Listen to this piece read by the author

‘Tell them all to leave. I won’t look!’ her husband had said.

He’d just returned from a visit to town when he said, ‘Tell your boyfriends to leave!’

‘Oh, darling,’ his wife said, ‘I’m in the garden,’ and she went back outside to stand a moment near the flowering vine – the trained pillar form by the doorway.

Not today – none of the boyfriends were with her today and she felt poorly on account of it.

Nonetheless, in the salad garden, she could contemplate the bib and oak leaf and the Tom Thumb and she watered a potted plant. Then she knelt to snap off its finished blossoms and she littered the lawn with them.

On the sidewalk opposite, she saw her neighbor Mr Timmings embracing his Affenpinscher. She left her yard, well-prepared to charm either one of them.

Inside of the Timmings abode, the two forgot about the dog and worked hard to put a positive emphasis on one another. Within minutes she found herself in the correct position, as if for sleeping, making the minor adjustments of her arms and legs as necessary.

This posture has been her salvation, and Mr Timmings, on his knees, conjoined soon with her overhead.

Mercifully, she is free of any diseases – is intelligent, outgoing, confident – and also she tolerates hot weather reasonably well.

People who live with her admire her sympathetic nature. Although, she is not recommended for households with toddlers or small children and once she’s alert, it takes her a while to settle down.

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences