The Bonding Experience

by: KK Duke

Luke returned to the farm from Doc Appleby’s with what he had hope was good news. The only bad part was that the Roadrunner was home which meant that Daisy and Bo were bound to be home as well. What Luke didn’t see was Jesse’s truck. Luke thought that he was out in the back forty putting up new fence posts so he drove the car back there.

Luke got out of the car, leaving KK sleeping in the backseat. “Hi Luke. What did ya find out?” Uncle Jesse asked.

“Poor kid – she’s allergic to everything. You know that bedding she sleeps in?”

“Yeah the wool blanket that all of you guys used.”

“Well, she can’t use it. She’s allergic to it.”

Jesse looked in the General Lee at the sleeping KK. “Poor kid. I bet this nap is the best sleep she has gotten in a long while,” Uncle Jesse commented.

“Doc Appleby gave me a list of what she is allergic to that he was able to get from the doctors that had treated her before she moved here. He also stated that she needs to see him every week to get allergy shots.”

“Did you ask the Doc about the other things?”

“Yeah and he said to work with her and soon enough she would catch up. He also asked to see her again in a month after he had received her medical records.”

They were interrupted by Bo calling on the CB that Doc Appleby was on the phone for Uncle Jesse and that it was important for him to take this call.

“What else did the Doc say, Luke?”

“That was it. I don’t know why he would call you and say it was important.”

“Uncle Jesse, I’m going to take KK out for a little while,” Luke said.

“Luke – she needs lots of love and care in order for her to survive in this world. Whether she’s 18 months or 18 years – she’s has had a hard life and needs someone to count on just like you three guys do with me.”

Luke felt a sudden urge of pride creeping up in his chest. More pride than when he received his medals for a job well done during his stint in the Vietnam War. He could actually make a difference in someone’s life.

Uncle Jesse left in the pick in order to take the phone call from Doc Appleby. Luke returned to the General Lee to take KK on another tour of the county.

Once Jesse returned to the farmhouse, Bo announced that he and Daisy would go outside to prepare the fields for the spring planting so that Uncle Jesse would have some privacy.

“Hi Doc Appleby, what’s up?”

“Jesse, I didn’t want to say anything to Luke when I saw KK today. He’s so determine for her to talk and walk that I didn’t want to dash his hopes.”

“What are you trying to get at, Doc?”

“Jesse, there was more than allergies that the pediatrician gave me from Detroit about the three girls. KK is definitely different than the other two.”

“What is it, Doc?”

Jesse, the doctor noticed that in order for her to walk, she will need surgery on her right ankle in order to place a bone that should have been there in the first place.”

“Well, that’s not too bad,” Jesse though knew that wasn’t the worse news Doc had.

“Jesse, I don’t know how to tell this to you but they also believe that KK is autistic or minimally development delayed.”

Jesse felt like a rock had pelted him in the chest. She was a sweet baby girl and didn’t deserve to be locked inside of her own world.

“Doc, what should we do? Is there something we can do?”

“Encourage everyone to talk to her in order to stimulate her. The more you talk to her, the more of a chance she will talk. I will have to read more into what the best care is for her. Did Luke tell you that we need to see her every week in order for her to get an allergy shot.”

“Yes, Luke told me. Is it really necessary?”
“Yes. The shots will help her immune system out.”

“Thanks, Doc.”

Uncle Jesse hung up the phone. He didn’t know what to do. Should he tell Luke, Daisy and Bo what was going on or should he keep it to himself?

Luke stopped the car near Hazzard Pond. Looking in the back seat, he noticed that KK had woken up. “Hey you,” he commented to KK, “why didn’t you tell me you woke up?”

KK smiled.

Now only if he could turn that smile into some words. As if she knew exactly why she was there, KK suddenly said, “Luke,” and stretched out her arms. Luke couldn’t believe that he heard what he heard. Could it be possible that she just said his name? When Luke didn’t immediately do what she wanted him to do, KK said, “Up!”

“Yes, ma’am”

Being March, it was still too cold to go playing in the water, but a perfect place to help teach KK how to walk. Luke tried to get her on her feet but when she put weight on both legs she screamed in pain. Luke couldn’t understand what was exactly wrong at first. All he knew was that it hurt. He checked her left leg first and everything seemed to be okay. When he checked her right leg, his eyes brimmed with tears.

“Sweetheart,” Luke tried to calm not only her, but himself as well, “you’ve got a big boo-boo there don’t you.” KK looked up at him from the ground and nodded her head yes. “What happened to you?” Luke asked.

Luke recognized the struggle that went on in her head. She didn’t know how to tell him that her own father had broken the bone in the back part of the ankle to punish her when she had interrupted her parents one time. “KK, I promise that nothing will ever happen to you. I will protect you until the day I die and I’m believing that it won’t be for a long time.” Luke picked her up and rocked her in his arms until she fell asleep. He then gently put her back in the General and drove home.

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