Sunday, November 09, 2014

Relief







Travelling northward approaching St. Martin de Midi to visit Tuscal Township, the home of Black and White University, where, approximately 52 years prior, A. matriculated as a student of canine behavior. B&W, its popular appellation, is a school without values. No in between. Gray has been expunged from all dictionaries. Students are graded on a scale that includes 0 or 100. They graduate Magna Cum Laude or NAA —Not At All. NAAs are allowed an additional semester to complete the required coursework with perfect scores but most waive this right and opt to enter graduate programs elsewhere. A. is a former NAA, and, subsequent to her receiving her NAA, opted for graduate studies at another institution. We were at B&W to present the university's chancellor with a portrait of A's favorite dog, Noir. (A portrait of Blanc, A's Havanese, has been bequeathed to the university.)

However, at Franc du Lacque, A. lost the keepsake, a pendant featuring a likeness of Noir's head, carved in the mid 20th Century by Noir's handler, a walking-shooting dog competitor temporarily incapacitated by a torn ligament in his ankle. This rendition depicts Noir, nose to the air, catching a whiff of the beef livers, A. stored on the window sill above the pantry sink. Quail never interested the dog all that much, thus his placement with A. (Excerpted from Travels with My Aunt)


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