In coveralls and a baseball cap the old man came riding his bicycle down our gravel road.
"Doebuck," I greeted, "what brings you to Semiway?"
Red Dog ran up and licked Doebuck's hand.
"Yessir," Doebuck replied, "I come to see The President! This morning, I go take Miss Nette her mail, and Little-Bear Austin, he stop and ask me if I see The President, and when I say no, he say, well, The President, he out in Semiway politicking and people like Doebuck, they need to go see him. So, here I am... "
Doebuck grinned and looked across the wide field of soybeans, looking for The President.
"Doebuck, The President didn't come today," I said. "It was very nice of you to want to welcome him, but here there are only Red Dog and me."
Doebuck looked a little hurt.
"Well," he finally said with a smile, "I see a lot of pretty country today so now I go back home.
And then he simply mounted his bicycle and began the five-mile journey back to town.
"Red Dog," I said, "everyone plays tricks on Doebuck. But there is no one better than he in all the world. He is gentle as a child and wiser than any of us. The President should have come here just to meet him."
"And you, Red Dog," I continued, "you licked his hand. No one needed to tell you what a good person Doebuck is."