Navigating her trusty barque through the Sea of Overwhelm, our protagonist finds her gaze diverted to the shore by a gentle beast who appears to be in distress.

Gentle Beast

“What ho?” she cries, and pulls alongside the struggling animal. “It appears thou hast a mighty thirst, young one. It is nigh 100 degrees of the thermometer today.”

The creature lowers itself to the turf and flops upon its side, exposing a pestilence-ridden underbelly.

“Oh woe, little dude, the mites that plague thee! And there is no flesh to cover thy ribs! Here, have a stale biscuit that has been in my satchel for perhaps weeks now, I don’t remember.”

The wretched thing accepts the morsel with gratitude. Thump goes the mutt’s tail against the ground. Crunch, crunch. Thump, thump.

“Well, I cannot forsake thee here. Should you attempt to cross this turbulent ocean, some Ford Squarerigger or Chrysler Schooner will surely run thee over. Nay, you must climb aboard my Subaru Barque, and I will carry thee to safety.”

The beast hesitates. Our heroine attempts to lure him into the vessel—alas, he is too fearful. She finally hoists him up in her arms and deposits him on the thwart. They set sail.

“Beware the Dragon of Cynicism to the east—see it there! It rears its head to spout negatory comments! Listen.”

“You will never find a home for that varmint!”

“You dastardly naysayer! I shall slay thee with my Harpoon of Hope!”

The varmint looks skeptical.

The duo arrive at their destination, and the beast is offered a plate of chopped fowl. He devours it and gulps from a flagon of sweet water. Our valiant protagonist is exhausted. She sends her messenger to the shire’s Lord of the Beasts. The officer sends word back that he will accept this animal temporarily, but should it not find a permanent residence, he will banish the wee one to the Isle of Lost Souls….

Our heroine coaxes the beast toward his fate, through the Forest of Abject Guilt.

“I would like to keep thee as a companion, friend, but I have two mutts already that I tend. Plus, I’m trying to sell a house and buy a house and I just started a new job and broke up with my boyfriend and my grandma had a stroke yesterday. No can do, buddy.”

The Lord of the Beasts meets the pair on the trail and whisks the animal into his carriage.

“Remember my words, Avid Bruxist…you must find a home for this creature.” A tear slips down our heroine’s cheek.

Then another. And pretty soon she’s bawling like a little bitch.

[Anybody want a dog?]