If Pigs Could Fly

by Jake Barnes

My wife and I are out for a walk. We walk for exercise when we can. My wife still works, I don't. We walk around the neighborhood. One day we turn a corner, and two fat little doggies spot us and come running up. Oh, they are so glad to see us! They are wearing “collars,” those white cones people put over the heads of dogs and cats to keep them from licking a sore or a wound.


There is a busy thoroughfare nearby, so we pick up the dogs. They are frantic with happiness. We don't want them taking off and running across a busy street. My wife finds a tag on the collar of the dog she is holding, or trying to hold. There is a telephone number to call.


She calls. It is a service. The girl gives us an address, no names. We find the house; it is only a half block away. We cart the doggies up the sidewalk, but before my wife can ring the bell, the dog she is carrying slips out of her arms and goes tearing off. I make a lunge for him/her as it passes me, and my dog escapes, too. They head for the busy cross street.


“Oh, no!” I cry. “Look!” my wife says. She points. The dogs have sprouted wings. They are flying! They don't look back. They soar away, heading in the direction of the big city. I tell my wife I bet they turn around and go south. She says maybe not. It's been a warm winter in San Francisco.