Tale Weaver — Peaceful Coexistence

C97B5C06-E9B8-4700-8229-70424A896D84.jpegBack in 2008, a black cat, about a year old, began hanging out on our porch. We had many feral cats in our neighborhood, but this cat wasn’t one of them. Feral cats skedaddle when a human approaches them. But this cat would permit us to pick him up and put him on our laps and would purr while we sat down on our porch swing and stroked him. We figured he escaped from someone’s house or yard, and so my wife decided to take him in until we could find his owner. I took a picture of the cat and put “lost cat” posters up all around the neighborhood, but no one ever called to claim him.

And that’s how we came to have a cat in our household.

About a year later our, daughter and her husband rescued a four year old, all black shepherd/lab mix from a kill shelter. Two years after that, our daughter and her husband got divorced and they each moved away, so my wife and I offered to “adopt” their dog.

And that’s how we came to have a dog in our household.

Our cat and our dog live together in our home in what can best be described as “peaceful coexistence.” Even though our dog is at least five times the size of our cat and outweighs him by 60 pounds, she typically gives him a wide berth, since, if she gets too close to him (i.e., within striking distance), our cat has no qualms about swatting, claws fully extended, at our poor, hapless dog.

But we love them both and they bring so much pleasure into our lives. We are empty-nesters and our dog and cat are like our children. In fact, my wife often refers to them as her “little black babies.” She’s obviously not bothered by political correctness.


Written for this week’s Tale Weaver prompt from Michael at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. We are asked to write our ‘pet’ story, be it about “the pet you have or once had or some imaginary pet.” Mine is about the pets we have.

The New Manager’s First Day

43FE191A-36BB-40D3-9E0F-29F27FAF4A45Millie put down the piece of chalk, stood back, and admired the elegant script she used to list the special salads on the blackboard for the hotel’s organic café. “Uh oh,” she said to herself when she realized she had failed to include “Under New Management” on the blackboard. That is not something she wanted to omit, given that this was her first day on the job as the café’s manager.

The previous manager had been fired when it was discovered that, in order to save money, he had used non-organic foods in the café. For example, he would fill bottles labeled as organic cooking oil with cheaper, non-organic oil. He was a cheater and Millie was bound and determined to make a good impression on her first day.

A woman stepped into the café and sat down at a table. Millie went to greet her, pointed to the blackboard, and asked her what she would like. “I’ll have the chef salad with oil and vinegar on the side,” the woman said. “And a cup of tea,” she added.

“Coming right up,” Millie said with a smile.

A few minutes later, Millie delivered the tea and the salad with dressing on the side. “Is there anything else I can bring you?”

“Thanks,” the woman said. “I’m all set.”

As Millie headed back toward the kitchen she heard the woman scream. Millie turned around to see her gagging. “Are you trying to poison me?” the woman said. She then stood up and literally ran out of the café.

Confused, Millie went back into the kitchen to check the ingredients used in the chef salad. Everything looked fine. And then she discovered the note from the fired manager. It read, “Ran out of organic salad oil, but fortunately was able to find a can of motor oil in the garage. Good luck on your first day, bitch.”


Written for Paula Light’s Three Things Challenge, where the three things are “black,” “hotel,” and “cheater.” Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (chalk), Your Daily Word Prompt (omit), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (oil), and Word of the Day Challenge (tea).

A Simple Question

6A42CD9F-1A4F-43F8-AE8E-A37E493B0BE8“It’s a ‘yes or no’ question, Mr. Avery,” the lawyer said.

Beads of perspiration were forming on Tom Avery’s forehead. He looked helplessly at the judge, who was sitting at the large desk on his right.

Having run out of patience, the attorney also looked up at the judge and said, “A little help, your honor.”

“Answer the question, Mr. Avery,” the judge said sternly.

Tom sighed. “It’s not a simple question.”

“Yes, Mr. Avery,” the attorney chided, “It is that simple. Yes or no?”

Tom cleared his throat, looked up at the judge, then over at the jury, and finally at the lawyer. “It’s not just black or white. There are gray areas. It’s complicated.”

The lawyer threw both of his arms up in the air out of frustration. He didn’t want the members of the jury to think he was badgering the witness, but he needed an answer. “Your honor,” he said, pleading with the judge.

“Answer the question, Mr. Avery,” the judge warned, “or I will hold you in contempt.”

Tom was now sweating profusely. He weighed his options carefully. Finally, he looked past the attorney at the plaintiff sitting at the table behind the lawyer.

“Okay, fine,” Tom said. Focusing his eyes directly on the plaintiff, he said, “Yes. My answer is yes.” A murmur ran through the courtroom. “Yes, Amanda, those jeans do make you look fat.”


Written for today’s one-word prompt, “black.”