Last week, we went to a Labor Day gathering at the home of our friends Rebecca and Chester. Naturally, everyone who came to the gathering prepared way too much fantastic food, so it was a feast that never seemed to get any smaller no matter how much we ate.
One of R&C’s dogs is a three-legged pooch called Tripod. A very sweet animal, it gets by just fine with just the three. While standing around Rebecca’s kitchen, one of the other attendees asked how Tripod came to lose a leg. Chester began to tell the tale, but Rebecca stopped him and said she had thought it would be funnier if they passed the storytelling baton to me, as the writer in the room, and let me come up with a story on the spot. No pressure.
“Get to work,” my wife said.
“Okaaaaay,” I said slowly, allowing me a few seconds thought. “So there was this orphanage that was on fire, you see,” I began. “And Tripod–well, the pre-Tripod, mind you–was rescuing all of the orphans from the fire,” I continued at a measured pace. “One by one he just kept dragging them out until he finally got to the very last orphan. Then, just as he was pushing that final orphan out into the safety of the night, the frame of the building collapsed…”
“And chopped off the leg,” Rebecca said.
“No, no. He narrowly escaped the collapse…” I continued, dreaming up another tragedy that could befall the poor dog.
“Tripod’s a girl,” my wife said.
“No. Not at that point in the story,” I quickly said. “That happens later.”