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?”

            He smiled. “You are the best owner a Corgi ever had.”

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