Joe2stories

Stories from a Dublin Scientist

Category: Picture it and write

Picture it and Write: Spring

Hi there! This is my offering for this week’s Picture it and Write from Ermilia’s blog here. Once again, the picture is not mine, I only use it for inspiration. Anyway enjoy.

Spring

It was early in the year. The days were still short but getting longer and the sharp nip in the air was already starting to mellow. I was glad to get out into the morning air as I and my little girl went for a walk for Easter morning.

This was the part of the day that I enjoyed. My wife was hiding eggs in various nooks and crannies across the house and when we returned I would awe in the joy of our little lady finding what the “Easter Bunny” left for her and let a little magic into our lives.

For the moment though, she was more interested in asking me to relate to her everything there was that I knew about the animals and plants that we passed as we walked. “What’s that Daddy?” and “What’s this thing?” Every question was followed by a good three minutes of bending down and getting a closer look and if whatever it was was amenable maybe even trying to grab it and hold it for later examination. This continued for a while and I was in a happy fugue of parental joy when my daughter started to scream in delight.

“Easter Bunny! Easter Bunny!” She shouted and started pointing at one of the bushes. I looked at what she was pointing and sure enough, I could see on the branches a series of eggs, brightly coloured, hanging from the tree.

“He’s a very smart bunny.” My daughter said with delight. “He knew I was going to come here!” I smiled but began thinking what I was going to say. Someone must have put those eggs there and I hoped I could extradite myself from there before the question of taking the eggs came up.

But events overtook me “Lookie” came the scream and we watched as the egg on the left started to shake too and fro and then crack. The bottom parts of the shell fell down and a leg, a wing and a tentacle all started to unfurl. It was hard to make out but one thing was sure, it did not look of this Earth.

“Ooooooh Goodie!” I heard from beside me, “This is better than chocolate eggs, I’ve got a new pet!”

easter-eggs-hanging-from-tree

 

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Picture it and Write: Curiosity

Hi there! This is my offering for this week’s picture it and Write from Ermilia’s blog here. Once again the picture is not mine, I only use it for inspiration. Anyway, enjoy.

Curiosity

“Psssst!”

I looked around me but I couldn’t see anything.

“Psssst! Down here!”

I looked down and right at my feet staring up at me was a cat.

“Sorry to disturb you.” It said, “But I am in need of some assistance.”

It took me all of five seconds to come up with anything to say and, to my chagrin it was “But. But. You’re a cat.”

I know that cats in general appear to have a low opinion of humanity but this feline could have given the most snobbish aristo in the world a run for his money such was the look it gave me. “I am aware of that” It said, “But all is not what it appears to be. I am really from another dimension. I am only shall we say “Borrowing” This body. The thing is. I need to get somewhere and..” It looked down at its paws, “I haven’t got the hands to get there.”

I figured I must have been dreaming, or having some sort of delusion but not knowing what else to do I decided to follow my new companion. We walked up the street past the central plaza and into the grounds of the university. We came to the central clock tower and the building that was attached to it. There was a door at the side. The cat brought me right to it.

“This is the place.” It said. “In my universe,  this is the place where I made the transition, or more accurately, this is the place about six stories up. In order to transfer up I will have to get within twenty feet of it. That means I have to get up there.” It pointed with its nose at the  handle of the door. “Do you mind?”

I opened the door and we both went through. It was spring break so there were very few students about and we were unmolested as we made our way up three flights of stairs and then the winding staircase of the clock tower. We reached the top and came to a viewing stand with grand views on all sides, there was only a shortish railing there to hold people back.

“Could you life me up?” The cat said and when I did so added. “Right there on the railing if you don’t mind.” I did so and with a short “Thanks for the help.” the cat threw itself off the railing.

It made no noise for the first part of its descent but at around half way down, there came a high pitched squeal, the sound of a cat that did not like were it had suddenly ended up. The squeal only lasted a couple of seconds. It was cut short by a thud even I could hear in the tower.

I made my way down and found the cat’s body where it had hit the ground. It was completely dead, Its body torn open by the force of hitting the ground.

I thought about the being I had been talking to, about its claims that he would be able to get home if it made it to the right spot. I wasn’t sure if he succeeded, I don’t think I’d ever know. But I do know one thing.

His curiosity had killed that cat.

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Picture it and Write: Image Problem

Hi there! This is my offering for this week’s picture it and write from Ermilia’s blog here. Once again, the picture is not mine, I only use it for inspiration. Anyway, enjoy.

Image Problem

Phil Turner of Heroic Associates was looking through a newspaper article on a client. It was the usual hatchet job, cut and paste rhetoric and littered with mistakes, but passable, with some minor changes. He was indulging in some minor editing when he heard a crash and some raised voices from his secretary’s office in the next room.

There was the click of the intercom and the voice of Mrs Perkins, his secretary came through. “If you want to see Mr Turner you have to make an appointment.” Phil quickly realised that his secretary must have accidentally turned on the intercom in the kerfuffle and was speaking without knowing he could hear. There was some muffled voices followed by Mrs Perkins saying, “Miss! Miss! You can’t! Miss!”

There was the crack of breaking metal as the locks of the door was snapped open. In through the doorway, with the protesting Mrs Perkins behind her, came a young woman in gym gear and a hoodie. “Turner!” The woman said “Explain yourself.”

“Sally!” Phil didn’t miss a beat, he placed the article down and gave his cheesiest grin to his top client. “Did you have a chance to look at the sketches from Galloway’s?”

“I did.” Sally said and threw down a lump onto Phil’s table. He picked it up and though at first it appeared to be a piece of wood Phil quickly ascertained that it was sheets of paper fused together by great strength. Along the edges could be seen parts of the images that were on the paper, a bare leg here, an ample cleavage there. “What kind of sexist tripe are you trying to foist on me?”

“Sally. Please.” Phil got up out of his desk and walked over to his client. “You hired me to help change your work saving the city into an income you can live on. You told me yourself that mild-mannered librarian pays very badly. If you pick one of these costumes, pick an image, then we will have something the people can recognise, something we can sell. In days we can have t-shirts, posters and figurines for the kiddies. But you need to choose.”

Sally’s eyes showed less anger, what Phil said made sense to a point. “I understand, but these, these are too revealing, I wouldn’t be comfortable in them.” She looked up, as if into the distance “I want something glamorous, something people would respect., Full body, Maybe even a cape, or a full cloak.”

Phil shook his head, “I wouldn’t recommend capes, you remember Captain Wondrous, he didn’t do very well against that jet engine, did he?” Sally nodded sheepishly, Phil continued “Glamorous we can deal with, full body… we can see.” He thought for a second, “How about pantsuits? We can cash in on the new woman vibe. A powersuit for Power Woman. I like the sound of that.”

“Would I still be able to fight in that?” Sally asked.

“If you need it I can get the best trainers in the business to make sure you can not only kick ass but will look good for the cameras doing it. If it works for the FBI it will work for you.”

Sally looked down at here own, grubby, look. “But, I like this, I’m used to this. It feels like me.”

“Well that is no problem either.” Phil said “Sportswear never goes out of style. You give me the word and I will have Nike and Reebok bidding against each other to kit you out. You could make a fortune.”

Phil put his arm around Sally and began to gently lead her out the broken door back to the exit. “You see Sally. Brain dead henchmen and monologuing supervillains, You got them. Big studios and advertising  agencies, that is my turf. I’m here to look after you and nothing.” He looked Sally in the eye, “I mean nothing will happen without your say so.”

He opened the outer door and said “Give me until tomorrow. I’ll have Galloway design custom pantsuits for you and I’ll test the waters for unofficial bids for sportswear sponsorship. You can then take as long as you want to make a decision.”

Sally, a.k.a. Power Woman, smiled, made a short wave then hurtled into the air at a couple of hundred miles an hour. Phil watched her fly off then turned to his secretary, “did you get that? An appointment for Miss Rogers for tomorrow.” Mrs Perkins nodded her officious nod and Phil went back to the broken door to his office.

He bent down and looked intently at the broken lock on the door. Under his gaze the fracture in the metal began to heal, in seconds the whole door was as good as new.

Fixing things, including himself was a power that Captain Wondrous had kept to himself. The accident had been real, but it was more a fault of the complicated life he had been leading then it was the jet engine. He looked  at it as a sign, to quit heroing and to set up to help those like him to get though the mundane organisation of life. Under his guidance, he swore, they could fight whomever they wanted, go whereever they wanted and wear whatever they wanted.

As long as it wasn’t a cape. Phil was not a fan of capes anymore.

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She Prayed

Hi there! This is my offering for this week’s picture it and write from Ermilia blog here. Once again, the picture is not mine, I only use it for inspiration. Anyway, enjoy.

She was a religious woman, she believed, she prayed and when both her parents died in a fire she went to her confessor and he said that they were in a better place that, they were with God, and that she would see them again, in time, and she prayed and in the end, felt a little better.

She was a religious woman, she believed, she prayed and when the life growing within her was snuffed out and she was forced to give birth to a corpse she went to her confessor and he said that sometimes God made things happen that are hard to cope with but to rest assured that there was a plan for her like there was for everyone else and she only had to have faith and she prayed and prayed and in the end, felt a tiny bit better.

She was a religious woman, she believed, she prayed and when her husband of ten years felt no more for her and decided to trade her in for a younger model she went to her confessor and he said that when life seems darkest that is when God can offer you hope and she prayed and prayed and prayed and in the end she felt just a tiny bit better.

She was a religious woman, she believed, she prayed and when the tiniest ghost in an X-ray on her pancreas started to grow and grow throughout her body sapping away her body and her life she went to her confessor and he said that it was at the end, when despair was at its greatest that was when the promise of salvation can bring the chance of solace so she prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed. She prayed as the corruption filled her body down to the bones and she withered away. She prayed as her strength failed her and she prayed up to her last breath.

In the end; on one knows if she felt better.

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Picture it and Write: Left to Chance

Hi there! This is my offering for this week’s picture it and write for Ermilia’s blog here. Once again; the picture is not mine, I only use it for inspiration. Anyway, enjoy.

Left to chance

“What brings you here?” The bouncer asked with a sneer, “Did the pub close early tonight?”

“Ha Ha!” Billy chuckled sarcastically, “No, my young man. I am in fact ready to try my luck again. Provided that you have the guts to let me inside your establishment.”

The bouncer looked Billy up and down then said, “To try your luck, you have to bring money with you. If you don’t have money, you don’t get in. We don’t give credit, we don’t take watches, jewellery or anything else in lieu of cash. I know for a fact that you drink every cent you earn so you are most definitely not welcome.”

“But sir!” Billy reached into his pocket and removed a wad of cash “There is sooo much money weighing down my pocket. Even I can’t drink all of this.  Perhaps if I were to gamble it I may lighten my load. Care to see me try?”

The bouncer looked confused “How the hell did you get that much money? Your name if dirt in this city No bank or business would so much as look at you. Your only chance would be a loan shark and they would not be too kindly to you risking their investment on the tables. Maybe you should go home. I wouldn’t want you to end up losing your front teeth or something.”

“No no no! It is nothing like that. I have just been prudent. Surely you can reward my sensibility with a little flutter or two. What do you say?”

The bouncer thought hard for a minute, his eyes moving between the money and Billy’s face. In the end, he relented. ” Okay! You can go in. But I’m telling Freddy and he’ll be watching you like a hawk. If there’s anything untoward, and I mean anything, You’ll be out of here quick as shit.”

Billy smiled broadly as he walked past. “Man!” He said, “I understand. I have no intention of leaving until I’m good and ready.”

He left the hulking bouncer behind and entered the bright lobby of the casino. All around him he could see old friends, the slot machines, the poker and roulette tables and back to the end of the wall, the craps tables. That was where  he was headed, right after converting his cash to chips of course.

Luck was not his constant companion, but when it smiled upon him, it rained good fortune. He had gotten the money through a nominally legit but harmless enough scheme that had come to fruition via an untold stroke of luck. Now it was his intention to see how far his luck would hold. It may be risky, even foolhardy to let all the money he had gained rest on the roll of the dice. But risky was almost always more exciting than safe. even if it never panned out.

Left to chance after all, his life had lead to here. Where would it go next?

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Picture it and Write: The Golden Lioness

Hi there! This is my offering for his week’s picture it and write by Ermilia’s blog here. Once again, the picture is not mine, it is of one of the extremely beautiful and talented co-creators of Ermilia, Eliabeth. I am using it for inspiration. Anyway; Enjoy.

The Golden Lioness

She was of uncommon beauty. Even from a young age it was remarked upon. But when you are from the family of Western Lions there is seldom much common about you. She had been fated for Red Keep and the house of the  Dragon but she was spurned and for that slight and a hundred more, the lion sided with the stag and she became queen.

Two princes she bore, and a princess. They were the only light in her life, save her brother, King slayer, siblings who no one said were closer. They kept her sane as the Stag king whored and drank himself away from solid virility to death.

Her son took the throne and in no time his cruelty and madness had three kingdoms in rebellion. The wolves from the north, the fish from the riverlands, the Kraken from the sea and worse of all, the fire stag, emboldened by false rumours and whispered prophecies of a false religion.

It was hard fought, danger was at her gates more than once, but, in time, many of those who opposed her had been trampled into the dirt. More than anything this was by the hand of the old lion, adept at the use of both strength and cunning.

But all was not perfect in the red keep. Firstly the roses with their queen of thorns began to plot against her. Then the imp, the dreadful little lion, poisoned her boy, the young king and then, by ways not known took the life of the noble old lion himself. The strength of her house greatly down she soldiers on, taking comfort in her remaining son.

But new troubles await. Unquashed; false rumours of her and her brother still spread amongst the small folk. The church, newly invigorated with zeal, seeks the truth. Even a lion cannot fight the seven and must allow the greatest indignities. In the south, venomous snakes stir and threaten to wrap their coils around her beautiful princess. In the west, the kraken still ravages the coasts. In the north, still in chaos, the black brothers send word of horrors on the march.

And in the East, most troubling of all. There are tales of a young woman, of cities falling, and of dragons reborn.

The golden lioness would be wise to be wary. In her world the price of power is heavy, constant vigilance is required. In the game of thrones you must win; or you die.

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Awesome Costume Elia 😉

  

Picture it and Write: Traces

Hi there! This is my offering for this week’s picture it and write for Ermilia’s blog here. Once again the picture is not mine, I only use it for inspiration. Anyway, Enjoy.

It was a boon to the town, the actions not of the supposedly conscientious town planners and managers but rather of one plucky archaeologist and a historian convinced of his colleagues mistakes. They would work for years but finally get their validation.

It rested on an old legend of a battle between a demonic host and the angelic forces of the god. There were a number of versions, all somewhat similar. Differing only in location and the name of the local herdsman/farmhand who witnessed the fight and was inspired to eventually become King, Prophet etc. Most historians considered it just a legend, one of those eternal tales concerning the battle waged within one’s soul. But our guy was convinced that there was more to it.

It started with an ancient catalogue sent to the rector of a university detailing the collection of manuscripts held in the library of a lord’s castle. There was one document that got the historian’s attention. It was called Ae Dyscryption ouf thee battyl beetwin thee dymons oo thee north and owur King’s Godly howst. The date it was supposedly held was in the right time frame to be our battle but, unfortunately, the castle burned down with all its treasures not long after the inventory was collated. It was back to square one.

He combed dusty archives in castles and abbeys across the country. There was no single source, but slowly a picture began to emerge. There had been a battle, quite a large one, against a  large number of Norsemen by the forces of a local petty king by a river in the outskirts of our town. The king was severely outnumbered according to the annals but was able to successfully defend his lands and send the invaders packing. This was one of their first major defeats and was considered something of a miracles. While annals closer to the battle would mention scarce details in passing, over time the battle took on increasing mythical dimensions becoming more and more like the battle of legend. Our historian tried to present his work at conferences and meetings but try as he might his colleagues failed to accepted the admittedly meagre evidence he had. “You need more.” They told him “We cannot take this one faith.”

Meanwhile; due to the inexorable march of progress, the town council sought to build fine new offices on a bend in the river with great views of the city centre. Understandably; there was some objection to this and a small grass roots wanted to protect it. One of these was our archaeologist who had wanted for years to investigate the mounds that had been a source of many local tales in the town. Council experts maintained that they were slag piles from the industrial revolution but the archaeologist swore that there was historical evidence that some were older than that. The fight lasted a long while. In the end the council relented and allowed a quick survey prior to building work commencing.

The first two mounds that were dug into sadly turned up nothing but Victorian slag. There were jeers, actual jeers from the council workers supervising but withing a few short minutes of digging into the largest mound, there were arrow heads, the head of a spear and one human bone.

It was a treasure trove, archaeologically speaking. There were bodies and artifacts almost all the way down. It looked like a mass grave, where soldiers from some long forgotten battle were sequestered.  Some were buried in the armour of Norsemen while others, the heavier plate of the local culture. That was only one mound. Two more were packed with soldiers like that one and a fourth, Much smaller than the others contained a single, very important occupant. A Norse king, slain on that field with so many of his countrymen.

While the archaeologist knew that something big had happened there, he had no historical event to link it to. That was until he read of this historian’s quest in the paper. He only had to read a few details to realise that his site and the battle of legend was one in the same. He took his phone and called the historian, then the world.

It was a sensation. People from all over the world, came to see the sight of the battle between the invaders and valiant defenders. The council, knowing a sea change when the saw one, knew enough to cancel the building work and instead opened a visitor’s centre and museum, the profits from which helped to finance an better office closer to city hall. Everybody won.

The archaeologist and historian were vindicated. The investigation of legend showed up a reality of even greater grandeur. Perhaps this is the way with all legends. All the tales of heroes and god may be unravelled to produce a kernal of amazing truth, if only you look hard enough.

Perhaps you should.

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Picture it and Write: Water Hating

Hi there! This is my offering for this week’s picture ir and write by Ermilia’s blog here. Once again, the picture is not mine, I am only using it for inspiration. Anyway Enjoy.

Water Hating

“Eureka! I think we’ve got it!”

Bob looked up from his desk at Phil, the grad student who had just punched his door open and shouted out his announcement. There had been many false starts on  this project so he decided to play it cool “Got what?” he asked.

“What we have been looking for Professor.” Phil really was excited, it was as genuine as Bob had ever seen him. “I think we’ve cracked it.”

Bob was intrigued but decided to withhold his judgement. “Let me be the judge of that.” He got up off his chair “Let’s see what you’ve got.”

They walked together down a flight of stairs from the clean faculty offices to the grubby warren of laboratory spaces and write-up rooms. There was a faint smell of solvent and body odor in the air. After a few turns left and right they found the door with Peterson Lab written in black marker. Bob ignored the missing plaque as well as the other signs like You must be at least this crazy to work here and Warning! Don’t feed the Post Docs and opened the door to be greeted by the sound of giggling.

It was Fan, one of the Post Docs whose “Tee Hee” was coming from a huddle of Students and Post Docs around Phil’s bench spaces. There was an “ooooooo” from the assembled group followed by another giggle from Fan. Bob coughed loudly and everyone turned startled to greet Bob. “Oh Hi Professor!” One of the students said “You should see what Phil came up with.”

The crowd parted for Bob like Moses parting the Red Sea. In the center of the huddle was a large beaker with what looked like a piece of fabric in the centre. There was a wash bottle labeled Tap Water which Phil took in his hand. “Watch this” he said and squeezed the bottle gently. There was a small dribble of water from the spout that fell onto the fabric but before the water hit it bounced back off as if it were repelled by some magical force.

“Oh My God” Bob remarked, a smile filling his face, “How did you do this?”

“I took your lead professor.” Phil explained  “I added an extra hydrophobic group to the polymer chain giving it a over all non-polar field.” He dribbled more water on the fabric, it too flew off. “It looks like it is beyond superhydrophobic, water actively avoids it. This is ultrahydrophobic.”

Wordlessly, Bob took the bottle from his student and dropped water on the fabric himself. It again performed perfectly. “How much of this have you made?” He asked. “A whole sheet” Phil replied “It is surprisingly easy to manufacture.” Bob looked at Phil, his smile growing even bigger. “Do you still have your camera?” Bob asked Jenny, another student “I have an idea.”

That was how the video of Bob Peterson’s new style of Boot came into being. The miracle material that not only kept water out but actively repelled it was a media and commercial success. There would be many more applications for this wonder material. But this was the first, and it was a very good start.

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Picture it and Write: Close to Reality

Hi there! This is my offering for this week’s picture it and write for Ermilia’s blog here. Once again, the picture is not mine, I am only using it for inspiration. Anyway, enjoy.

Close to reality

Uuuuugh!!!! Toby could feel his head spinning. It was difficult to focus and he had a blinding headache. “What happened?” He asked himself, “I was driving home from the cinema when there a light and…” there was a blank. He had no idea what happened.

He was in a bed but when he lifted the sheets he found that the room looked different. Subtly so, but definitely different. The colours were off as were the size of various objects as if it had been measured using a fish-eye lens. It was all very confusing.

Toby lifted himself off the bed, his feet finding it difficult to find purchase on the sloping floor. There was a noise at the door of his room, he looked up and nearly collapsed at what he saw. There, standing slumped at the door, was his girlfriend, or at least someone who looked like her. There were ropes, or maybe strings attached to her limbs. As if on queue some of the strings jerked and she lifted up and began to speak.

“Greetings fellow human. Would you like me to provide you some animal protein or chopped plant matter for consumption?” That was beyond weird. The voice was not even coming from her mouth. “Er. Alice? Are you okay?” She lifted her head up and down in what might have been a nod then said “I am perfectly functional. Do not be concerned. Are you in adequate health?”

“Ummmm!” Toby scratched his chin, “I’m not sure. I think I may need some more sleep.”

“That is an excellent observation” she smiled “Would you perhaps need some assistance in getting to sleep?” She pulled what looked like a flashlight out of her pocket and started to advance. “Simply look into this and you will lose consciousness very quickly.”

Toby suddenly got very scared “Er. Maybe not. I think maybe I’ll take a pill.”

“Negative.” ‘Alice’ said “Medications could contaminate your results. I will have to insist that you do as I say.” She advanced towards Toby, “I do not want to physically force you.” She leaned forward, Toby leaned back. She stepped forward, Toby stepped back and tripped over the side of the bed, collapsed head over heels and hit his head against the dresser.

From outside the room Blaznarg let go of the strings keeping the human puppet and shifted to the one-way mirror to get a closer look at the new specimen. “Do you think it’s dead?” Asked Cosphuts, his colleague “It better not be. We don’t have the funding to gather a new one.”

“No. I think it’s alive. I can see it breathing. I don’t think we got it’s environment close enough.” Blaznarg looked again at Cosphuts “I told you we should have gotten more photographs.” He looked at the puppet now standing drooped on the lab floor “And we should have made sure that was more lifelike. Exactly like, not close enough.”

He thought for a second “Maybe an animatronic.”

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Picture it and Write: Henry’s home

Hi there! This is my offering for this week’s Picture it and Write from Ermilia’s blog here. Once again the picture is not mine, I only use it for inspiration. Anyway, Enjoy.

Henry’s Home

My Aunt Grace never really had a job, not as such. Sure she pottered around a bit, worked the odd day in the grocer’s or the post office. But those were never permanent, more helping out when there was a need. The thing was, money was never an issue. She had inherited a whole row of houses in the town that she rented for below market rates, more than enough to cover her needs. She was generous to a fault, always willing to drop a meal to the hungry or buy a round in the bar. She was an angel of mercy to many and everyone in the town had a soft spot for old Grace.

When you’re that loved, people are inclined to forgive most of the less profane eccentricities. In Grace’s case it was her ranch, about ten miles out of town. She had inherited it along with the other properties but didn’t seem to have a farming bone in her body and it quickly went to seed. What had once been prime agricultural land became a twisted mass of bushes and strong saplings. It was into this world that Henry was.

Henry was a Labrador pup that Grace had found in an alley behind a dumpster when she was helping out at the diner. She had given him some scraps that he wolfed down and after her shift was up she found he was still there. Henry had no tags and when Grace put the word out that she had found him no one came to claim him. She surmised the he must have been thrown away, another refugee from Christmas two months earlier. Well; if no one else wanted Henry, Grace was going to give him a home.  

Henry loved the semi wilds of Graces ranch. He sniffed around the hedges for hours bringing back sticks and stones and God knows what else for his new best friend. But it soon came to pass that Grace had the feeling that Henry was in need of a companion.

So Grace made the trip down to the pound and brought back Jasmine, a red setter. Followed a couple of weeks later by Colin the Collie. It began to become abundantly clear that Grace had found her calling in life.

The three dogs she had soon became ten and then quickly enough thirty, all of them strays. Both the pound and the Sheriff had her number on speed dial since she was always willing to take on another friend. They were all looked after by the local vet and, after one too many incidents, all neutered. Every single one of them happy.

That was now my Aunt spend the rest of her years. Inside a maelstrom of tail-wagging, tongue waving, and nose nuzzling. That is not to say things were all plain sailing. There were one or two bad apples as bite-marks would testify not to mention the sad attrition of old friends including old Henry who left to chase squirrels in the sky at the grand old age of eighteen. There were some tears then.

But it was worth it and in the end Grace left the ranch in trust, to all canines who would have need of it, Henry’s home for Dogs, into perpetuity.

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