Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Clarence leaves his mark

When Paul signed on at Centrelink to look for a job they took his details and asked for his postal address. He had given his mother a poste restante address of a post office in the next suburb over but this only lasted a month. So he had to give them Maisie’s Post Office box number. He only discovered that she had no mail delivered to the house when he was clearing out the front yard. There was no letterbox! However there was a sign on the fence that said “No Junk Mail”. Maisie explained that by having a box number no one really knew where you lived and the front garden wasn’t cluttered up with rubbish. Paul had a little smile on his face when she told him that but was wise enough to keep his mouth shut.
Walking up the laneway at the back of the house he could hear Maisie talking to someone in the back yard.
“Clarence, don’t think you can come crawling back in here. I told you last time that I had finished with you, now you have done the dirty on me again”.
Paul couldn’t believe his ears. Surely she didn’t have someone else that used her place to doss down in. He couldn’t figure out whether to go through the back gate or keep out of sight. He was so full of his news that he would get a job start allowance just needing to front up each fortnight to say what jobs he had applied for and by keeping a log book. He fiddled about a bit then took the plunge and opened the gate.
Maisie was at the back door, admonishing the dog. Suddenly it all appeared clear, Clarence was the dog and that name was only mentioned when he had done something wrong. Maisie looked up saw Paul then looked down at the dog again and put her finger to her lips so as to let the dog know he shouldn’t say anything.
Paul sighed in relief. It was business as usual in his new home!
Well?” said Maisie.
The dog meanwhile was unsure whether he was allowed back in or not, nudged the flyscreen door without success. He then gave up and went to see whether his weekly juicy bone hidden in the garden had been found by the cats or even the goat.
Paul explained to Maisie what had happened and his use of her address for correspondence.
“That’s all right Paul, you are one of the family now”.
It was the first time she had called him by his name. He was so touched that he gave her a hug and said, “It really feels like that too”.
Meanwhile the Galah swinging in its cage above them let out a fearful screech.
At which Maisie retorted, “I don't think she is so stressed any more she is getting some of her feathers back”.
We will leave Maisie for the moment, however she may return from time to time.


  1. Quite a life she has. Great write.

  2. You are a born showman Rob - leave us gasping for more, but we will have to wait. Ah, well! At least it seems we will meet her again sometime. Not too long though, eh?

  3. No more Maisie? I shall miss her. The joy of being called by your name and of having a place to call home is so have captured it with your usual grace..a natural storyteller indeed..Jae

  4. Sheilagh Lee said:Always leaving your readers wanting more bravo!

  5. Happy for Paul!

    Here's Mine:

  6. Having a couple dogs of my own, I can relate entirely to the awkwardness a third party might experience in overhearing my interacting with them. Fun tale with a colorful scene!

  7. I'll miss her, I'll miss them all ... and the galah! a wonderful story :o)

  8. It looks like things are working out for both of them. And the bird!

  9. So many unanswered questions. Please don't make us wait very long to here more. Nicely done.

    My TWW: The Good Life

  10. I love Maisie. I know she needs some time to breathe (like any wine worth its glass), but we look forward to her (your) return!

    Very nice! Amy

  11. We'll leave her with the dogs and the new son and the squawker, but someday we'll expect her back.

  12. The dog stands out to me the most in this piece, then again I often relate to trying to nudge my way into forgiveness with my puppy dog eyes. It rarely works.

    Great piece you offered here, I could almost feel the Southern/Midwest sunlight spilling on the back of my neck. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Oh - I hope to see more of Maisie! I am hopelessly hooked on this story and I need to find out more answers to questions! You've spun quite a yarn!

  14. The writing definitely carries an English tone. One never hears of people having goats in their yards here...even in Texas. I like that the gent stayed out of pocket rather than inject himself into the conversation with Clarence. People here are so confrontational.

  15. I'm sorry to see Maisie go.
    Wonderful piece of writing.