Category Archives: Stories & Brief Tales

A Problem in the Bronx Zoo

We share 98% of our DNA with the Lowland Gorilla.  Can we say that we are fairly close on the evolutionary tree? Among the features that we have in common are opposable thumbs and finger nails. Finger nails? Finger nails!  … Continue reading

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So, Felicity it is

Felicity?  I know, I know… not a great name for a Guinea Hen!  But what could we do?  The fancy, shmancy breeder had already named her Felicity!  I wanted to name her Margaret, or Elizabeth, or Eleanor, or Sacagawea, or … Continue reading

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Déjà Vu, All Over Again: Act II, Scene 2

“But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, Who is already sick and pale with grief, That thou her maid art far more … Continue reading

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Note on the Fridge

Calpurnia: I’m off to Pompey’s Theatre and then to the Senate.  Much to do before I take the army to crush the Parthian Empire.  Meantime, before I leave I have to bring the Senators to heel.  And before I crack … Continue reading

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Zmartwychwastanie

I remember this as if it happened yesterday.  We were from a small isolated forest village near the Vistula.  Our village was so small that it made other small villages look like cities.  Maybe that’s why they didn’t send a … Continue reading

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The Day of Rabbit’s Worry

On a day that I was thinking about, our friend Rabbit found himself in a fit of worry and agitation.  He paced the greeting spot of his well tended home that was comfortably tucked into a corner of 100 Acre … Continue reading

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A Man of Letters & An Invisible Rabbit

I call it a “mail box surprise”!  Amongst a few bills and some irritating political adverts, a letter.  A real letter! A good friend chooses to communicate with me not by phone, not by email, or texting… but in the … Continue reading

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As I Was Saying

My kids suggested that a return would be beneficial for me.  So here I am, in the town of my childhood… Pequot Landing, Connecticut… in the section known as the Village, a mile as the crow flies from Long Island … Continue reading

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Why I Am Not Going To Summer Camp This Year

Let’s be clear on this.  They can’t make me! If I have to I will remain in this bathroom forever.  I will turn off all the lights.  I will grab the plush bath towels taken from the Connaught Hotel in … Continue reading

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Mrs. Tilden Suffers a Meltdown

“OK class… here are your parts for today. Gifford you’re Caesar. Martin you’re Antony. Jean-Margaret you’re Calpurnia. Elizabeth you’ll be Portia. Gaylord… Cicero. Lawrence… Brutus. Tall Simon… Cassius. Red Hair Simon… Casca. And Fitzhugh, you’re Titus Vestricious Spurinna the Soothsayer…” … Continue reading

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Castle On A Cloud

It was not their first walk together, nor would it be their last.  But it would be one that they both would remember; ’til the last great kreetisfer bird dropped from the sky. It was not his suggestion.  It was not … Continue reading

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Play It Again

The sun poured into that corner of the room thru the oversized windows.  He could have been sitting in a Palace.  The Hermitage? Schönbrunn Palace? But this is now, not then… not a scene from Amadeus. And the person at … Continue reading

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It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

Sandy wasn’t keen on the idea at first.  I told her about the abundance of potassium contained in bananas. I admit it… I was trying to wean her off those expensive potassium pills she buys on aisle #1 in Stop & Shop. Yes, … Continue reading

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The Incarceration of Penelope Whistle-Smythe

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Mandrake Wanted the Gooseberry Pie

To call the scene the aftermath hardly did it justice.  I would say that it was somewhere between the shaken focus of the Rolling Stones album cover of that name… something that might have been attributed to a mild hallucinogenic used to create its distorted image … Continue reading

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Raisins & Almonds

“Unter yingeles vigele Shteyt a klor vise tsigele” He closed his eyes.  Not for the pain, or to hide from the fear.  He closed his eyes so he could better hear her voice.  Her gentleness was interwoven into the soft … Continue reading

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Mrs. Frieda, the Teacher With an Agenda

“OK children, it quiet time… get your resting mats and put them on the floor.  Make sure that your mat touches no one else’s mat.  Sydney Kaufman, I want you over here.  Jason you’re over there and no, Marcus can’t be … Continue reading

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You Bring the Wine!

I got the call from my buddy Raymond.  “Friday I’m taking you to my Eating Club for lunch.  You bring the wine, I have already cleared it with the sommelier.  I’ll pick you up at 12:30PM.” “Eating Club?? I guess … Continue reading

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Colette

They were known as “C & C”.  That’s what happens when you frequent a place.  You become known… known and identified.  Maybe it’s the funny hat you wear or the drink you order.  But sooner or later, at a place … Continue reading

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A Character Witness at the Salem Trials

In my profession there is sometimes little warning, little time to prepare… or prepare adequately for a task at hand.  I kept telling them that.  Someone called out sick?  That’s not my fault.  And yes, I’ll admit it takes me … Continue reading

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Trip to Mars

I think I have everything in order.  But you can never be too sure.  Sweater. It must be cold there, maybe I should take two. Two.  No more, I don’t want anyone to think that I couldn’t take the cold. … Continue reading

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Robbie

“Coconut custard pie. I’m sorry I missed it on Monday. It looked super!” This was in response to the question, “What would you like for dessert at lunch?” The question was posed at 9:15 in the morning as I was … Continue reading

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It’ a Big Sky

The word got around quick. The 150 strong blackbird main flight that hung around the power lines near the Bed, Bath & Beyond on Connecticut Avenue took wing and began their characteristic swirl. They flew up, first to the left, a swoop to … Continue reading

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His Name Was Merwin

It caught me by surprise, too! Even as I sip my whisky here at Ash Creek, surrounded by familiar faces, I have to smile. I think back to another night, some thirty-two years ago, to another bar… Sinbad’s on the … Continue reading

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Quod Erat Demonstrandum

“It’s your turn.” “OK. Let’s see… a Fascist Dictator, a Lerner and Lowe Musical & an ungulate.” Pardon me. I should explain. I have known Raymond Bellaga since we were little kids. Best friends. And that lasted thru my divorce, and Raymond marrying … Continue reading

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The Shores of Avalon

My Mother would tell me that the best month to be at the Jersey shore was September.  You have to understand… my Mother didn’t favour crowds.  After Labor Day, the “summer folks” (the rentals) departed the beach communities and retreated … Continue reading

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Odes, Haikus & other Literary Forms

They enjoyed their time together in the manner in which old friends can do.  They had been friends since grade school.  They could talk of their childhood, of their parents, of their respective loves in their life… or of political … Continue reading

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Mrs. Poodle & the Master of the Revels

“Objectionable?  Exactly what are you referring to, might I ask?” “Among others, there is this line: ‘Her words felt like a foul blow…” “What is objectionable about that, Mr. Tilney?” “Why Mr. Marlowe… a ‘foul blow’ could also be heard … Continue reading

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The Bagshot Conspiracy

Even I know that the old stories can become stale… Winnie the Pooh, Wind in the Willows, Ann of Green Gables… And if I know it, then certainly my kids did… “Did I ever tell you about the time that … Continue reading

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Watermelon Sky

“It’s the name of a song, no?” she asked. He smiled, “Song?” and shook his head and continued to look toward the horse farm on the other side of the split rail fence.  They loved to sit on their deck … Continue reading

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Twice Recognized

The only invention as perfect as the English Sonnet… he knew little of sonnets.  “Shakespeare wrote them,” he thought.  “But I know a fair amount about Martinis”.  And that is to what the great American writer of letters, H.L. Mencken was referring, when … Continue reading

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Letting Out the Crotch

“I thought the custom was to fart after the meal.”  I could feel my nostrils burning, “I think my nose hairs just fell out…” Raymond tucked into his pastrami on rye, took a swig of his Dr. Brown’s Cel-ray Tonic, … Continue reading

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It’s in the Texture…

“First look at the colour.  The outer rim, slightly raised should be a golden tan.  Then as we move to the center it fades to a soft uniform cream or ecru tone…” It felt like we were in an operating … Continue reading

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A Handsome Day

He reached for the snooze button.  He knew it was there.  Somewhere.  And it wasn’t like it was a different alarm clock… or that he was unfamiliar with its location on the night stand, or its shape, or its button … Continue reading

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The Four Dwarfs and Passover

I couldn’t wait to get into bed on the nights after my Mom had changed the linen.  Nothing is better than fresh sheets.  I cherished it as much as the nights that my Dad would brush my hair after my night … Continue reading

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Annie With the Pretty Smile

I turned the corner, and there she was… sitting in a leaf pile at the end of her drive on McKinley Ave. Mollie and I were out for some exercise… Mollie being our Keeshond.  Sandy had given strict instructions to … Continue reading

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A Stare For Rachel

“Pass” “Pass” “Pass” A few seconds waiting for a bid in Bridge can turn into an eternity.  Sherman (that was my Dad) asked, “Well?” No answer.  Sherman waits for another few seconds while Rachel re-arranges her hand for the third … Continue reading

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Beaky Turns the Page

It surprised the rest of us that Beaky even got in to see The Queeg. The Queeg just happens to be the most important Pigeon in our District (and that covered all of Norwalk, most of Westport, some of New … Continue reading

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One Day Among Many

Let me begin by saying that Big Mike always looked up to Lou, or “One Eyed Louie” as he was better known in our parts. And Mike looked up to him in more ways than one… first off, Big Mike … Continue reading

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Coming Out Even

She arranged the lunch on her doily. “I have a thermos bottle with cream of tomato soup, ” she said. “And a lobster-salad sandwich on thin slices of white bread. I have celery, carrot sticks and black olives, and a … Continue reading

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Candlesticks, Balalaika & a Decoration

She smiled and said, “you know, we spend our entire lives either being a refugee or an immigrant… we are either cast out, or chose to leave…” I found this strange idea coming from someone who lived on the same … Continue reading

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A Birthday Cake for Martin

If Martin said he would be over by 5:30, you could set your watch by it. Say what you will about my friend Martin; but one thing is for sure… he has a great sense of time. My responsibilities for … Continue reading

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In the Kitchen, again…

BEHIND THE SCENES OF “UNCLE RUBY’S BEDLINGTON LIFTS HIS LEG” William Styron and John Irving are my favorite authors. Irving’s creative story telling skill is intimidating. But I guess If I could sit down with either of them… probably at … Continue reading

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Uncle Ruby’s Bedlington Lifts His Leg

First, you have to know this. I don’t think I knew anyone’s real name in my the family ’til they died. When the Rabbi would say their name during services I would have to tug at my Mom’s sleeve and … Continue reading

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Meet Me There

Val would tell me that there was always a good breeze coming in off the water… “It could be hot, mon… reel hot,” he would say, “it wouldn’t feel hot.” Val was talking about his native Trinidad. Although I have … Continue reading

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Bongo Charlies

Look for it on your map and you won’t find it, and maybe that’s what makes it so special. To find Bongo Charlies you have to take the main drag out of town heading west. When you reach an old … Continue reading

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