The Pig Comes to Dinner

The Pig Comes to Dinner by Joseph Caldwell Page A

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Authors: Joseph Caldwell
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Kitty’s agent, her publisher, and, of course, her ravenous public were all waiting with aroused appetites and money at the ready. She would return to her computer and stare at the wall in front of her desk. She would tell herself not to budge until the needed corrections came to her, until one word, then another, then another appeared on her screen. She would remain planted despite a desperate urge to rise up, to go to the window and see again the brownclothed form brushing through the pasture grass, with the sturdy legs, the slender waist, and the large calloused hands, their corded veins pulsing surely with Kerry blood even though he was no more than a wandering shade lost this side of the River Styx with no one to make the offering to the ferryman who might see him safely across to the Elysian shore.
    Kitty would return to her computer. How could Maggie be so inane as to allow her rising id to direct itself toward a man so impossible to her happiness as Stephen Guest? Of course love should make its claims, but impossibility was still impossibility, and any woman worthy of her gender would surely check her impulses and take control of her heart before disaster could strike. Thank God, she, Kitty McCloud, would never be capable of such insanities. Never. Not she. Not Kitty McCloud. Never. Et cetera.
    She would stare at the blank screen; she would stare at the wall. It had been around this time that she began to suspect that her husband had fallen in love with Brid. There was evidence enough—if only she knew where to look for it.
    The young man on the other side of the racetrack was kicking the scattered pieces of the torn ticket at his feet. Kitty considered directing her husband’s attention to the youth by saying something like, “Oh look! There’s Taddy!” But she decided not to. It was of no interest. And the young man didn’t really look that much like Taddy. Taddy was far more handsome, more manly, less sullen. He certainly wouldn’t have littered the ground with the remains of a losing ticket. Then, too, there were the sneakers. Without the sight of bare feet, mudcrusted and calloused, the Taddy across the track was much diminished.
    Kieran said, “Oh look! There’s Taddy!”
    Kitty looked sideways at her husband. Had she been staring at the young man? Was that what had prompted Kieran to look over and see him standing there? Had she been observed in her ruminations? She was relieved to see that her husband was nothing more than mildly pleased at this apparition of an apparition. It meant little to him, if anything at all.
    â€œWhere?” Kitty asked.
    â€œCan’t you see him? Right there. Kicking the ground.”
    â€œOh. Him.” She gave her head a bit of a shake. “Well, yes, I can see some resemblance. The county is probably overrun with Taddys if we wanted to take time for a census. You want to see the horses for the next race?”
    â€œHe doesn’t interest you?”
    â€œMaybe. As a genealogical phenomenon. The gene pool of Kerry is, as you said, easily able to avoid mutation and replicas do occur from time to time.” She took three steps toward the paddock area reserved for the horses scheduled for the next run. “You coming?”
    â€œI thought you’d be more interested. After all, it is Taddy.”
    â€œIt isn’t Taddy. And even if it were, don’t we already see more of him than we might want?”
    Kieran shrugged. “If you say so.” She took three more strides away, then waited for Kieran to catch up. When he did, she said, “We’ve seen Taddy. We’ve seen Brid. Now can we concentrate on the horses.”
    â€œNo. Wait.” Kieran stopped. He let out a guffaw. “There’s Brid again.”
    â€œYou missed her. She was right over there, by the trailer.”
    â€œOur Brid or another one? There seem to be no end of Brids around.”
    â€œThe one from

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