Essay · memories · Silliness

Bear Claws and a Scotty Dog- A Memory

I had a long morning of chores. Sometimes a little treat makes a hard day feel better.

I thought of something my mom brought home when I was little, about five because my parents were still together. She called them Bear Claws.

I thought they were real until she told me they were pastry. (At five, you can’t always know what’s real. My daddy cooked us elephant toes, and we also ate rhino toes, which I later learned were short ribs and Brazil nuts. So, why not eat bear claws?)

Mom’s Bear Claws were filled with sweet almond paste, and they had almond slices and a drizzle of white icing on top. I shared one with my sister, because they were too big for us to eat alone. We each got our half on a small pink plate. On that rare occasion, we had a splash of coffee in our milk, which we got to have in matching pink coffee cups.

My Daddy worked in the day time at the Reno Garage. Mom worked swing shift (3p.m. to 11p.m.) at the Sparks Nugget.

It was fun when we were home with Daddy. He played Ride ’em Cowboy, we got to ride on his back. We watched TV, mostly Westerns like Bonanza and Rawhide. I was going to grow up and marry Rowdy Yates, when I was five. Daddy read us stories before bed.

In the summer, Daddy had a problem telling me that I had to go to bed at 7:30p.m. He had to get up early for work, and I thought he was telling an awful fib about it being bedtime. I tried to explain, in my most grown-up five year old voice, that the sun was still up, so it couldn’t be bedtime yet.

That’s when he called the police on me. He told them I was not minding and they had to come take me to jail.

I agreed to go to bed, but at five, I made up stories. I had a pretend Scotty dog. I thought it was hilarious when my uncle called dog’s droppings, dukey. I named my Scotty dog, Dukey. I told my Daddy that Dukey was on his head.

He wasn’t amused. He said, “Good night.” He had his scowly face, so I went.


My quest for Bear Claws ended with unsatisfactory Bear Claw Coffee Cake, no almond filling. I will keep my eyes open for real Bear Claws.DSC07193

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