A Grave Misunderstanding

453 views
Skip to first unread message

Melinda - Porch Witch

unread,
May 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/25/00
to
ROFL!!! I loved it Kim :) A good little twist at the end. :)

Are you an ember, are you a flame?
Do you stand strong or melt in the rain?
Are you a weak link or part of the chain?
Are you part of the solution or part of the blame?
For We are the people, and We are the change.

Kim

unread,
May 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/25/00
to
A Grave Misunderstanding
by Leon Garfield

I am a dog. I think you ought to know right away, I don't want to save it up
for later, because you might begin to wonder what sort of person it was who
went about on all fours, sniffing at bottoms & peeing up against lampposts in
the public street. You wouldn't like it; & I don't suppose you'd care to have
anything more to do with me.

The truth of the matter is, we have different standards, me & my colleagues,
that is; not in everything, I hasten to bark, but in enough for it to be
noticable. For instance, although we are as fond of a good walk as the next
person, love puppies & smoked salmon, we don't go much on reading. We find it
hard to turn the pages. But, on the other paw, a good deep snoutful of mingled
air as it comes humming off a rubbish dump can be as teasing to us as a sonnet.
Indeed, there are rhymes in rancid odors such as you'd never dream of; and
every puddle tells a story.

We see things, too. Only the other day, when me & my Person were out walking, &
going as brisk a biscuits, through that green & quite place of marble trees &
stony, lightless lampposts, where people bury their bones & never dig them up,
I saw a ghost. I stopped. I glared, I growled, my hair stood on end--

"What the devil's the matter with you now?" demanded my Person.

"What a beautiful dog!" said the ghost, who knew that I knew what she was, &
that we both knew that my Person did not.

She was the lifeless, meaningless shell of a young female person whose bones
lay not very far away. No heart beat within her, there was wind in her veins, &
she smelled of worm-crumble & pine.

"Thank you," said my Person, with a foolishly desiring smile: for the ghost's
eyes were very come-hitherish, even though her hither was thither, under the
grass. "He is rather a handsome animal. Best of breed at Cruft's you know." The
way to his heart was always open through praises of me.

"Does he bite?" ask the ghost, watching me with all the empty care of
nothingness trying to be something.

"SHE"S DEAD---SHE"S DEAD!"

"Stop barking!" said my Person. "Don't be frightened. He wouldn't hurt a fly.
Do you come here often?"

"Every day," murmured the ghost, with a sly look toward her bones. She moved a
little nearer to my Person. A breeze sprang up, & I could smell it blowing
right through her, like frozen flowers. "He looks very fierce," said the ghost.
"Are you sure that he's kind?"

"COME AWAY----COME AWAY!"

"Stop barking!" commanded my Person, & looked at the ghost with springtime in
his eyes. If only he could have smelled the dust inside her head, & heard the
silence inside her breast! But it was no good. All he could see was a silken
smile. He was only a person, & blindly trusted his eyes...

"Dog's," said the ghost, "should be kept on a lead in the churchyard. There's a
notice on the gate." She knew that I knew where she was buried, & that I'd just
been going to dig up her bones.

My Person obeyed; & the ghost looked at me as if to say, "Now you'll never be
able to show him that I am dead!"

"SHE"S COLD! SHE"S EMPTY! SHE"S GRANDDAUGHTER DEATH!"

"Stop barking!" shouted my Person, &, dragging me after, walked on, already
half in love with the oveless ghost.

We passed very close to her bones. I could smell them, & I could hear the
little nibblers dryly rustling. I pulled, I strained, I jerked to dig up her
secret...

"He looks so wild!" said the ghost. "His eyes are rolling & his jaws are
dripping. Are you sure he doesn't have a fever? Don't you think he ought to go
to the vet?"

"He only wants to run off & play," said my Person. "Do you live near here?"

"YES! YES! RIGHT BY THAT MARBLE LAMPPOST! SIX PAWS DEEP IN THE EARTH!"

"Stop barking!" said my Person. "Do you want to wake up the dead?"

The ghost started. The she laughed, like the wind among rotten leaves. "I have
a room nearby," she murmured. "A little room all to myself. It is very
convenient, you know."

"A little room all to yourself?" repeated my Person, his heart beating with
eager concern. "How lonely that must be!"

"Yes," she said. Sometimes it is very lonely in my little room, even though I
hear people walking & talking upstairs, over my head."

"Then let me walk back with you," said my Person; & keep you company!"

"No dogs allowed," said the ghost. "They would turn me out, you know."

"Then come my way!" said my Person; & the ghost raised her imatation eyebrows
in imatation of surprise. "Madam will you walk," sang my Person laughingly.
"Madam will you talk, Madam will you walk & talk with me?"

"I don't see why not," smiled the ghost.

"BECAUSE SHE'S DEAD---DEAD---DEAD!"

"Stop barking!" said my Person. "I will give you the keys to Heaven, I will
give you the keys to my heart..."

"The keys of Heaven?" dighed the ghost. "Would you really?"

"And the keys to my heart! Will you have dinner with me?"

"Are you inviting me to your home?"

"NO GHOSTS ALLOWED! SHE'LL TURN ME OUT!"

"Stop barking! Yes...if you'd like to!"

"Oh I would indeed---I would indeed!"

"DON'T DO IT! YOU'LL BE BRINGING DEATH INTO OUR HOME!"

"For God''s sake, stop that barking! This way...this way..."

It was hopeless! There was only one thing left to for a dog to do. She knew
what it was, of course: she could see it in my eyes. She walked on the other
side of my Person, & always kept him between herself & me. I bided my time...

"Do you like Italian food?" ask my Person.

"No spaghetti," murmured the ghost. "It reminds me of worms."

It was then that I broke free. I jerked forward with all my strength & wrenched
the lead from out of my Person's grasp. He shouted! The ghost glared & shrank
away. For a moment I stared into her eyes, & she stared into mine.

"Dogs must be kept on a lead!" whispered the ghost as I jumped. "There's a
notice on...on...on..."

It was like jumping through cobwebs & feathers; & when I turned, she'd vanished
like a puff of air. I saw the grass shiver, & I knew she'd gone back to her
bones.

"SHE WAS DEAD! SHE WAS DEAD! I TOLD YOU SO!"

My Person didn't answer. He was shaking, he was trembling; for the first time,
he couldn't believe his eyes.

"What happened? Where---where is she? Where has she gone?"

I showed him, trailing my lead, I went to where she lay, six paws under, &
began to dig.

"No! No!" he shouted. "For God's sake let her lie there in peace!"

Thankfully I stopped. The earth under the grass was thick & heavy, & the going
was hard. I went back to my Person. He had collapsed on a bench & was holding
his head in his hands. I tried to comfort him by licking his ear.

A female person walked neatly by. She was young & smooth & shining, & smelled
of coffee & cats. She was dressed in the softest of white.

"Oh, what a beautiful dog," she said, pausing to admire me.

He stared up at her. His eyes widened; his teeth began to chatter. He could not
speak.

"GO ON! GO ON! 'BEST OF BREED AT CRUFT'S!'"

"Hush!" said the female person, reproaching me with a gentle smile. "You'll
wake up the dead!"

"Is she real?" whispered my Person, his eyes as wide & round as tins. "Or is
she a ghost? Show me, show me! Try to jump through her like you did before!
Jump! Jump!

"BUT SHE'S REAL! SHE'S ALIVE!"

"Stop barking & jump!"

So I jumped. She screamed---but not in fright. She screamed with rage. My paws
were still thick with churchyard mud, &, in a moment, so was her dress.

"You--you madman!" she shouted at my shamefaced Person. "You told him to do it!
You told him to jump! You're not fit to have a dog!"

"But---but--" he cried out as she stormed away, to report him, she promised, to
the churchyard authorities & to the RSPCA.

"I TOLD YOU SHE WAS ALIVE! I TOLD YOU SO!"

"Stop barking!" wept my Person. "Please!"
**************************************************
Porch Dreamer
The Keeper Of The Porch Points
Permanent Resident of The
Corner For The Easily Confused
Holder of the Golden Wiggle Award
**************************************
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
Steven Wright


Uriel - Guardian Angel of Naughty Girls

unread,
May 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/25/00
to
Good one Kim...

On 25 May 2000 00:47:21 GMT, aporch...@aol.comeandgo (Kim) wrote:

>A Grave Misunderstanding
>by Leon Garfield
>
>I am a dog. I think you ought to know right away, I don't want to save it up
>for later, because you might begin to wonder what sort of person it was who
>went about on all fours, sniffing at bottoms & peeing up against lampposts in
>the public street. You wouldn't like it; & I don't suppose you'd care to have
>anything more to do with me.

-
******************************************************
St. Uriel - Patron Saint of Naughty Little Girls
Official Porch N'er Do Well
and all around scoundrel
Keeper of the Porch Roster
Keeper of the Web Ring
Owner of the Porch Bionic Tongue
http://uriel443.home.att.net/
******************************************************

porch dog's squeaky toy

unread,
May 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/25/00
to
whoaaaa! Good one! :)


"Melinda - Porch Witch" <southern...@aol.com.pagan> wrote in message
news:20000524205633...@ng-fg1.aol.com...

XineWms

unread,
May 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/25/00
to
What an AWESOME story!!

Thanks for posting it, Kim!!

Xine

XineWms

unread,
May 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/25/00
to
>A good little twist at the end. :)

Hmmm. I could use a good little twist in the end...

ooops! Wrong NG... I keep forgetting where I am...excuse me.

Xine

XineWms

unread,
May 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/25/00
to
PS... I read this story out loud to my husband who ALSO really dug it.

Xine

Kim

unread,
May 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/25/00
to
<g> Read it out loud to him? Cool beans! Thanks, Xine.
Kim
*****
P.S. :) Did you tell him I thought your mystery noise was something in heat,
too?

Kim

unread,
May 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/25/00
to
Thanks Sarah! {{hugs}}
Kim < who has been to the library :)
*****
>porch dog's squeaky toy wrote:
>whoaaaa! Good one! :)

Kim

unread,
May 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/25/00
to
Thanks Mel! Glad you liked it. :)
Kim
*****
>Melinda wrote:
>ROFL!!! I loved it Kim :) A good little twist at the end. :)

Kim

unread,
May 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/25/00
to
Thanks Uri! I liked it, too. :D)
Kim
*****
>Uri wrote:
>Good one Kim...

Kim

unread,
May 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/25/00
to
I'm glad to have made you chuckle, Dawn! You've given me alot of laughs with
your stories about the farm. They hit real close to home at times. <g>
{{{Hugs}}}
Kim
*****
>Dawn wrote:
>That's a great story....made me chuckle all the way thru!

XineWms

unread,
May 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/25/00
to
>P.S. :) Did you tell him I thought your mystery noise was something in heat,
>too?

No, I didn't remember :-(

He has given up, though, his original theory that in a fox den nearby some
mother fox was in labor and became obsessed with the idea that we had fox
puppies.

For a week after my report, every time one of the foxes would run by with
something in its mouth he'd yell "What's it got in it's mouth?? Is it a pup or
food???"

After hearing it... well, he's finally convinced he's not really a fox daddy
after all.

Well, that is to say, he IS a fox daddy, but, that's another kind of thing
entirely...;-) hubba hubba.

Xine

Kim

unread,
May 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/25/00
to
You see foxes a lot? It's rare to see them in my area. Well, it's better than a
mountain lion...(lions & tigers & bears, oh my!)
Hubby's a fox daddy? You lucky, lucky girl! ;)
Kim
*****

XineWms

unread,
May 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/25/00
to
>You see foxes a lot?

Yeah... we have quite a few red foxes around here... Sometimes they hunt out in
our yard right in front of the windows... sometimes you just see them walking
around, minding their own business all up and down the street.

Last saturday we had a little party... the group stood on the porch with field
glasses and managed to see three foxes within about 2 hours...

It made me proud, like I had the first thing to do with it....

Xine

XineWms

unread,
May 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/25/00
to
>We have an elusive Red Wolf stalking around here.

WOW!! Now THAT'S exciting!! I'd LOVE to see one of those critters in the
wild!

Xine

Carol Wyche

unread,
May 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/25/00
to
Kim <aporch...@aol.comeandgo> wrote:

> A Grave Misunderstanding
> by Leon Garfield
>

A very amusing story. Who's Leon Garfield. I don't believe I have run
across this writer.

--
Carol

Over the hill? What hill? I don't remember any hill.

Kim

unread,
May 26, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/26/00
to
Oh Dawn! A red wolf! Wow! That's something I'd like to see, from a distance of
course!
Kim
*****
>Dawn wrote:
>We have an elusive Red Wolf stalking around here. I've seen it 3
>times. The most beautiful, graceful creature. My aunt thought I was
>bonkers...but the Amish neighbors I have, seen it the same time I did.
>Thank goodness for witnesses. lol.

Kim

unread,
May 26, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/26/00
to
We see deer constantly. Fresh pine tree tips are one of their favorite things.
They even come up in the yard & eat apples off of the trees.
We have seen coyotes for the first time in years, you hear them, but rarely see
them. It's great when you get to appreciate other people's experiences with
"your" wild life, isn't it? :D)
Kim
*****

LITTLEPJoo

unread,
May 26, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/26/00
to
Great story~~~!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks Kim!!!!!!
PJ

XineWms

unread,
May 26, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/26/00
to
>We see deer constantly.

LOL, yeah, we get a herd of 6-12 through the yard almost every day!! But,
they're not those beautiful, silky deer like you see back east... they're a
kind of scruffy breed called "mule deer". Still... I get excited every day as
though I've never seen a honkin' deer before! lol

Xine

Kim

unread,
May 26, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/26/00
to
_Horror Stories_
chosen by Susan Price
Kingfisher Publishing

It's a collection of short stories. Stephen King has one in it called, "Here
There Be Tygers."

Kim
*****


>Carol wrote:
>A very amusing story. Who's Leon Garfield. I don't believe I have run
>across this writer.

Kim

unread,
May 26, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/26/00
to
Your welcome! :D)
Kim
*****
>PJ wrote:
>Great story~~~!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks Kim!!!!!!

porch dog's squeaky toy

unread,
May 27, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/27/00
to
you want coyote and deer? Come to my neck of the woods! :)


"Kim" <aporch...@aol.comeandgo> wrote in message
news:20000525210648...@ng-co1.aol.com...

Uriel - Guardian Angel of Naughty Girls

unread,
May 27, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/27/00
to
That's a good one... I think he's got it in Nightmares and
Dreamscapes, too. Makes you think twice about going to tinkle.

On 26 May 2000 20:46:53 GMT, aporch...@aol.comeandgo (Kim) wrote:

>_Horror Stories_
>chosen by Susan Price
>Kingfisher Publishing
>
>It's a collection of short stories. Stephen King has one in it called, "Here
>There Be Tygers."
>
>Kim
>*****
>>Carol wrote:
>>A very amusing story. Who's Leon Garfield. I don't believe I have run
>>across this writer.
>

>>Kim <aporch...@aol.comeandgo> wrote:
>>
>>> A Grave Misunderstanding
>>> by Leon Garfield
>>>
>

-

Gryphon

unread,
May 27, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/27/00
to
What a truly lovely story.

--
Gryphon (0)^(~)
Ghosts & Other Haunts (NZ Ghosts)
"May you always walk in sunshine"
http://go.to/nzghosts
http://members.xoom.com/nzghosts


"Kim" <aporch...@aol.comeandgo> wrote in message

news:20000524204721...@ng-fd1.aol.com...

Kim

unread,
May 28, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/28/00
to
Why thanks, Gryphon! *S*
Kim
*****

>Gryphon wrote:
>What a truly lovely story.

>"Kim" wrote:
>> A Grave Misunderstanding
>> by Leon Garfield
>>

Andros

unread,
May 31, 2000, 3:00:00 AM5/31/00
to
In MY neck of the woods you'll see deer, moose, bear
and you may catch a ghost once in a while

porch dog's squeaky toy wrote:

> you want coyote and deer? Come to my neck of the woods! :)
>

> "Kim" <aporch...@aol.comeandgo> wrote in message

slysh...@gmail.com

unread,
Jun 1, 2016, 6:21:31 PM6/1/16
to
My young son would like to know what is the main conflict and how does it get resolved?

nichola...@gmail.com

unread,
Jan 2, 2020, 12:21:57 PM1/2/20
to
It’s a good book
Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages