Here’s a different kind of Valentine’s Story with a different kind of happy ending. Written a few years back with the prompts: Angus lost a shoe not far from the folly, busy street but you are alone, dog named Moose who didn’t like men, buyer’s remorse, refuse, I can carry on
It all started the night Marilyn’s husband Angus lost his shoe somewhere in the backyard, near the gazebo that Marilyn called the folly. At least that was how she liked to tell the story. Marilyn offered to go back outside with him to look for the shoe, this time armed with flashlights, but Angus refused. This seemed odd to Marilyn, after all they were his only pair of dress shoes, and he would need them in the morning.
It all became clear later when Marilyn remembered Moose. Moose was their neighbor Genevieve’s dog, and Moose did not like men. So if Angus had gone back to retrieve his shoe—where he’d actually left his shoe—then Moose would get all riled up and yappy and then Marilyn would know.
Angus was a short, scrappy guy with a neatly trimmed beard. Marilyn had asked him repeatedly to either shave or grow it out a bit because his beard was just too prickly when they kissed. The morning after the lost shoe, when Marilyn saw the pale and willowy Genevieve with razor burn on her pink cheek, then she understood.
Genevieve was getting into her tiny brown fiat, wearing brown eye shadow and brown lipstick, looking very autumnal in a camel colored sweater. “I’ll trade you,” Marilyn yelled.
“Excuse me?” Genevieve asked, her fingers fluttering nervously as they pushed a stray hair away from her lovely heart shaped face.
“You can have him,” Marilyn declared. “But you’ve got to give me your dog. You’ve got to give me Moose.”
And just like that, the deal was done. When Angus came home that evening—to the house where he thought he lived—wearing both shoes, having mysteriously retrieved the one he’d lost sometime between breakfast and dinner time, he was greeted by Moose, a big-eyed Irish Wolfhound who nearly bit off Angus’s foot to use as a chew toy.
“You live next door now,” Marilyn told him. “I’ll have your clothes sent over. And you tell Genevieve it’s a done deal. No use getting buyer’s remorse.”
“Don’t I get a say in this?” Angus began. In response, Marilyn pointed at Moose, who went after Angus’s other foot. “Of course you have a say,” Marilyn insisted as Angus beat a hasty retreat out the door and across the lawn to his new domicile.
Marilyn and Moose went for daily walks through the neighborhood. They had always lived on a busy street, but living with Angus had made Marilyn feel very alone. Moose was the companion she had always craved—tall and loyal, with predictable habits. They didn’t exactly have conversations, but Moose appeared to be an empathetic listener. “I can carry on,” she told Moose. “I can dream again.”
“Woof,” Moose mumbled affectionately.
Photo by Stephane Juban on Unsplash.
4 thoughts on “Marilyn’s Folly”
This is clearly the best all time “shaggy dog story I use ever seen!
It’s certainly that! Thanks, Dick!
Lovely! If more people thought about what they truly want/need we would have more stories like this. Of course Angus might not have gotten what he truly wanted/needed but this story is not about him.
Thank you! You get it!!