“Psst, Awesome, who’s that?”

“That, Spook, is Harry.”

“Harry what? The prince?”

“Does he look like a prince to you, Spook? Just Harry.”

“Where’s he from?”


“OMG, don’t tell me She brought him home!”

“Okay, Spook, I won’t tell you she brought him home, but that’s what She did.”

“How could She do that, Awesome? By the way, what is he?”

“He’s a Mountain Cur.”

“A cur! Who in her right mind brings home a cur? You get rid of curs, you don’t adopt them.”

“What’s wrong with a cur, Spook?”

Cur is a derogatory word, Awesome. It doesn’t just mean mixed, we’re all mixeds. But when you call someone a cur it’s a word of insult, of injury, of contempt!”

“I don’t call him Cur, Stanley Spook, I call him Harry.”

“So what’s the Mountain Cur like?”

“Totally uneducated.”

“Of course.”

“Shat and peed in the house for the first several days, chases after Eve wherever she goes, and sleeps in her bed.”

“Sleeps in her bed!”

“She loves it. The sleeping in her bed, not the shit and pee.”

“I can’t believe she’s sleeping with someone so soon after the Man died.”

“Sad but true, Spooky Stan.”

“She should sleep surrounded by photos of the Man and lots and lots of candles, and switch to a twin bed.”

“Not her. She washed his shirts today, said she plans to take them somewhere and give away.”

“Awesome, how could you let this happen? The Man’s clothes should hang there for the next decade. Is she crying a lot?”

“Not much, Spooky. Voice catches sometimes.”

“Well, I should have known.”

“Known what, Spooky?”

“Awesome, I should have known she wouldn’t be faithful, wouldn’t think of the Man day and night. Instead off she goes sniffing around for someone new—from Mississippi, of all places. And a Mountain Cur! How could she sleep with a cur? Isn’t she ashamed? You know what I think, Awesome?”

“No. Are you going to tell me, Spooky?”

“I think she’s lost her mind. Grief and sadness can do that to humans, and I think they have driven her to distraction, to madness! She’s become the Mad Woman of Montague. The Mad Woman of Zen.”

“I’m not sure you’re right about that, Spooky.”

“I have to be right about that, Awesome, she has to be mad because the alternative is too dreadful to contemplate.”

“What’s the alternative?”

“That she’s a trollop, Awesome. That she doesn’t care who she sleeps with, just as long as he’s furry and warm.”

“I’m afraid to tell you, Spooky, but I think that’s it. You should see the way he curls himself against her leg and then her hand comes down towards his head, and the noise she makes!”

“Woe is me! Vomit, vomit, vomit! I’d rather be dead!”

“You are dead, Stanley!”

“But I can’t go back to the Land of the Dead, Awesome. What do I tell the Man when I see him? That his widow has lost her morals? With a cur, from Mississippi? You know who they vote for over there, don’t you? Woe is me, woe is me!”