Free Short Story

Cisco-&-Snuggles_edited-1

Snuggles and Cisco

For starters, here’s a favorite short story of mine you may enjoy. It first appeared in Harvest: Stories and Poems A St. Louis writers anthology, in 2007.

COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL

The Night We Ruined the Dog

by Peter H. Green

Illustrated by the author

Most families merely tolerate turmoil. Our family thrives on it. Never was this clearer to me than one evening a few years back when things got a bit out of hand. Annie, my wife, often calls it the night we ruined the dog.

My wife’s sister Amanda had flown to St. Louis to help Annie coax their father to come live with us. Almost ninety and widowed these past ten years, Walter had begun to miss meals. His daily visits to the bank had resulted in secret stashes of bills on every closet shelf, in the back of dresser drawers, above the basement ceiling tiles and under the nightstand. It was time for a little loving help from the rest of us.

To get him into the spirit of moving in, we made quite a show of transporting Walter’s double bed over to our house. He didn’t really seem to understand, but, polite and helpful man that he was, he lent a hand in high spirits with the toting and lifting. He figured he was getting rid of his excess furniture while helping out his daughter. After the two sisters did some explaining and reasoning with him, they thought he was convinced he should stay with us for a while. We also brought his favorite chair, his bedroom dresser and a large suitcase with his best clothes. The switch seemed complete.

Since she would be staying a couple of weeks, Annie’s sister Amanda had carried her gray tomcat Snuggles on the plane with her in one of those little traveling kennels. After the trip the cat, who normally roamed outdoors, did not take kindly to sharing his new quarters, confined as he was with Cisco, our miniature poodle. On their first meeting, Snuggles hissed at the dog and peed on his dinner, getting his relations with rest of us off to a really bad start…

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