The Mouse

I never knew his real name, but everyone called him “Mouse.” This was Mouse Stinchcomb. He was a painter, a house painter that is, and a very good one. He was in demand and kept quite busy. Miss Elizabeth Redwine, the graceful lady she is, used to call him “Mr. Mouse.” I was only about five and had a story book about Mr. Mouse and I thought this was him.

He was a small man. Maybe that’s why everyone called him “Mouse.” He lived across the street from where Mask’s gas station is today on Highway 85. Not having an automobile he walked everywhere he went. He walked with a rapid gait leaning forward as he went. Usually his dog followed him. It was a short haired bird dog with brownish red spots and a big red nose. My family lived in the house with Ms. Jenny Farrar. The house was located across the street from the Fayetteville Grammar School and about half way between town and where Mr. Stinchcomb lived. I always watched for Mr. Stinchcomb as he walked to and from town almost every day because I especially liked his dog. I had learned that this dog was different from other dogs in the neighborhood. Mr. Stinchcomb treated him like a person and he seemed to respond. People said that Mr. Stinchcomb would send food, often meat, back to his wife by the dog while he remained in town. I’m sure this was true for often I saw the dog with a package in his mouth trotting back home and then returning back to town.

This could only happen in a small town like Fayetteville was back then... like Fayetteville was....