From the living room window I saw Carl standing on the sidewalk. Ten minutes later he was still in the same spot. I went outside to see if there was a problem. “Carl, my carefree Corgi, are you stuck?”
“I have a question about Inkie. Do you know who I mean?”
His reply seemed unconnected—but that wasn’t unusual. “Inkie, from the ‘Five Names?’”
“Then you know of him?”
“Carl, I wrote that book.”
“Was Inkie the superstitious sort?”
I thought for a moment. “Of course, he was easily frightened in the beginning, sometimes paralyzingly so. But I wouldn’t say he was superstitious.”
“Did I ever tell you that he is my hero?”
The knife-words pierced me. “Carl, I always thought that I….”
“Present company lovingly excepted.”
I felt much better.
“Inkie was an inspiration and, because of that, I feel badly about my predicament. I don’t believe he would consider my situation a problem.”
I gazed down at him, still seeing nothing out of order. “Would you like a doggy biscuit?” That usually solved any issue.
“I would, indeed, if I were not so boxed in.”
Then I saw it, the obstacle that had him cornered. “Would it be okay if I lift you over?”