Poodle – A Short Story

“Fourteen years ago investing in poodles seemed like a good idea.”

How else could I have answered her shriek? How could she not have heard me moan about how hurtful she was every time she yelled, “What were you thinking?”

That question, actually more like a challenge in the beginning, had greeted my every morning. Surely, I thought, she would have stopped complaining after a few years and just accept my genius. But no, she has never shut up about my dear poodles. Lately, though, I’d just looked at her every insult and attack as just one more nail in the coffin of our marriage.

Sure a lot of people thought I was, as my mother-in-law put it, “a damned fool” to invest, not waste like my brother said, a measly thousand bucks to follow my dream of, like the infomercial claimed, great wealth by breeding and raising French poodles. Not just any poodles, by the way. No, mine were guaranteed to be purebred providers of oodles of poodle puppies.

I sent in my money to get my two darlings, Zeke and Zoe, delivered. It was so nice of them to accept credit cards. And best of all – Zoe was pregnant. She was already in her sixth week. In just three weeks they promised, before I even got the MasterCard bill, I’d have my first litter of lovelies.

Were they ever right! On a beautiful, sunny spring day my Zoe presented her Zeke and me with six of the loveliest little pups you would ever want to see. Four boys and two girls.

Now came the exciting part of this venture – cashing in. Right away I put ads in the local papers to sell the boys for $200 each. When they sold, I reckoned I’d have 80% of my investment back except for the food and vet bills and AKC papers and the ads. I was this close to almost breaking even.

Why, in just 21 days I had quadrupled my herd! My brother-in-law, the stockbroker, was not impressed. The man had a reputation for favoring the “broke” in his title, if you know what I mean. I asked him how often he had ever doubled any of his investments? Well, that shut him up right there.

Now, I have to admit that breeding and selling French poodles did not turn out the way I thought it would. Turns out that there is a limited market for poodles, especially as I was producing almost 200 pups every year. But, that does not make me a failure. No way! I’m the largest poodle puppy producer in these parts even if I have to give them away.

I saw in the paper the other day where people are raising these ugly, spit-in-your-face Alpacas for their wool. Well, I saw a close up of that wool and it looked just like poodle clippings to me.

So now, I’m going to become the largest producer of poodle wool in the area! First thing I’m going to knit is a scarf for my wife. Kind of a thin one. With an eye like a fishhook that the tail can go through. I’ll tell her to close her eyes, that I have a real special treat for her. I’ll put it gently round her neck, put the tail through the eye and. . .

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