"Our dog is going to have puppies any minute," she said, opening the door quietly, "so I'm just letting you know, if that happens the lesson will have to be cut short."
Hesitantly I went in, lugging my box. "What will you do? Like, do you call an animal ambulance or something?"
"I'm going to deliver them myself."
In the kitchen, the table had been transformed into a kind of manger, with sheets and old pillows. The border collie slumbered peacefully in the manger. We tiptoed out. In the living room, where the lessons take place, slouched a very old man, also slumbering, in an old chair, with a book on his lap. When he heard the first accordion sounds, he roused, struggled out of the chair, and made his unsteady way to the manger.
"So did you buy that Palmer-Hughes book?" she asked. I admitted that I had not. "It's okay," she said. "I found one you can borrow for now. It's older than the other edition, but it has similar songs."
Older than the other one. She flipped through it. Copyright 1952. She taught me the songs "The Kickoff," "Batter Up!" and "Skating," during all three of which I fervently cocked a hopeful ear for puppy squeals. No dice.
Her teenage daughter stuck her head in the room. "I'm going to walk the neighbor's dog. And by the way," all innocent, "sounding great, guys." Flicked a smile at my burst of laughter and was gone.
At the end of the lesson, I flipped through the book and, after picking up my jaw from it, stared at this:
Here are the lyrics to "INJUN SONG!":
I know what the Injuns know.
I go where the Injuns go.
I watched Big Chief smoke his peace pipe.
To the papoose I'm a friend.
For the squaws I carry candy.
On me Injuns all depend.