A Pembroke Welsh corgi came to live with us, and I got to thinking I could read his mind.
We'd take a long walk, for instance, and when I'd start back to the house he'd stare at me, a rebellious glint in his eye, meaning: "No way! I want to explore the pine woods." Or he'd sniff along the meadow's edge, furrowing his brow, and I'd know he was expressing outrage over the lingering scent of his arch-enemy, the resident fox.
So I could read his mind that much, but I wondered: how would it be to actually speak with animals, back and forth, hearing their thoughts and concerns? A story came to me. It was about a place where certain people do speak with animals, not with tongues, animals being unequipped for that, but mind to mind.
It became a novel, "Wil Deft," complete with a fantasy world's corgi. Another novel followed, "Sinnabar," with some of the same characters reappearing, including that talkative corgi. Just out, a new novel, a mystery this time, "Spider's Web in the Green Mountains," and one character is a self-confident corgi, with a bit of swagger in his walk.
I'd always made my living writing articles and essays for magazines. Now--because of that corgi--instead of reporting facts, I make stories up. My literary visits to the so-called "real world" are less frequent, because over here in the fictional realm everything seems more intense, and numinous, and dramatic.
I hope some readers will join me here, and be entertained.
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