Kreative Kue 247

Kreative Kue 246 asked for submissions based on this photograph:

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John W Howell is the author of the John Cannon trilogy of My GRL, His Revenge, Our Justice and Circumstances of Childhood, co-author of The Contract, and blogs at Fiction Favorites.

Ball by John W. Howell © 2020

“What are you doing up there?”

“I can’t seem to find anything.”

“What is the problem.”

“I have mislaid my bouncy ball.”

“Well, I don’t think you’re going to find it u there.”

“It could have bounced onto this shelf.”

“With the ladder in the way, I hardly think so.”

“It is possible.”

“Okay, I’ll admit the possibility is there I just doubt the feasibility.”

“You have a lot of bility. How about you giving me an idea of where the ball went.”

“Let me ask. Who was the last one playing with the ball?”

“Er. That would be me.”

“Okay, where were you playing with the ball?”

“In the yard, I think.”

“So, what makes you think it is on that shelf?”

“A hunch.”

“And you decided to follow your hunch?”

“Yes, that’s it. I followed my hunch.”

“The fact that a bag of treats is on that shelf has no relevance, huh?”

“T-treats. I don’t see no stinking treats.”

“Come down from there. Let me smell your breath.”

“Smsnbrrtlrthe brth.”

“Open your mouth.”

“Mmmbftth.”

“For heaven’s sake. You have a mouthful of treats.”

“Dgtjoegbthh.”

“Drop them.”

“Fine.”

“What do you have to say for yourself?”

“I’m a victim.”

“A victim? What are you talking about.”

“Dog abuse.”

“Come again?”

“The placement of the ladder was without regard to my natural instincts to hunt down the treats. Hello ASPCA.”

“I’ll ASPCA you. Bad dog.”

“Abusive language. I think I have PTSD.”

“Have a treat.”

“Bribery. Class D misdemeanor.”

“You’ve been watching too many cop shows. Go to your bed.”

“Solitary confinement. Against the Geneva convention.”

“So, sue me.”

“First how about a game of catch?”

“Where’s the ball?”

“In the yard where it’s been all along.”


This happy tail is from Na’ama Yehuda, who blogs at https://naamayehuda.com :

Dogged Dobbie by Na’ama Yehuda

“What’s he doing?”

Martha shrugged.

“What’s in there?”

She tilted her head at him, and he demurred. She was clearly occupied. She had a bone to pick and he knew that if he pushed her with one more question she’d snap his head off. Or try.

He wasn’t going to let her try.

He moved closer to his friend.

“Dobbie?” he asked the headless figure. Did she snap his head off already? No, there was a tail wag. He didn’t think Dobbie would wag his tail if he didn’t have a head. He’d be too sad. No sniff. No lick. No yum.

“What’d’ya doin’ in there?”

The tail paused, then gave a halfhearted, one-sided sway. A sign?

“You stuck?”

Hesitant then enthusiastic wag.

“How’d you get stuck there?”

There was probably no way to wag an answer to that. Not to mention that Dobbie found a way to get stuck just about anyplace. Between the legs of a chair. Under the bed. With a garbage bin over his head. …

Max sniffed. There had to have been some food up there. Dobbie never could resist anything gobbleable. Max sniffed again. Traces. It’d be all gone by the time Dobbie realized he should’ve planned a way out before he stuck his head in.

Dobbie’s tail wagged in half-regret, half-plea.

Max sighed.

“Hold on, Dobbie! I’ll get Com’eer!”


My effort was

Every dog has his way.

My humans think I’m a bit stupid. They think we all are. They must do.

Okay – how often do they pretend to throw a ball or a stick or something they want us to chase after and bring back, then laugh as we jump around looking for it? That’s what they think, anyway.  They haven’t worked out that we’re onto their tricks but know that if we play along and act as though we’re searching for whatever it is, we get a fuss – and that’s what it’s all about in the end, isn’t it? That or some food.

They even believe that when they do throw it, we chase after it and bring it back because we enjoy doing that. Pah! We do it for the cuddles, don’t we? That or the food treats. Either will do.

You see – they reckon that our greatest wish is to please the human who they fancy to be our pack leader; that we will do anything, whatever it takes, to stay in favour. I say again, pah!

They’ve never cottoned on that life is about two things: cuddles and food, food and cuddles. Nothing else matters. Nothing. Literally, nothing. Okay, perhaps sleep, too.

So we develop new tricks, new ways of endearing ourselves to them, new ways of giving them what they want in order to get what we want. And what do we want? That’s right, cuddles and food.

Mercenary? What do you mean, mercenary? Is it any more mercenary than the humans going to work every day, doing a job they mostly hate, just to get enough money to feed themselves? I think not.

My human was talking recently about something he called environmental enrichment. Apparently, he was reading a book (written, no doubt, by a human who thought that people would buy it and so give him money to feed his pack) that was saying we dogs get bored easily and that leads to what he called bad behaviour. Hah! Yes, we do get bored sometimes, but how do we deal with it? That’s right, we sleep!

Anyway, this book was telling things like it’s good to hide our food so we have to look for it (as if) so it keeps us interested. Let me ask you? What would humans do if you hid their food instead of laying it out in supermarkets or stacking it in fridges? Would that enrich their lives? I think not – so why would they think that sort of malarkey adds anything to ours?

My human hasn’t gone that far yet, but he has taken to hiding what he thinks is my favourite ball – it’s actually his, but I play along with it for the food and fuss. I’ve found that the more I look for it, the longer it takes me to ‘find’ it (even though I always know exactly where he’s put it), the bigger treat I get or the more fuss. So I play along with him.

Just now, I heard him tell someone that he’d hidden it at the back of the table. “Watch this”, he said to his friend, “Let’s see what he’ll do now – you know dogs don’t know about ladders, don’t you?”

Heh heh heh…


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On to this week’s challenge: Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at keithchanning@gmail.com before 6pm next Sunday (if you aren’t sure what the time is where I live, this link will tell you). If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here.

Go on. You know you want to. Let your creativity and imagination soar. I shall display the entries next Monday.

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