To the creator


Dear Susanne,

I’m ever so pleased you’ve entrusted me with the hair of your dog to knit a hat spun with llama wool. Pleased, too, to make it with Elvis’ fleece for you. Black llama mixed with the creamy hair of your wee canine will be absolutely stunning. You do have an eye, my dear.

You know, you’ve just given me an idea for the Twist of Fate. I could post pictures of all our llamas and invite customers to choose their llama wool. That adds an even more personal touch, eh? Although, what if everyone chooses the same llama? Well, I suppose I could lie. Never mind. Not a good idea after all.

I’m glad you got in touch with me because it’s time to set the record straight. Frankly, you’ve got Harry and my story all wrong.

Yes, you’re right – I’m directive and yes, I pull the wool over my own eyes when it comes to Harry’s fondness for much younger women. I was apoplectic about the Tulia Affair and I took an extended holiday in Canada so he could mull over life without me. But we patched ourselves together through gardening – you got that right – and dug holes and buried our troubles and planted Hellebores and Dianthus barbatus. I accept Harry as he is because he’s just a man and as a sex, you know, they’re rather weak.

What you don’t know is that Harry doesn’t have exclusive monopoly on the appreciation of beautiful young figures. It’s not that older women don’t admire the musculature of young men or their ability to carry on a conversation without breaking into a phlegmy cough or to achieve a nicely erect penis, it’s just that we’re more subtle about it. While Harry may hold an avid conversation with a woman’s breasts, I never make eye contact with a handsome lad’s crotch. I like eyes. Harry’s are Wedgewood blue and bulging as though his sockets are too small. Like a man wearing Speedos.

I blame that vile Hugh Hefner – whose name I only just learned was not heifer – who made older women with vigorous libidos into a joke.  No, I’m not going to confess to any affairs. There have been none  – at least too few to mention in the words of another vile pop icon, Mr. Snotra. As an aside, it is my opinion that “My Way” – written by an Ottawa chap if I recall correctly – is a narcissist’s anthem. Who has a life of no regrets? Patently absurd. Do I regret Harry? Never. Well, hardly ever.

I’m peeved at the way you go on about my bald head. It makes me appear vain, as though having hair is all that matters. You should know I don’t feel unlucky. On the contrary, I believe fate and chance have dealt me a good hand. Perhaps not a Royal Flush, thank God, because I gladly said goodbye to a life of privilege. I am relieved to have shed all those stifling expectations and I thank Harry for that. Give me a hand thrown pottery mug over a Minton teacup any day. I’m happy, Susanne, though hairless I still have Harry.

Harry’s guilelessness makes me laugh. I like to make him step-up. I can see your eyes widen because you think I’m being conniving but he keeps stepping up doing everything I ask. Do you think that’s why he wanders? Rebellion from his patroness, The Lady Veronica Smock-Speedwell? On the other hand, he knows I’d forgive him anything. Anything. There’s just something about Harry. But it’s not sex anymore. Actually, it never was. He’s just not that good at it. It’s the comfort of knowing him. I’ve watched a map emerge on his face, knowing I’ve been to all those places with him. You know, Susanne, the truth is, only half his marionette lines are mine. I don’t control Harry completely.

On second thought, I think you do have our story straight. Carry on.

It should take about a month to get your hat to you. We’re all caught up on our Christmas orders now, thanks to Derrick and Rose. Harry’s still busy mending fences.

We have a cria to celebrate. I’ve named her Adele. She and Elvis say hello and send their warmest regards.




11 thoughts on “To the creator

    • Donna, you have no idea how restrained I was. I spent far too long googling “men in speedos” trying to decide if I should include such a picture in the post. I didn’t and that’s time and memory space I’ll never get back again!

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  1. I too, like Cynthia, at first thought you had gone religious and I went into a mild interior panic. As a member of the fairer weaker sex I was prepared to try and cope with your new-found theological position – we just lie there and think of England when it comes to these matters, so as not to ruffle feathers. If I were you, Susanne, I would be more than delighted to have received a letter as skilful as this from the wonderful Valmai, Valerie, V.
    P.S. I wouldn’t mind giving Harry a hand with his fencing job if he needs help.


    • Harry could definitely use help with mending fences. The llamas are roaming the countryside intermingling with the feral deer. Who knows what kind of breeding could happen! And you never know who might show up in a story next. Harry has a habit of collecting oddball characters and hauling them back to the farm for Vee’s amusement. Maybe a plus-four wearing, pantoum writing fellow from the Shaky Isles would fit in with this crew.

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  2. When I read the title, I thought: Oh no! this is going to be about God! But it didn’t take long to realize that it was just V. sucking-up to the goddess to whom she owes everything. In fact, the mellow tone, as uncharacteristic of Vero as I have come to regard her, was an interesting and restful change. I don’t know what will happen next, but I imagine your doggie-llama cap will keep you nice and warm, now that snow has actually arrived in your vicinity, and your warm brain will concoct even more of these amazing stories. Very entertaining!


    • This was another writing exercise. By writing a letter I was trying to discover something new about my character. I’m not sure I was successful but it occurred to me as I was reading your comment that everyone develops patterns in relationships and Vee and Harry have fallen into a pattern where she’s the brains of the duo – or at least she thinks she is. She might be/is different – less directive – with her customers and her friends and her creator.

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      • Yes…you may be onto something there. Speaking for herself, in a letter to a “stranger”, she comes across quite differently from the way she is presented by her “creator.”


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