their massive power. Still, she shivers a bit, thinking about it.

Fire "Beacon" by Matteo L.jpg
Fire "Beacon" by Matteo L.jpg

Her family’s ancestral surname means “Keeper of the Flame”. Over the generations it was their calling to keep the beckoning flame burning up there in the snowy heights and recesses, where they camped and posted themselves, ever-ready with their rescue dogs, which were outfitted with reviving casks of brandy and emergency first aid, capable of helping lost mountain climbers and eager to transport them from desperate conditions to the warming flame and then, finally, down to safety. Those fortunate climbers would be revived by the brandy, warmth and tender care and probably eager to try to conquer the mountain again.

Many were rescued and some did try it again successfully. Happily, these days mountain climbing has become a more technical, safer sport, though its challenge still resides in its deep inherent danger.

But, sadly, too many have perished and still perish in the freezing snow, too far from the flame, their voices drowned in the sounds of fierce winds and horizontally blowing snow. Some succumb and perish in avalanches. Some fall into crevices. Some are weakened and buried in the snow.

Stark tombstones bear testament at the bottom of the mountain, . . . . . . . . . . . . tragic reminder and vital caution.

She remembers those stories, told with poignant nostalgia by her forebears and passed down by each generation.

♥ ~ ♥

But soon on this idyllic evening, she stirs from her pleasant reverie, becoming aware of thirst and need of warmth herself. Descending the narrow stairway, she enters the lovely glow of her crackling fireplace in the den, as her chill and sense of past times quickly dissipate. Awaiting her with wagging tail and juicy tongue, is Bernie, her pet St. Bernard.

When she has fed and watered Bernie, has poured herself a glass of sweet sherry and started some music playing, she settles into the cushiony chair in front of the fireplace, as Bernie cuddles up against her, with mutual love flowing between them.

Soon a velvety night falls and before long, sweet sleep also descends. The heavens proclaim the majesty of their glory overhead, both over the mountains and over her cabin where she and Bernie drift off to sleep, dreaming of luscious streusel in the morning.

To find a live-links list of many of the other wonderful Challenge response hubs, look at bottom of the page on my hub, click the link below:

A Mountainous Shadow of Doubt - a Poetic Response to Bill Holland's Challenge

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This material is protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission of Nellieanna H. Hay.

© 2016 Nellieanna Hay


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    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 4 months ago from TEXAS

      I love this story, because there is a thread of connection with my Dad's family history, where they were in Switzerland way back and the family name does mean 'Keeper of the Flame".

      Building a story around some assigned parts, as Bill's challenge set up, and adapting other facts into it and then letting the imagination 'flesh is out' was fun.

      I'm not so much of a story--writer, really, so it was special to do it.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 4 months ago

      The art of making a story come alive. Time after time is a gift that can be shared. It is the person who sees and believes it to be true long before everyone else is even in the room. Welcome to the world of imagination. Dreamers make life possible. Sometimes all we can say is thank you.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 5 months ago from TEXAS

      Excellent, Tim Truzy! I fully understand!

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 5 months ago from U.S.A.

      I feel the same way about our three rat terriers. They are all rescues, providing us with a warm flame of life. Much like your wonderful story did.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 5 months ago from TEXAS

      Thank you for your very kind remarks Tim Truzy!

      There are threads of my family history in the story, in which our family name does mean 'Keeper of the Flame' and they did come from that Alps area, so it was a pleasure to write it.

      Yes, those beautiful St. Bernards are real heroes in the story. I once lived next door to one, and he was such a lovable pet to his owner!

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 5 months ago from U.S.A.

      Interesting story. I really like the part where you mentioned the pet. I love animals. We have three dogs.

      But your story is told with sincerity and clarity. I can imagine being this character, remembering what my family accomplished. But as you know: mountains don't like to give up their secrets; so it's up to story tellers to share them.


    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 19 months ago from TEXAS

      Interesting. Thanks.

    • shanmarie profile image

      shanmarie 19 months ago

      This new song reminded me of this hub. "Keeper of the Flame" by Miranda Lambert.

      Miranda Lambert - Keeper of the Flame (Audio):

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 21 months ago from TEXAS

      Hello,Deb! Good to see you, too! Thanks for stopping by my hub.

      Hey, hey! I"ll bring the marshmallows!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 21 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      So nice to see you after a short absence. Perhaps we can pick up where we left off beside the fire...

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 21 months ago from TEXAS

      Oh, yes, Martie, it is full of nostalgia, dear CD. It was the intention. Bill's pictures to be incorporated in it provoked it in me! Life does go on. . . it's the continuum to which we all belong. Perhaps it's one big circle and we get recycled. haha.

      I'm also drawn to artifacts of the past and think about and imagine the people who lived 'then' interacting with them. There is a charming pioneer village in Indiana which attracts a stream of visitors. My daughter wed there, and I made her and her two daughters she had then, charming 'period-piece' hoop-skirt dresses for the occasion. I loved to wander through the low-ceilinged log buildings with their appointments of the 18th century all through them, things like butter churns, spinning wheels and other typical utensils and tools of the time. There is such an aura and aroma about these places of antiquity.

      Yes! Imagining the future and how it may be is entrancing. It's easy to put my own spins on it, but of course, it will be different. I remember when the 1990s were predicted to be a lot more science-fiction portrayed in films than they actually turned out to be. But, at the same time, many conveniences and unimaginable developments surpassed the imaginations of those in earlier decades, but there's still a comforting sameness about a lot of it.

      I'm so happy that you read and commented, m'dear, and that you enjoyed my little fantasy!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 21 months ago from South Africa

      This story provokes nostalgia. Sadly, life goes on. Reminders of the past - old buildings, grave yards, etc - are like magnets in my life, forcing me to envision life as it was during previous centuries. I wonder how the future is going to be like, and what will be the memories of the people of that era?

      I enjoyed this story. Thank you, Nellieanna :)

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 21 months ago from TEXAS

      Dear Venkatachari, thank you. I'm pleased that you love my little story. I so enjoyed writing it and assembling it as a hub. Just rereading it gives me a nice warm glow. It's a kind of scenario which actually is part of my family's early heritage.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 21 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      A nice story, Nellieanna. You have dealt with it in a very different but a beautiful way. It is descriptive and thought provocative. I love it very much.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 21 months ago from TEXAS

      Ah, the freedom to choose more of how we want to invest our precious time is a big advantage of being our age! Along with doing our things more slowly come more options and ability to juggle the actual time. I find myself too often trying to fit it all into the real time, and find it may sacrifice some of the overall quality of the time for ALL the array of things I want and desire for myself. So then, so I get to adjust and choose how to manage it better. It feels good to still be in my own driver's seat and able to learn and manage my life. I hope never to lose the independence for that! It's so much a matter of choices one makes, isn't it? If other limits should occur, one still can have charge of one's own mind and attitudes, if we've kept them active and exercised. That is an enormous factor that is well worth keeping and protecting.

      Your Gran was so right, & isn't that a blessing? If we had too much time and not enough to do, we'd wither and expire of boredom and inactivity. But we can keep our 'want-to list' active and can manage it reasonably.

      I'm glad I have many things I want to do. It's even a privilege to be able to pick and choose, and procrastinate if I want to. haha. And having a snooze is part of staying healthy to do more of what one chooses to do! That is high on my list of preferences.

      I'm going for 100, but I don't want to arrive there half-alive and unaware. So some of what my everyday agenda now is involves staying active and healthy in mind and body. I take no meds except an occasional ibuprofen, so health is a personal choice & priority. I'll bet you're the same, Bronwen!

      Hugs, ~ Nellieanna

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 21 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      Hello, that's interesting! We're the same age - and I know what you mean about things slowing down, while our interest and intentions do not! I remember my dear old Gran saying, "There are never enough hours in a day," and now I'm saying it, too, there are so many things I want to do, but don't. I think I'll go and have a snooze instead.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 21 months ago from TEXAS

      Dear Chris, what a lovely comment! There are certainly poetic impulses when I sit dow to write from the heart and imagination, though much of my everyday real-life prose lacks that impulse and is often firmly conclusive. This could account for why I struggle with conclusions in my fictional writing! A wise advisor suggested writing the conclusion first and that helped. But poetry, at least mine, tends to leave the conclusions to the reader! Of my prose and poetry, I distinguish which is which partly by how brief or lengthy it is and partly by whether it is right brain or left brain talking, being almost equally-balanced, it seems.

      Thank you again for visiting and for your observant comment! Hugs.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 21 months ago from TEXAS

      Dear Bronwen, Thank you for the sensitive comment about my effort!

      I had not expected to be caught up in this challenge, though I’ve always enjoyed earlier writing challenges. But when it grabbed my muse’s attention, there was no way not to respond!

      I’m especially delighted to see your appearance on HP, too. It needn't be the same amount but you're part of the HP family!

      I fully understand that ‘real life’ can crowd out some of even our most treasured online activities. So many things tug at us and if it’s our style to focus fully on each of them, often time has escaped before they all get their share of it. I can make no apologies for my slight to some of them,because it was not deliberate, but I'm aware that it is my loss when it happens! I join-up almost reluctantly, but when I do, I'm 'in' and give it my all. I just find that, at 84, my 'all' is so much slower, while my desire is not!

      I hope to see more of you, my friend, - and thank you for appreciating my effort here! Hugs.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 21 months ago from Missoula, Montana at least until August 2018

      This is a sweet, sweet story, partly because of the streusel, but mostly because your poetry cannot be completely hidden in your writing of fiction. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 21 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      A novel, gentle approach and so lovely to read your work again. I haven't been publishing much here recently, either, and I haven't even joined this challenge, but I appreciate yours.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 21 months ago from TEXAS

      With just a few mutual ingredients, Bill's challenge has certainly inspired a wide variety of approaches in the many responses to his writing challenge. Thanks for the helpful list of participating hubs added to yours, Shan.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 21 months ago from TEXAS

      Rasma, thank you so much for reading and enjoying my little story!

    • shanmarie profile image

      shanmarie 21 months ago

      Refreshing approach, Nellieanna. As some others have said, it has a nostalgic feel. I have been adding links to the challenge all along at the bottom of mine. I've just added yours.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 21 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Well done Nell. Really enjoyed your story.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 21 months ago from TEXAS

      Dear Paula, Thank you! I’m so pleased that you enjoyed my little fantasy/reality story. I was happy to respond to Bill’s enticing challenge, though it was a little out of my usual style. His presentation just turned on my muse and I relished writing it.

      Oh, yes. Don McLean’s rendition of “Starry, Starry Night”, which fit my story’s ending, was such a ‘find’. I've always loved it, and it was the first song that came up in reply to my specifications! The video of Van Gogh’s artwork just seemed like a serving of dessert after the meal.

      Without a doubt, St. Bernards are some of the planet’s most wonderful creatures. If I could manage it, I’d love to have one.

      Now I'm out the door to go for a bone destiny test and my annual mammogram. This time of year is when all my annual checkups roll around. I'm so blessed with good health, but doctors are always extra-careful and when one is an atypical octogenarian, they become more so. haha.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 21 months ago from TEXAS

      Shyron, what a delightful poem you wrote to express your comments on my hub! Bernie my Saint, indeed! Those dogs deserve the recognition for their faithful good deeds!

      Yes, we who have paused to respond to Bill’s great challenge are all winners! I won the delight immediately!

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting on my hub!

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 21 months ago from TEXAS

      My dear Theresa - Thank you for the warm welcome. I hope to become more active on HP. I care deeply for the people here and the wonderful hubs. I was so glad, when I got into responding to Bill’s challenge, that I still had the knack of putting a hub together! haha. Fiction prose IS something of a challenge for me, but this one went so smoothly.

      Yes, the contents of those barrels around the rescue dogs necks are purely medicinal! It’s both to warm their chilled bodies and to soothe any pain. Even as recently as the American Civil War, the soldiers with injuries were treated with that medicine, especially as first aid out in the field.

      I do hope this has truly stimulated a resurgence of the HP old-times. I’ve not intended to abandon it, but so many competing priorities and matters that one doesn’t always anticipate have arisen at the same time that my speedy responses have somewhat diminished. I’ve found myself skipping supper and staying up way too late trying to keep up. Obviously I must stop trying to do everything - or feeling I must do it all so thoroughly. Habits of a lifetime do not like to change! haha.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 21 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Nellie.....a truly enjoyable read and oh how I love Don McClean's "Starry, Starry Night."...(the haunting melody & dedication to Van Gogh) Those are beautiful St Bernards, examples of strong, brave & lovable creatures.......This is quite a wonderful response to Bill's challenge!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 21 months ago from Texas

      Dear Nellieanna, what an ideal picture you paint

      With your words of warmth and harmony

      In you peaceful sanctuary

      Where all around love abounds

      With Bernie your Saint



      I am loving the pickle Bill is in

      From the moment his challenge begins

      And all our friends have jumped right in

      Blessings to you my friend

      Another winner

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 21 months ago from southern USA

      Dear Nellieanna,

      It's so wonderful to see you publishing! I so enjoyed reading your fabulous response to Bill's mountain challenge. I felt I was right there by the fire.

      I've always wondered what was inside the containers around the mountain rescue dogs' necks and now I know ...hahaha. That makes a lot of sense.

      It feels like old times in Hubville with so many returning to publish thanks to Bill.

      Hugs and much love always!

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 21 months ago from TEXAS

      Dear Maria ~ thank you for that lovely comment and kind appreciation of my effort. It was such fun to write the piece! I'm also grateful to Bill for stirring our creative energy. He's one of several real writing gurus in this organization.

      Much love to you!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 21 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Oh what a treat to see that you have published, dear Nellieanna.

      Your entry is entrancing and delicious - from the streusel to the words.

      I'm grateful to Bill for bringing out our creative energy. Love, Maria

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 21 months ago from TEXAS

      Dear Shauna. Thank you so much, my friend. I felt it as sweet and nostalgic as it unfolded. The feelings of it seemed its main message to me and, actually, for me. It was touched with love and rewarded me lovingly. So I'm glad to have been stirred to respond to Bill's challenge and to be accepted as intended.

      There are so many reasons one must prioritize one’s energy and time - and meantime, it seems that, - with age, - energy and time grow shorter as priorities sometimes grow bigger and more demanding! Some are also less explainable and more personal and subtle, but they have an effect on one's ability to pursue some things at the same pace and priority, at least in an uninterrupted flow. But time does flow on and many snags dissolve.

      This Hubpages experience has been my ‘thing’ for six and a half years, where I’ve devoted much time and involvement and have found and been rewarded with friends and much pleasure and gratification. It is literally like a part of my own history. It needn’t yet be merely past history, whether or not my present and future contributions are at the same volume and pace. I've always done it for the love of it, and will do it that way as I go along.

      Hugs to you, my dear!

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 21 months ago from TEXAS

      Dear, dear Manatita! Thank you for your continuing encouragement and approval - as well as your lovely words of praise for my effort here.

      I so enjoyed participating in Bill’s challenge and felt it as a lovely inspirational nudge rather than a ‘push’ kind of challenge, though it has succeeded in bringing me back to contributing my stuff here on HP. I'm glad and grateful and I’ve greatly enjoyed responding to it. It felt good!

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 21 months ago from TEXAS

      Hello, Suzette. I’ve been looking at your HP site and see so many hubs I look forward to visiting.

      I am most grateful for your positive comments about my ‘mountain’ hub. You captured the pulse of it and accurately envision what I wanted to convey! Thank you so much!

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 21 months ago from TEXAS

      Dear Ruby! Thank you. We are in sync that nostalgia makes a good story, though some of the entries in Bill’s contest from other viewpoints are so awesomely excellent! How wonderful that the one challenge and set of 4 pictures has inspired such variety! I’m still getting caught up reading them.

      Hehe - the streusel was an effort to set the stage for a somewhat Alpine background, as was the VW. I’d have had her in a BMW but my heroine couldn’t have afforded one. Besides, it would be too sophisticated to fit in here. :)

      One of my fascinations has long been with turrets, so I loved being able to include one in this story.

      I really loved having Bernie there by her side, sharing the pleasantness of the cabin and looking forward together to the morning streusel! I was a little hesitant to have Bernie behaving almost like a lap dog, but he only cuddled up to her side and didn’t climb onto her lap! haha. Big dogs are so lovable.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 21 months ago from TEXAS

      Dear Nell Rose - Thank you! I think writing this may get me off dead center in getting back to contributing in HP. I was relieved I could still organize a hub!! haha.

      Yes! Aren’t the Don McLean song and video awesome! I love both, too. - WOW!

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 21 months ago from TEXAS

      Dear Mike! Nice to be a pleasant surprise if one is a surprise! :) I love it! Thank you.

      I write constantly, though not so much of late here in HP, but I’ve not been neglecting writing during my brief HP sabbatical.

      Fictional prose has not been my long suit, though. I’m pretty good about creating parts of it, but not so good about other essential parts. I enjoy it when inspired, though, as Bills’ challenge did for me. Perhaps short stories work best for me, in which less plot is required. I did write a lengthy story as response to a challenge for a Halloween story, though. Had a pretty decent plot.

      Glad you liked my little story. With your usual encouragement and insight, you recognized it as a love story, especially in the areas you mention. Thank you. I treasure your opinion.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 21 months ago from TEXAS

      Vellur, dear HP friend. Thank you! Over each of our time here on HP, we’ve shared a lot of hubs and comments, haven’t we? I always value yours so highly! I’m so glad you stopped by!

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 21 months ago from TEXAS

      Hello, ChitrangadaSharan. I’m so happy that you’ve read and are commenting pleasantly to my hub! Your compliment that it was done in a refreshing way delights me greatly. If I can offer refreshing without too much triteness, I'm pleased! It was refreshing to me as I was writing, too. Thank you.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 21 months ago from TEXAS

      Dear Bill, it wasn’t just being nice that kept me enthralled to respond to your challenge! It was truly inviting. I’ve enjoyed a few HP writing challenges over my time here, but I do believe this one is the most fun and gratifying!

      I really am not a competitive writer. I just - write. haha. It’s irresistible and it's for satisfying that urge! Of course it's wonderful if it happens to interest or entice readers! So thank you for providing the nudge to break my dormancy, along with those awesome pictures which worked together for me to jar and to steer my rare fiction writing along, admittedly, with some non-fiction influences involved, as well. My paternal family's ancestral name does mean "Keeper of the Flame" and they came from Switzerland and were farmer-folk. So those pictures 'did the trick'! Very clever of you!

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 21 months ago from TEXAS

      Hi, Mr. Archer! I am an old-timer on HP, but have been somewhat dormant for awhile. So I’m happy to really meet you . I have already planned to visit your HP site and definitely to read your ‘Mountain’ story! Your hubs look so interesting.

      I’m pleased that my hub brought lovely images to mind for you! I’m not so much a fictional prose writer as a poet, so I guess that crept into my handling of this challenge!

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 21 months ago from TEXAS

      Dear Dimitris. I’m pleased that you graced my efforts with a visit! Thank you! Not sure what it is that you’ve granted that I ‘win’. I’m not competitive, you should know, so no need for surrender!

      The cake? You mean the fictional streusel in the story? haha. I seldom indulge in rich desserts, because I value my health and longevity that much, - though don’t expect me to refuse Godiva chocolates or tiramisu. :) Fortunately, for the sake of those healthy objectives, I haven’t been getting many such templations for quite awhile. Sometimes I do treat myself, though. ;)

      Now that IS an amazing coincidence about your having a St. Bernard named Bernie! Wow. GMTA! But I’m rather an inexperienced dog owner for a couple of reasons. One, my mother adored all animals except dogs, due to being injured by one as a child. So I didn’t have a personal dog pet growing up. Two, my dad used wonderful German Shepherds and Border Collies as sheep and goat work dogs at the ranch and I was not permitted to play with them and spoil their discipline, though I loved and related to the way they looked and were.

      I’ve always been more attracted to big dogs. Once, in Indiana, we owned a lovely registered collie named Gus and also we raised registered Pointers to sell at one time, when I had major chores caring for them. Later, when I was on my own, my apartment neighbor had a St. Bernard I liked. But - cats have been in my life my whole life, so I'm more acquainted with them and their care.

      Kiss you back. Hope you continue writing on HP. It was your participation which made me aware of this writing challenge. So reach up, bend elbow and pat yourself on the back!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 21 months ago from Central Florida

      Nellieanna, this is such a sweet, nostalgic story. I can feel the warmth of the fireplace and the snuggly feel of Bernie lying at his mistress's feet.

      Beautiful story. So glad you joined in!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 21 months ago from london

      How I love to see you write, my Dear. I started this one yesterday, but met with some mobile constraints. You continue, even with your lack of regularity dues to issues of which some are aware, to write with grace and beauty.

      An intelligent and excellently written piece! Much Love, Dear Nellieanna. Good on you!

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 21 months ago from Taos, NM

      Lovely story, Nellianna. Your description is beyond compare. I can picture this lovely farmhouse, the woman and the dog and it is a beautiful, peaceful image. Nice take on Bill's challenge and thank you for sharing this

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Nellieanna, this is a beautiful story, written in a nostalgic fashion. ( The best kind ) I loved the way you started the story with yummy streusel and ended with Bernie cuddled up by her side. Both dreaming of the morning when they would taste the luscious sweet. It is great to see you writing again!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 21 months ago from England

      What a lovely story! and I am so pleased to see your writing again. and you added my favorite song of all time too! Don McClean!

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 21 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Nellieanna, What a pleasant surprise. Bill Holland's challenge has brought out the writing spirit of so many. You tackled this challenge with such a sweet story. I view it as a love story, the love of beauty, the love of nature and of course your love of writing.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 21 months ago from Dubai

      A great story enjoyed reading. Beautifully written and voted up.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 21 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Wonderful response to the challenge and you did this in a refreshing way! So impressed to see a great hub from you after long. Lovely images too.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It is so nice of you to take part in this challenge. I was pleasantly surprised this morning to see you had done so. I'm filing this away until the deadline an then I'll read them all with a fine-toothed comb.

      Again, thank you my friend.

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 21 months ago from Missouri

      Lovely images come to mind as I read, Nelliana. Beautifully written.

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 21 months ago from UK

      OK, you win. I give up! ;-)

      Two things though:

      ... I used to have a St Bernard named Bernie!

      ... What happened to the cake? ;-)


    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 21 months ago from TEXAS

      Thank you so much, Jodah! I suddenly was inspired to write it and couldn't stop till I was finished and was satisfied with it. What fun it was. And so good to discover that writing a hub is like riding a bicycle - one doesn't forget how, after all!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 21 months ago from Queensland Australia

      A wonderful story, Nellieanna. It is great to see a new hub from you, and I am sure Bill will be impressed.


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