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Mrs. Prindle - Another "Prissy" Story

by Lori Crews, Houston, Texas, USA


Prissy Sissy with the Sassy Tail (Prissy for short) would often ride in a little red wagon with my children, Erin and Mark, whenever we ventured forth into the world. We would take walks around the neighborhood, along paths in the adjoining woods, along the levee of the Mississippi, and to nearby stores for supplies. On this occasion we had gone to the combined Feed Store and Veterinary Clinic (this was a very rural neighborhood) for Prissy's essentials.

At the store I bought cat food, some cat treats, and litter and packed all my purchases into the wagon. The children, three and four at the time, hopped in followed closely by Prissy and we were on our way home again. Prissy sat proudly atop her belongings and regally surveyed her realm as we paraded home. There was only one other person walking down the sidewalk, Mrs. Nicky Prindle.

Mrs. Prindle was 52 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall, 300+ pounds, with steel gray hair and ice blue eyes. This stern matron was the captain of our Neighborhood Watch Program (funny, but the only one anyone thought to watch out for was Mrs. Prindle). She was also the official head of the unofficial neighborhood diary. If you could not run fast enough you were forced to stand and listen to tales of every flirtation and every gall stone attack our neighbors had experienced. Hours of tales! Unfortunately, I was pretty loaded down that day.

A large shadow fell heavily on our shoulders as Mrs. Prindle approached. Attached to her right hand was a leash. Attached to the end of the leash was Micky. Micky was 7 years old, 6 inches tall, 3 pounds, with a light brown coat. Micky was a Chihuahua. He looked like a little stick dog that Erin had drawn for me. Every bone marked its existence on his scrawny little frame. His brown eyes were huge. Those and his ears were the only big things on him. Micky was a perpetual motion machine. He never for a moment stopped leaping, wagging, and nipping at his tail. What can I say about his personality? Picture Joan Rivers on acid. His shrill yapping could break fine crystal at 30 paces.

Inevitably, we were caught. My only escape would be to watch closely for the tiniest twitch of Mrs. Prindle's nostril in preparation of her taking a breath as she launched into her latest news. I concentrated intensely on this and readied my muscles. In this tiny pause I must say, "Gee that is very interesting but I really gotta go.", and yank the wagon into motion without toppling my children off the back. No break yet; Mrs. Prindle must have the lungs of an elephant.

As she stood there recounting her husband's recent colonoscopy, Micky was jumping three feet straight up into the air over and over again. He looked like he had springs on his paws. Just when Mrs. Prindle got to the most delicate part of the procedure, I happened to glance at my crew in the wagon. Erin, Mark and Prissy were following Micky's trajectory with their heads. All three were nodding up and down as if in parody of the agreeing yes's I was supplying Mrs. Prindle. They looked like a crowd watching a vertical tennis match, hypnotized by the rhythmic bouncing.

I had to choke back a giggle and Mrs. Prindle must have thought I was gagging. She frowned in irritation at my weak stomach interrupting the best part of her story. My snort must have wakened Prissy from her trance. She suddenly thrust her body towards Micky and let out a mighty hiss-spit. Before the first drop of Prissy's saliva had hit his nose, Micky had wrapped his leash three times around Mrs. Prindle's ankles. Mrs. Prindle started to teeter.

Now folks, y'all do not want to be on the wrong side of a toppling semi. I had to skeedaddle. As it happened, Mrs. Prindle suffered only minor injuries and major indignity (and everyone in the neighborhood had to hear her outraged tale, of course). The good part was that Mrs. Prindle refused to talk to me for a whole week!

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