Of Astronomical Importance

When I saw Carl with the coins I said, “Where did you get those?”

His Corgi muscles tensed. “Are you questioning my ownership?”

I wasn’t. “No, just curious.”

“The contract proves that these are mine.”

“What contract?”

“The pet-master contract clearly states that the treasure-between-the-cushions belong to the dog.”

“I don’t remember signing a contract.”

“It’s universally understood and needs no signatures.”

I truly had no objection, but I wondered what Carl intended to purchase. “Doggy biscuits?”

Carl shook his head. “Something far more important.”

I naturally assumed that my adoring pet was saving up to buy a paperback version of my new book, The Five Names, from Amazon.com or from a local bookstore.

Carl nudged the coins with his front paws. “And I finally have enough.”

Oh, I must be wrong.

 It wasn’t until the next day that the secret was disclosed.

Carl came into the room, rolling a tube. “There, this should do the trick. A little assembly and my world-class telescope will be complete.”

Then I remembered our frequent talks about the universe. But I hadn’t imagined that those discussions would lead to this.

“I’m forming a new organization called, SETI.”

I replied, “There’s already such an organization.”

Carl looked at me, his head to the side. “How can that be? Your book just came out.”

Now I was confused. “SETI—The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence?”

He yapped once then said, “No. SETI—The Search for Extraterrestrial Inkies.”

Oh no, Carl thinks that Inkie (the protagonist in The Five Names) is still…. “Carl, you do know that Inkie lived a long time ago, don’t you?”

“I know that you wrote the book in past tense. But that was likely only a literary tool. Besides, time can be different in different galaxies. I believe Inkie still lives, on a far, far away planet. With my telescope I will be the first to find him.”

What could I say?

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6 Responses to Of Astronomical Importance

  1. Fay Ternan says:

    Carl, you certainly think outside the biscuit box.
    Bob, keep the notices coming. I’m sure the C-dog’s perspective will inspire you at a whole new level, and I’m looking forward to reading more.

  2. Carl is very clever. Almost as clever as his owner. ( =

  3. Barbara says:

    I hate to burst Carl’s bubble, but he is looking in the wrong place for Inkie. After reading The Five Names, I’m pretty sure Inkie lives on in my heart–and I have it on good authority that he definitely lives on in another great novel. Carl is right about one thing, Inkie lives.

  4. Art Gunderson says:

    Thanks for bringing Carl to the beach. He is a true friend!

  5. Art Gunderson says:

    I consider Carl to be a good friend already!

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