Leaves Under Ice

“They gotta be here somewhere. I just know it, they gotta be here somewhere.”

“Aussie, why are you going through the bin of paper recyclables?”

“You know why!”

“Scrounging around for food, Auss?”

“Votes! Votes! I’m sniffing around for votes!”

“But what makes you look for them here, Aussie? Donald was looking for 11,780 votes in Georgia, not Massachusetts.”

“You take me for a dope? I know that this bin isn’t for recycling. Just look at all those papers and envelopes.”

“Aussie, that’s recycled mail. We’ve been recycling paper every two weeks for years! Are you taking stuff out of the bin? Stop that!”

“You think I don’t know the truth?”

“What truth, Auss?”

“The Trump votes from Georgia were never all counted. Instead, they snuck them onto a truck and sent them off to Massachusetts, where they get dumped or recycled. I know I’ll find votes here somewhere, I’m a Doberman, after all.”

“You’re a Dobie like I’m a squirrel, Auss.”

“See? Here! I told you I’d find votes!”

“Aussie, that’s junk mail.”

“You think I believe any of that?”

“It’s an offer from a credit card company.”

“What’s the heavy thing inside, eh? Answer me that!”

“Probably the credit card, Aussie.”

“And what’s this? Secret instructions from Jimmy Carter?”

“No, a fundraising letter from Habitat for Humanity, Aussie.”

“And what about this?”

“A letter from Medicare reporting on what they covered for my doctor consultation.”

““Medicare! I knew it. You can’t say Medicare without thinking of fraud.”

“You’re not going to find 11,780 votes in the blue bin in our garage, Aussie.”

“Don’t worry, we got all of New England covered.”

“Who’s we?”

“The Proud Pooches. We’re sniffing through trash barrels, recyclable bins, office cabinets, even the pockets of Bernie’s bathrobe.”

“Bernie’s dead, Auss!”

“So you say, so you say.”

“Aussie, you’re making a fool of yourself. Who thought of such a stupid idea anyway?”

“Who do you think? I told them that if they could bring me up in a truck from Texas and my ex, Harry, from Mississippi, they can smuggle votes up from Georgia.”

“In a truck that says Animal Rescue?”

“Clever, aren’t they? I told the Pooches that we got all it takes to turn this election around. If we can smell pot in airports, cancer in hospital patients and marrow bones in the freezer, we can smell out votes. We have our uniforms—”

“That’s an orange vest so that hunters don’t mistake you for a deer.”

“—and we have our motto.”

“What’s that, Auss?”

“Live Free or Bark.”

“Aussie, put back that paper.”

“Even Enrique is helping us.”

“Henry? You enrolled Henry, the chihuahua you want to deport?”

“Just in case you’re conspiring in Spanish. We got all the languages covered.”

“What about Yiddish? When my parents didn’t want us kids to understand them, Aussie, they’d talk in Yiddish.”

“We asked Benny the Schnauzer to join but he demurred. Lousy traitor!”

“Aussie, this is embarrassing.”

“Haha! Found it.”

“Found what?”

“Cardboard! Flattened out. The evidence we’ve been looking for.”

“Flattened boxes, Auss?”

“What was in those boxes before they were flattened, eh? Tell me that!”

“Aussie, we have to flatten corrugated boxes to have them recycled.”

“Everybody knows there were votes in those boxes!”

“Who’s everybody, Aussie?”

“You, me, everybody!”

“Show me proof, Aussie. Show me one stolen vote!”

“I don’t have to show you proof, you know why?”


“Because in my heart I know I’m right! And the heart never lies.”

You can also send a check to: Eve Marko, POB 174, Montague, MA 01351. If you’re sending a gift to immigrant families, please note this on the memo line.