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Ian & Raven raveian@wolston.com 503-394-2021

 

Here his Ears Were

(This short piece was written as part of a challenge to write a 300 word or less story starting out with the words "here his ears were")

Here his ears were, flopping rambunctiously anywhichway, now to one side, now to another, sometimes standing upright, other times cocked on one side like an Australian bush hat. He noticed no difference. He could be sound asleep, and those ears would pick up the slightest drift of sound, the merest hint of his humans' voices, a morsel of food hitting his dish, the soft pad of the cat crossing the room. He could be out in a raging wind storm, the gale howling, sheep bleating their terror and stupid confusion, and he¹d hear the boss's voice, "Come by!" from 200 yards away.

His humans' little girl adored his ears, she called them his flags. "Wave your flags, Moss!" she laughed, as he shook his head and his ears flapped madly. She loved to stroke his soft ears, to smooth the beautiful shiny black fur, to bury her little nose between them and kiss the top of his head as he grinned foolishly and his tail betrayed him by wagging his delight.

Today a man came by the farm looking for a Border Collie to buy. He talked with the boss, asked about litters coming up. The boss called Moss over. "This boy right here is my top hand," he said, and Moss beamed proudly, recognizing the fond tone. "We couldn't run the place without him. We're planning to have a litter this winter from him and our top bitch, Hope."

The man looked at Moss. "Thanks anyway, but I wouldn¹t be interested. Look at his ears! They're certainly not "breed standard," and how would I know that his pups wouldn't have the same problem."

The boss laughed, scratched Moss's good head, ruffled his perfect ears. And he said to the man: "Goodbye."