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Turkey Tail

By Laura Stamps

After that last article. The one about walking a dog. At the beach. After that. There’s an ad on the next page. In this dog magazine. Edible mushrooms. For dogs. That’s the ad. What? What? Mushrooms for dogs? Are you kidding me? I mean, look at those things. Talk about scary. Geez. They look like dead flowers. Like my grandmother’s winter garden. Big, brown, crusty, dead. Flowers. Nothing you’d want to eat. Never. Ever. Like some kind of weird ocean creature. You know the kind. Something they’d pull from the darkest depths of the sea. Creepy. Totally. And yet, and yet. This is what they’re feeding to dogs? Seriously? Turkey Tail. That’s what they’re called. These mushrooms. Oh. Okay. Now I get it. They do. In a way. These mushrooms. Resemble a turkey’s tail. Not that I’ve ever seen a turkey. A real one. I haven’t. Although my mother was always first in line to grab a gun. At the Turkey Shoot. At the State Fair. When it came to town every year. But they didn’t shoot real turkeys. Just paper ones. But still. I always covered my eyes. Mothers with guns. Scary stuff. And yet, and yet. These mushrooms. According to the ad, they’re excellent for a dog’s immune system. For gut and heart. For inflammation. And cancer. Okay, then. Who can argue with that? Not me. Turkey Tail dog treats. That’s the ad. This ad. Alright. I’m sold. I am. And I’d get some too. I would. These mushroom treats. If I had a dog, which I don’t. But I do have Max. My imaginary dog. He’s the only man in my life that makes me smile. Just thinking about him. My sweet little Chihuahua. Max. My imaginary dog. But don’t worry. In case you’re wondering. No one knows about Max. He’s a secret. My secret. A gift. The gift I give to myself. Every day. All mine. My Max. My gift. Just for me. To give me a smile throughout the day. And no one knows. No one. I promise.


About the author:

Laura Stamps loves to play with words and create new forms for her fiction. Author of 33 novels, novellas, and short story collections, including CAT MANIA (Alien Buddha Press 2021), DOG DAZED (Kittyfeather Press 2022), and THE GOOD DOG (Prolific Pulse Press 2023). Winner of the Muses Prize. Recipient of a Pulitzer Prize nomination and 7 Pushcart Prize nominations.


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