by Steven Translateur

Photo by Jonny Lew on


Dorothy Shiinic knitted from dawn to dusk, everyday passionately, not knowing what else to do. She was so reticent and fearful, she could hardly form a relationship with anybody other than her pets; and they were plentiful: snow ball the cat, Hemlun and Amlun the hamsters, Betty and Tethy and Pethy the angel fishes, Gara and Fara and Cara and Tara and Lara and Para and Mara and Jara and Dara and Rara and Yara and Kara and Zara the guppies, Gissy and Issy and Bissy and Nissy and Fissy and Jissy and Yissy the catfishes, and George the glaucous macaw! She pampered them and they loved her.

But she was still lonely.

She lived on a quiet block in the suburbs. Her next door neighbor liked cats also and had four bony felines: Autumn, Spring, Summer, and Winter! And they each had a hued tag with their name on it. Their owner was a fascinating comrade named Akuva Smethe, a distinguished and witty widow who had tea with Dorothy once a month and counted that as almost her only contact with anybody during the year.

“I want to find Mister Right while I can still conceive,” lamented Dorothy to Akuva one day at their tea meeting.

“Try nightclubs or hobby places,” suggested Akuva.

So she started her hunt at shopping centers and bowling alleys and the community park.  Sometimes she would strike up a conversation with somebody she thought was attractive.  These encounters were interesting but usually did not lead to anything more than a curt, “Have a nice day,” after them.  She was getting desperate.  Her loneliness was overwhelming.

Then she also began hanging out in pet stores, quietly, minding her own business, tracing the aisles and then finally making a small purchase after a few hours. She did this every day.  And then one day, Lythe Brove, fireman, entered the establishment and sought the bird section.

“Excuse me,” Dorothy uncharacteristically boldly declared, “but are you looking for tropical bird seed also? Such birds are so rare.”

“Indeed,” Lythe replied. Then he took a bag and was off. “Have a swell day, Madam,” he said in parting.

She could not help notice that Lythe came in an off duty fire vehicle.

Hmmmm., she thought to herself. How can she get the attention of a gorgeous fireman?

Lucky for she, the pet store had a “Bring Your Pet” day.  She brought George her macaw and Lythe Brove showed up with Lidia, his macaw.  After seeing a presentation on bird care, Dorothy remarked to Lythe that his bird was looking somewhat  emaciated or *** bony, and probably could use a different sort of feed.  He agreed and asked what she does to keep George healthy.

She suggested buying a premium brand of feed.  And so he did.

They both noticed that their birds seemed to have a fondness for each other.   Dorothy hoped that her relationship with Lythe would become like that.  Then they parted.

Then a month later, by coincidence. she had to call fire emergency; Autumn and Summer had climbed too high a branch on an elm tree. “Help,” she said. “My neighbor’s cats are stuck up a tree.”

And the firemen came, including Mr. Brove. They used a cherry picker ladder to rescue the animals.

“You are Mr. Wonderful,” declared Dorothy. “Please come by for dinner tonight and bring Lidia!”

And so he did. She cooked a feast of roast beef, mashed potato, brussels sprouts, vanilla ice cream, and pecan pie.  During the dinner, they were both silent because of how shy they were.

Dorothy had grown up not speaking to nearly anybody.  She was normally reticent.  Her comrades had to force themselves into her life to get any response from her.  Still, she had the right to be left alone.  Though mental health professionals nearly labelled her as autistic.  She skipped her prom because of her inability to say “yes” to the five people who had requested her presence. Lythe was the only one she had any real interest in communicating with at that time, but she found it hard to say anything because of her personality.

Lythe was equally reserved.  He spoke to almost nobody except his pet macaw.  Lythe and Dorothy were made for each other!

After supper, Dorothy showed Lythe her glaucous macaw George again. It still impressed he. Lidia and George starting making sounds and falling in love and this was an impetus for a relationship between Dorothy and Lythe.  The pets were chatty, and this set an example.  Soon Dorothy and Lythe were talking to each other and opening up.

She knitted Lythe an entire, magnificent sweater collection as an engagement gift. They were of all patterns including solid, paisley, stripes, trapezoidal, starred, rectangled, and checkered–and of all colors including red, orange, blue, green, indigo, and violet. They wowed Lythe who began wearing them immediately.

Two months later, Dorothy and Lythe married.

Now George and Lidia, the glaucous macaws, beautiful birds with blue plumage and gray heads and pleasant dispositions, have companions too!



Steven Translateur’s work has appeared in a variety of publications including MEMES, MIND IN MOTION, and NEXT PHASE.

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