Old Tricks

by Ravi Mangla

Once school let out Denise would visit the animal shelter, imagining which puppy she'd select if her father wasn't allergic to the fur, her brother to the saliva. She'd resolved to name it, ironically, Tiny if it was big (though she didn't want a big dog), Spot if its fur was clear, Shaggy if short-haired, and Sam even if it had more of a Rover disposition. She married; they bought a small home not far from where she grew up. Her husband's allergies were so sensitive that a single hair on the lapel of her jacket would set him off sneezing. She watched the gene get passed on to both of her children. Resigned to standing in front of the shop window, while the puppy pawed at the glass on its hind legs, she marshaled with her hands, trying to teach it to sit and stay.


Ravi Mangla lives in Fairport, NY. His writing has recently appeared in Eclectica, Elimae, Johnny America, and McSweeney's Internet Tendency. He hopes to flip this movie into a script and get Eddie Murphy to play all major characters, including the puppy. Sometimes he blogs here.