My Dog Skip (2000)
Narrator: Old Skip was 11, and feeble with arthritis, but he never lost that old devilish look in his eye. He made my room his own. Came across an old photo of him not long ago. His little face, with the long snout sniffing at something in the air. His tail was straight out, pointing. Eyes were flashing in some momentary excitement. He always loved to be rubbed on the back of his neck. And when I did it, he'd yawn and he'd stretch, reach out to me with his paws, as if he was trying to embrace me. I recieved a transatlantic call one day. "Skip died," Daddy said. He and my mama wrapped him in my baseball jacket. "They buried him out under our elm tree," they said. That wasn't totally true. For he really lay buried in my heart.
Narrator: Like all dogs, Skip was colorblind. He made friends easily with people of all races and origins. The town was segregated back then, but as we know, dogs are a whole lot smarter than people.
Narrator: Why in childhood and youth do we wish time to pass so quickly - we want to grow up so fast - yet as adults we wish just the opposite?
Narrator: I almost lost old Skip that day. Even as he was sleeping on the operating table, he was still teaching me. That day, I became a young man. Why, in childhood and youth, we wish time to pass so quickly. We want to grow up so fast. Yet, as adults, we wish just the opposite.
[Referring to the leg Jack lost in combat]
Willie Morris: Does it ever itch or hurt, like it's still there?
Jack Morris: Yes, it hurts.
Willie Morris: But they gave you a medal for it, didn't they?
Jack Morris: I'd rather have the leg.
Jack Morris: You know I.C.? Colored fellow at the service station?
Ellen Morris: Sure.
Jack Morris: His son came back from Europe today.
Ellen Morris: Wonderful.
Jack Morris: In a box.
Narrator: In my life I find that memories of the spirit linger and sweeten long after memories of the brain have faded.
Dink: It's not the dying that scares me, it's the killing.
Dink: You bawling like a big baby 'cause you lost that ball game?
Willie Morris: What do you know about it? You didn't come you big liar. Leave me alone.
Dink: That's how it is, isn't it? You're a hero today, and then you're a goat tomorrow. Now I didn't come because games don't mean nothing to me anymore.
Willie Morris: It's not the game. It's Skip. He's gone for good.
Dink: For good? Now how do you know that? You some kind of fortune teller?
Willie Morris: I got mad at him and I hit him. And he ran away. Just like you ran away. Skip was never afraid of nothing.
Dink: You think I don't know what folks are saying? That old Dink's a coward? Huh? Well I know. And you know what? They're right. I got scared. And I ran. You think it was 'cause I was afraid of dying? Because I wished I was dead plenty of times.
Willie Morris: Then what was it?
Dink: It ain't the dying that scary, boy. It's the killing. Now look, that dog ain't lost. You just need to know where to find him. There's gotta be at least one place around here that you hadn't thought of to look at, right?
[Willy runs off to find Skip]
Jack Morris: Sometimes he gets mad and says things he doesn't mean. He gets it from his mother. When I got back from Spain, I got into accounting. I figured I could hide behind a desk. I looked down, and I didn't so much as look up for a whole year. When I finally did, people weren't staring at me anymore. I guess they kind of forgot about it.
Dink: Well, Mr. Morris. You got a purple heart. I got a yellow stripe. You can trust me. They don't forget about cowards.
Jack Morris: Well, folks like to keep things small, Dink. Fit you into one pocket or the other. Give a man a label, and you never really need to get to know him. My son, he looks up to you, Dink. Not because you can run or throw a ball. You're his hero because you're his friend. And that's what he needs. A friend.
Willie Morris: [grabs Junior and shakes him angrily] WHAT'D YOU DO TO HIM? THAT'S MY DOG! SKIP!
Junior Smalls: [grasps Willie] I told you to keep that damn mutt out of here.
Willie Morris: Haven't seen you around much.
Dink: Yeah, I've been pretty busy.
Willie Morris: I'm playing some ball now, ya know.
Dink: Oh yeah? That's good.
Willie Morris: Yeah. Right. Well, see ya. Dink, It's opening day. That's what they call the first game of the season, and well, I was sort of wondering if... I was hoping that maybe... you might come.
Dink: Yeah, sure kid. That'd be fine.
Willie Morris: Really? Ok, great! Well, I better get on down there. See ya!
Dink: Thanks for picking my number.
Big Boy Wilkinson: Deserters, puppy dogs and now girls. Guess we were wrong about you, Willma.
Willie Morris: Skip's lost. We gotta find him.
Rivers Applewhite: Won't you help us find him?
Big Boy Wilkinson: 'Won't you help us find him?'
Willie Morris: Listen, Skip's missing. We're gonna find him. You wanna help? Fine. You don't, you can stick it up your big fat butt.
Big Boy Wilkinson: Who said I didn't want to help? Let's go.
Willie Morris: Okay. Spread out. Look everywhere and ask everyone.
Willie Morris: [writing a letter to Dink] How long does it take mail to get from here to Europe?
Ellen Morris: Where in Europe?
Willie Morris: Where Dink is, Foxhole in the south of France.
[Skip barks. Willie turns to Skip]
Willie Morris: Are you for Roosevelt, boy?
Willie Morris: What do you think about Hitler?
[Willie growls, and Skip growls ever fiercer]
Junior Smalls: [Millard throws a wine bottle at Willie, but Willie dodges. Millard giggles] Listen to me, you little worm. You tell anybody about where we're hiding here this bust-head, you'll wake up to find a dead pooch on your porch.
[spits, puts his cigarette in his mouth and shows Willie his wallet]
Junior Smalls: See, I've been needing me a new billfold.
[takes his cigarette off his mouth]
Junior Smalls: I think one made out of genuine dog-hide would be right slick.
[Millard imitates a weak dog's moan to tease Willie]
Junior Smalls: Now you look like a smart kid. You move so much as one little pinkie before the sun comes up, you better start think good and hard about life without that mutt.
Millard: Everybody needs a friend.
[laughs and continues teasing Willie]
Junior Smalls: [laughs and gets up] Come on.
[they walk outside the storeage]
Junior Smalls: Think I scared him enough?
Millard: I think he peed his pants.
Junior Smalls: Gonna have to change those shorts.
[Junior and Millard continue laughing]
Willie Morris: Canine 4-F! I can't believe it! He obeys orders really well, I know.
[Willie, Rivers and Skip start walking]
Willie Morris: And he can do all those tricks. I don't know what got into him.
Rivers Applewhite: Maybe he just got scared.
Willie Morris: You're saying my dog's a chicken?
Rivers Applewhite: No, I'm not saying your dog's chicken. I'm just saying maybe he might got scared.
[a car horn horns]
Mrs. Jenkins: Dink's coming home, Willie! Dink's coming home! My boy's coming home!
Junior Smalls: [Dink arrives the wine storage] I bet it ain't old Dink. Hey, need a jar of hooch, buddy? Millard, fetch a pint for Dink.
Dink: Listen, you boys need to get on out of here.
Junior Smalls: [turns to Willie] This your buddy? You know how much he and that mongrel cost us tonight?
Dink: I said you need to get out of here.
Junior Smalls: Hey Millard, listen to who's talking? Mr. Hitler's best friend.
[Millard teases Dink, and Junior takes a shovel]
Junior Smalls: And I think it's you who better get out of here.
Dink: [clutchs the shovel to take it away from Junior as he tries to hit him with it, and shoves Junior to the wall] Get your moonshine and get the hell out of here. And I better never see you around here again, GOT THAT?
Millard: Come on Junior, let's go. Come on!
[Dink puts down the shovel]
Junior Smalls: Yeah, it's getting too damn popular around here anyway.
Dink: [grabs Junior as he tries to walk away and shoves him to the wall again] You better hope that dog lives.
Narrator: There were so many surprises that year. Who'd have thought that my daddy would ever let me play football? And who'd have dreamed that Rivers Applewhite, the prettiest girl in town, would let me hold her hand? It was indeed a strange and unusual time. Old Skip had helped me through the stuggles of boyhood. But his job was far from done.
Willie Morris: You want to know how to throw a curve?
Willie Morris: Dink's gonna show me how when he gets home.
Sammy: Who's Dink?
Willie Morris: Where are you from? Mars?
Sammy: Nope. Right across town over there.
Willie Morris: And you haven't heard of Dink Jenkins?
[Sammy shooks his head]
Willie Morris: He's only the best ballplayer anywhere around here. Ever.
Sammy: Well you haven't seen Waldo Grace.
Willie Morris: He a colored boy?
Sammy: Yep, and the best in the whole world.
Willie Morris: Where are we going?
Big Boy Wilkinson: You know who's buried here, don't you?
Henjie Henick: My uncle's buried here.
Big Boy Wilkinson: [pushes Henjie] No, stupid. The witch. The witch of Yazoo.
Willie Morris: That's just an old wives' tale.
Spit McGee: That's what you think, buster. She was a genuine witch. Everybody knows she used to lure men to her house just to kill them. Why she even let her cats lick their bones after she got done with them.
Big Boy Wilkinson: That's until she got killed herself.
Big Boy Wilkinson: You sure you wanna be one of us?
Willie Morris: I guess.
Spit McGee: One night, a boy about our age, looked through her window and what he saw, chilled him right to the bone. He saw her murder two men with her bare hands. The boy ran and told the cops, and they got up a posse and chased that witch right into Miller's swamp. Before they could catch her, she got stuck in quicksand.
Spit McGee: And slowly as she sank in the quicksand, she swore two thing: First, one day she'd rise up from her grave and burn down the whole town! And the other thing she swore was, she'd find that boy who ratted on her and drag him down to hell!
[Henjie yelled behind Willie, and everyone yelled]