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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Uncles/Aunts (04/17/08)

TITLE: The Yoke is Easy
By Marlene Austin


“She has really done well for herself, hasn’t she?”

“You mean she has married well, don’t you?”

“No, I mean she has married wealth.” The two laughed with heads bowed toward each other as they enjoyed their collusion.

“You know she has a Gainsborough, don’t you?”

“Yeah, but I don’t care about any artwork. You have to hire a broker and go through all the hassle of selling the stuff, or be pressured into being ‘magnanimous’ and donate it to some museum. The only artwork I want to see is the picture of Presidents on fresh, crisp bills.” the speaker revealed with a Cheshire-cat smile.


“Look, Carry. Here’s your mommy. Oh, Auntie, Carry and I had a wonderful rest last night. Did you sleep well?”

“Yes, dear. I slept just fine. I knew Carry went to be with you. She left my side about one o’clock. I heard her little paws clicking down the hallway to your room. I rested very well after that.” The little dog, black with brownish highlights around the eyes, ears, chest and paws, gently licked the side of the fragile woman’s face as she talked. Auntie breathed with a weary sigh, “Where is everyone this morning?”.

“Oh, they’re downstairs, I think. Just looking around and talking.”

“Yes. Taking inventory and making wish-lists, I’m sure.” Then with a wily smile she confided, “What they don’t know is that I have already made arrangements for my most valuable treasures.” She glanced lovingly at the two who were with her.

“When Carry came into my room last night, she curled right into the curve of my body and stayed there all night. It was so soothing knowing she was there.”

“Yes, dear, I know.”

“You got Carry right after Uncle died, didn’t you, Auntie?”

“Yes. I knew I would need the companionship, so I went to the Humane Society shelter. I fell in love with her right away. I gave her the name ‘Carry’ because I knew she would help to carry the burden of grief and loneliness I was going through. I have often heard the saying that ‘When two hearts, as one, unite, the yoke is easy and the burden light.’ Well, Carry’s and my hearts united on the spot and she has faithfully worn that yoke all this time. I think she will be free of my burden soon now, though, and I’m counting on someone to be there to help Carry with her yoke.”

“Oh, Auntie, that’s so sweet. I can’t wait until I have a friend like Carry to share my burdens.”


“We’d better go up and check on her.”

“Yes. We certainly don’t want to give her any reason to accuse us of neglect. Not when we’ve come this close.”

Arriving at the top of the stairs, they saw the younger niece coming from Auntie’s room.

“How’s she doing?” came the conciliatory question.

Stroking Carry’s head and holding her so that each of their heart’s beats could sustain the other’s, she quietly responded, “Auntie’s yoke has been unfastened.”

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This article has been read 656 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dee Yoder 04/24/08
Good story with interesting characters. It's really sad that some have ulterior motives and just can't love someone for the sake of loving them. Continued blessings on your writing!
Debbie Roome 04/25/08
I'm a sucker for dog stories and this one was special. Good message and well written.
Holly Westefeld04/25/08
This is a charming story, even with the sad ending. You really made Carry come to life.
Debbie Wistrom04/28/08
Great title and tie in at the end. What a clever name for a true freind of man. Well done, keep up the good words.
Jan Ackerson 04/28/08
Great twist on the "greedy relatives" theme. You're right--not too sweet!
Catrina Bradley 04/28/08
Oh how sweet! ;) (Actually, just the right amount of sweetness; you've also got your "evil" characters, which off-sets the sweetness and makes a good balance.) I really enjoyed this story. And the dog's name is perfect! Good writing!
Lynda Schultz 04/29/08
Auntie was in her right mind all the way to the end. Good story.
Willena Flewelling 04/29/08
Even though Carry is the only one given a name, Auntie and her niece shine as well, for their sweet spirits and love toward one another and their little friend.
Chely Roach04/29/08
What a great read...I enjoyed it very much.
Sara Harricharan 04/30/08
Oooh, those meanies! I'm glad that she passed her most 'valuable' treasures to her real treasure, a precious niece who admired and cared for her. I also loved the name of "Carry" cute and especially the explanation that came with it! Great job! ^_^
Loren T. Lowery04/30/08
You have the knack for telling a good story. The characters and the underlying story line are great and real with just enough intrigue to keep the reader curious and reading on.
Norma-Anne Hough05/01/08
What a beautiful story. I hope you do well this week because you deserve it.
Joshua Janoski05/28/08
Wonderful story. Carry is an awesome dog, and the name really fits her and what she does very well.