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Thank you @augusten for giving me my Small Story writing prompt for today.

A Small Story:

Friend was working double shift, could I come over and walk her beloved and doted-on Ridgeback Lucy at hour eight?

Of course I could.
As she was heading off, leaned out her car window and said, "Make sure to start talking to Lucy before you unlock the door."

"Okay," I said, "Why?"

"I think she knows your voice," she said cryptically and drove off.

Lucy weight, at most, 20 pounds less than I do.
"Hello, Lucy!" I sang out 8 hours later in what I hoped was a non-terrified way as I stood on the front porch. There was silence inside. She was either asleep or waiting like Liam Neeson to avenge her beloved mother's absence. "Who enjoys a nice walk with Aunt Quinn?" I added.
I unlocked the door with one hand, trying to cover all of my viscera with the other. The house was quiet. In my friend's bedroom door, Lucy lay, front paws crossed, staring at me in what I suspected was a humoring way.
"I knew you were coming here before you left your house," her look seemed to say, "But please, continue to prattle on like an idiot."

I grabbed her leash from the basket and waved in it what I thought was a tempting manner and said, "Walkies!" Lucy sighed. I stepped towards her.
She let out the tiniest imaginable growl, a sigh really.

I reminded myself they were bred to kill things with far more defensive tools than I had.

I texted her mother.

"She refuses to leave your bedroom door," I texted, added a few emojis so I didn't appear pathetic.
Lucy and I waited for a response.

"She's just being a brat," her mother texted back, "Take one of her toys from the basket and shake it. She'll come play with you. Try the lobster."

I looked in the toy basket. There was a weathered lobster.
I shook it in what I hoped was a tempting way.

Lucy sighed deeply, got up, stretched her powerful legs, ambled towards me with the negligent ease of Omar sending the drug dealers scurrying, carefully removed the lobster from my hand, and went back to the same spot.
She managed to lie down without ever breaking eye contact with me. She carefully placed the lobster between her front paws.

We both awaited my next move.

I did what any human - the apex of critical thought in the animal world - would do; I tattled to her mother.
"SHE WON'T LET ME WALK HER!" I wrote, not even bothering with emojis now.

The answer flashed back, "Then don't worry about it. If she had to go out, she would have let you."

Thus relieved of my task, I carefully put the leash back and prepared to leave.
Lucy watched me with what I felt was a certain affectionate contempt. I then realized my mistake. Lucy viewed me as too stupid to possibly hold authority over her.

I should have held up the leash and asked her to walk me.
And now, THE AD! If you like these Small Stories, can I coax you into helping to support them? I promise to never make you walk a Ridgeback.
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