What a gentle footfall tells

Sometimes it’s the smell, sometimes it’s the way they softly plant their feet, sometimes it’s my instinct, but frankly most of the time it’s just pure luck.

There are cases when I’m fooled: a kick, a thrown rock, or just an angry glance, but each time you get a little wiser, and often a biscuit or two.

This time everything seems right; the gentle planting of feet; the smell with a hint of bread. I slowly sneak up on the biped bitch. Yelping.

Finally she turns around and smiles at me:

“Buster — I’ve been looking all over for you”

This week I immediately focused on the dog, it is my first time i think to choose a dog point of view, and also this is a happy little tale I hope, everyone have their discomfort zone, and this Lassie like tale frankly is a little bit too syrupy for my taste. I’m due to hand in my first draft of a story of 4000-6000 words this weekend, and I find writing long is more like work than inspiration, any tip are welcome.

Friday Fictioneers is a great group of inspired and inspiring writers under the skilled supervision of Rochelle Wissoff-Fields who every week gather inspiration from a single picture and write to that.

February 25, 2015

50 responses to “What a gentle footfall tells

  1. I laughed at how the use of “bitch” threw me off. Of course, from a dog’s POV, it makes perfect sense, but until that POV was certain, I wasn’t sure which way things were going to go.


  2. I’m with Janet…. the initial instinct reading “bitch” is contempt, but then you realize where it’s coming from — perfect turnaround. Loved this tail. I mean tale. Um. Of course.

  3. I have a friend, Clowie, a phyrenees mountain dog with a blog and she calls her people bipeds as well. I love the hint of bread in the smell – that warm, welcoming smell. Good take on this. I stick to short poems in the belief the few words and the reader’s imagination is the best combo. But I did do a lonnnnnng piece – I divided it into parts and wrote it each part as a separate unit and then then joined them together. Each part was divided – the meeting, the conversations, the daily life, the problems, the leaving. I don’t know if that helps and again, I don’t have a wealth of experience with this/ But it did help me. Good luck! I know it will be excellent just based on previous works of yours.

  4. I liked the story from the dog’s point of view. The word “bitch” threw me off at first but then I got it!

  5. It is a bit syrupy but sometimes we need syrupy just like we need a good kanelbulla even though it is not the healthiest. I enjoyed the point of view and the fact that we only knew for sure at the end.

  6. For someone who told Rochelle you were stuck for inspiration you’ve done well! Nothing wrong with a sweet story occasionally – it shows versati;ity.

  7. Ah, as a dog lover I really liked this story. I smiled at the ‘biped bitch.’ I suppose that is what I am in the eyes of my dog as well. Smiles. Very clever…and I don’t find it syrupy.

  8. I know what you mean by sappy stories – not my forte either, but I think you carried this well. It’s happy, but not syrupy.
    I really liked that ‘testing the people’ angle you took – will this one feed me? Is this one mean? Make me think of the ancient origins of dogs – wolves that discovered cooperating with people was an evolutionary advantage.


  9. It was a happy, heartwarming tale, and don’t worry, “bitch” derailed you from Lassie land.

    And for the longer story, you can always do what I do with papers: screw around with it till you’re so sick of it you can’t take it anymore, then send it off!

  10. Bjorn,
    Believable, substantive anthropomorphism is difficult to pull off, yet you’ve done a splendid job here. Great work. I especially love “biped bitch.” That seems the exact sort of thing a dog would say about a female human.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

  11. Dogs think they’re so smart, don’t they? Smells like Buster has a tasty treat coming his way.
    By the time you read this it will probably be Saturday for you…I hope your story draft is submitted by now. You deserve a treat for getting that done.

  12. Our dog is named Buster too. I’m afraid he couldn’t sneak up on a roast beef sandwich. I understand what you mean about the longer stories. Most of mine fall between 1500 and 2500 words. Beyond that, it’s like wading through deep mud and becomes more like work than pleasure.

  13. I enjoyed the ‘dogg’ POV – it made a nice change from the many human ones. You’ve given Buster quite a character, Bjorn. He seems a bit of a scoundrel to me. A great last line. 🙂

  14. I love the way the POV unfolds, but if she’s got a name for the dog, wouldn’t the dog have a slightly different attitude toward her? I would think there’d be more confidence and friendliness.

  15. You made me I like Buster. I sympathise, because you portray his life as not so different from humans’: today they throw you biscuits, tomorrow, a stone. I am smiling at ‘biped bitch’. I’m wondering how he can sneak up yelping though. It’s a bit like shouting in a whisper. I like Buster though. I was glad he got back with his ‘mistress’. 🙂

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