Drop #26: Dachshund

I felt empathy, real empathy, for the first time in months as I stood outside, watching her buy cookies through the large window. She didn’t know I was there, and so, made no effort to pull her face into any appropriate shape. With nobody around to fool or impress, it found relief, once more, in an anxious norm. Here was real sadness, but moreover, a deep confusion about life in general, and an inability to overcome it, and I felt sorry for her.

She reached the cashier and I went around the corner cause I didn’t want her knowing I’d seen her so bare. I hadn’t wanted to spend the afternoon with her but circumstance had made it so, and I’d been whining about it in my head. I decided now to make an effort and be nice.

We met up again as planned, a block away, and started walking to meet her brother, who was at a café nearby.

‘He has the dog with him,’ she said.

‘Oh,’ I said, showing interest. ‘Which kind?’

‘It’s a dachshund.’

‘Great! One of my favorite breeds.’ This was no lie. I had an affinity for the short-legged fellows and knew a thing or two about them too; in fact, I’d been waiting ages for a chance to tell my dachshund story. How serendipitous: a bit of civility rewarded! ‘You know,’ I said, ‘they were bred to hunt badgers. Can you imagine? They sent them down holes after the tenacious bastards.’

‘Really?’ she said.

I couldn’t gauge her interest but pushed on: ‘as a matter of fact, their original name was Dachs Krieger, or badger warrior. You might not think it by looking at one, but it really is a formidable breed. They were even used to hunt much larger prey like antelope and wild boar sometimes.’

‘Wow.’

We kept walking. I was happy. For once I had shed my cynicism and found reward in it. A few minutes later we reached the café, where her brother was waiting outside with the dog and got up to shake my hand.

‘Nice to meet you,’ I said, but I wasn’t looking at him.

‘Oh, this is Nougat,’ he said, rubbing the fluffy thing’s head. It was a King Charles spaniel: the ultimate lap dog.

Come on! I thought. That’s not even fucking close.

By E.M. Vireo

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About EM Vireo
flooding the world with fiction

9 Responses to Drop #26: Dachshund

  1. Loved this one! Really identified with the main character/narrator. Also learned stuff, which is always a bonus. Your first paragraph is especially good, I particularly liked “With nobody around to fool or impress, it found relief, once more, in an anxious norm” More like this!

  2. How often I think I’m right, only to be proven otherwise. Good story.

  3. MC L says:

    You have a gift of capturing these moments

  4. Intense Hsiu says:

    The ultimate lap dog. Oh yeah.
    More!
    And:
    ‘It’s a dachshund.’
    ‘Great! One of my favorite breeds.’
    Love it.

  5. Intense Hsiu says:

    Good one. Not the perfect one to start a day, as I just did, it definitely makes you think about it.

    Thank you for sharing your tales.

  6. jim says:

    Careful, now. Truffles’ ma was a Cavalier King Charles; on the other hand her pa was a Beagle, another hunter. But I go along with the positive comments above

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