Lucy strolled into my life twenty years ago. Short and heavyset, trailing a couple of unruly dogs, she welcomed me to the neighbourhood. Most mornings Lucy wound her way through the community with her dogs in tow, and their leisurely pace always invited the opportunity to chat.

On warm evenings Lucy walked with her husband Leo, a tall thin navy veteran. It made people smile to see the elderly couple hand in hand. When Lucy stopped to admire gardens and dispense dubious dog training advice, Leo waited patiently, content to let his wife weave her hospitality through the neighbourhood.

An ambulance came for Leo one bright afternoon and for a few months Lucy’s walks took a different path. Neighbours respected the urgency in her step as she hurried back and forth on her way to the hospital. No time for chats and even the dogs curtailed their usual exuberance.

One morning, a thinner and frailer Lucy stopped to admire my fall asters. Leo was gone, but Lucy was back. I joined her as she retraced a familiar path through the community and gathered condolences like a grand bouquet of sunflowers. Lucy’s daily walks continued until the day she got confused – inexplicably lost on her own street – and well-meaning family intervened. Recently, a young couple bought Lucy’s old house.

I often stroll by at a leisurely pace that invites the opportunity to chat. 

by Hermine Robinson


Hermine loves writing short fiction in many genres and her publication credits include Readers’ Digest, Postcard Shorts and Vine Leaves Literary Journal. She lives with her husband and children in Calgary, Alberta where the winters are long and the inspiration is plentiful. Her nickname Minkee was chosen at the age of five and it is still the name she answers to when it is shouted across a crowded room.

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