This week’s Appalachian word is FEIST (MOUNTAIN FEIST) Rhymes with heist.
My first dog and best friend was a Mountain Feist/Beagle mix named Caspy. A feist is similar to a rat terrier, with longer legs. Their main function, besides being a best friend, is being a squirrel hunting dog.
I didn’t enjoy my dad’s hunting trips for squirrel. For one thing, skinned squirrels, without their fluffy tails, look like rats. I have never been able to force myself to eat a rat.
My father’s favorite part of the squirrel, though, was even worse. He loved to eat squirrel brains in scrambled eggs. I had to leave the house when those were cooking on the kitchen stove.
But, I digress.
A feist is a fabulous dog. Honorable, pleasant, cuddly, and smart. I spent a lot of time on the front porch swing with Caspy. I had to make sure I didn’t swing too fast, though. She didn’t like wild rides and would jump out and run to the yard, after giving me a judgmental glare.
Like most hillbilly dogs during those days, she was an outside dog. Her domain was limited to the fenced in front yard. However, when we went next door to visit Granny, she pulled one over on Mom. Remember, I said feists are smart. She would jump up onto the screen door and lock her claws onto the wood cross-frame and then back up. When the door was open enough, she dropped and ran inside.
When we got back home, she sat on the front steps and licked her lips as we passed by. It didn’t take long to discover why she seemed so proud of herself. Trash littered the entire kitchen.
During the years when I needed some loving on, Caspy was always there for me. That is when I learned the meaning of unconditional love. Hmmm. Maybe I need to find another friend to share my home. Maybe…