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Jan/Feb 2006 Fiction

Marmot

by Antonios Maltezos


She's out of breath, my little marmot.

"You've got to dig deeper," I yell.

The muscles in her back are rippling, but she's making little progress. She'll need some encouragement. I get up off the grass and into my sandals. "I'll be back," I assure.

 

I flip her over, her claws in my face. "I've got something for you," I tease. I know she's trying to understand ‘cause she wiggles her nose. When I show her the tiny spade, her dark eyes light up. Her claws begin undulating like she's ready to swipe so I drop the gift onto her belly and roll away.

 

"My little marmot," I whisper. She's finally through, digging for so long--so many years I don't know how long. She can keep the spade. The earth she's moved feels nice, cool and loose. I push a handful of it into the opening, and then another. She squeaks--more happy than sad.

 

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