short stories

BLACK MONGREL DOG

The transformation created by love surprised me. Rod, my future son-in-law, loved the apology for a dog and it loved him in return. He fed it, petted it, and took it everywhere, even to work.
The animal was the love of his life next to his love for his girlfriend – my daughter Robyn.
Rod was a husky young man of farming stock. He was born and partially bred on a farm in the marginal mallee country of South Australia. The farm supported rabbits and emus but not humans. Droughts and dust storms were the norms. Farm animals had to be productive if not they were sent to market or the heaven for animals.
When Rod was of an age to leave home he moved to a nearby town to learn a trade and to be near Robyn. Life with rabbits, drought, and poverty was not his lot in life.
I and my family moved to another city for work, Rod refused to be left behind and came with us. Rod quickly obtained a good job. One day he came home with a stray black dog. He’d fallen in love with it. There was something about it that touched his heart and he desired to save it rather than obey the law of the farm and send it to the heaven for dogs. He must calm the doubts and fears of his soon to be parents-in-law about who would be looking after this poor creature. It’s not what they said but the cold atmosphere in the presence of the dog that told him the animal was not welcome.
Every time someone spoke to it, or tried to pat it, it fell over with its legs in the air in surrender to another top dog. I felt very impatient with the dog; I wanted to give it a kick rather than a pat. If I disliked the dog, maybe others did, all except Rod. I couldn’t see why he loved the useless thing.

LOVE HEALS
The weeks passed, the animal grew plump, its coat glossy and it no longer cringed and fell over when spoken to. It looked people in the eye and wagged its tail in cheery greeting, a new creature replaced the old. Amazement filled me every time I looked at it.
When Rod and my daughter were married the black mongrel dog went with them. The dog lived to a ripe old age, a well- adjusted family pet.
I felt respect for Rod because of his love for this unlovely creature and the change his love wrought in the animal. It is an incident that stayed with me over the years. Love heals and beautifies the ugly and unwanted.

 

 

 

 

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Daily Prompt: Infect

INFECT WITH JOY
Jenny’s joy infected me. Her face glowed, blue eyes sparkled, and lips quivered with unspoken words. She exuded joy infecting those around her.
What did I have to be joyous about, though? I was wheelchair bound, had been for two years. What could I achieve? My future looked hopeless. Unless a miracle came my way, this chair would be my world for the rest of my life.
A car accident severed my spinal cord and killed my husband. I now lived on a disability pension and rented a wheelchair friendly home. A friend donated a modified car allowing me freedom of movement. I was slowly moving toward independence.
Jenny was sitting behind a desk in the insurance office when I entered. I didn’t notice the wheelchair, I was infected by her love of life. Stunned did not come near describing what I felt when I realized her situation.
Jenny, I discovered, was a gold-medallist in swimming and netball for the physically impaired. She had just returned from the Commonwealth Games on the Australian Gold Coast with a swag of medals.
It’s all right for her, I thought nastily, she ’s got help. I’ve got no-one I have to battle alone.
‘There is a meeting tonight at the Swimming Centre, why don’t you come along?’ Jenny went on to explain the format and who would be attending. I was impressed there were some pretty big names attending. ‘We are planning to attend the Olympic Games in four years’ time,’ Jenny added.
‘I’ve got nothing else to do,’ I whined in self-pity, but I was intrigued, ‘What time?’
To cut a long story short, I am lolling on a water-bed in the middle of a swimming pool in Bali. Ben and I married a week ago. He is a basketball player with the Australian Basketball team.
We both are in training for the next Olympics, Ben on the basketball team and I am in the swimming squad. I am hoping to infect other wheelchair-bound to get up and live, love and laugh again.

via Daily Prompt: Infect

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IT’S ALL IN THE PEDIGREE

via Daily Prompt: Pedigree

IT’S ALL IN THE PEDIGREE

 

It was a beautiful handbag. Tan coloured with a shoulder strap, it hung from my shoulder stylishly, matching my shoes and hat.  It wasn’t too big nor yet too small; it would hold a small compact and purse, a mini pack of tissues plus a comb. I looked for it’s make, what was its pedigree? Ah yes, Gucci, I was about to return it to the rack, the price tag beyond my bank balance when I noticed a tag inside a pocket.

The handbag had begun life in a sweatshop in Thailand, synthetic leather, but it looked the real thing.  Some machinist had sewn it with care. It had been packed in the sweatshop and sent to Italy where it was labelled and then sent off to Australia to a boutique in Melbourne.

The handbag had been bought by a young woman who had spent all her pay on it.  She would starve for a week, might even lose the roof over her head, but just to have a handbag with a Gucci pedigree was her ambition.

I noticed a scratch or two, the shoulder strap showed a little wear and the lining was slightly grubby, the bag been passed down to a poorer cousin.

I had found it in an op shop in a back street of poorer Melbourne suburb.  I too, was determined to own it. Rescue it from a life of rough handling.  Its pedigree was too classy to just let it fall in to grubby common hands.

I sensed it had been stitched with love and I must honour that love, so I paid the five dollars and walked out of the shop, the proud owner of a pedigree Gucci handsewn bag.