Inside of a Dog

9 Dec

Well, it’s FridayFictioneers time again. I do love writing these tiny 100 word stories whose contents are inspired by weekly photo prompts (This week’s shown below) from Madison Woods, a writer and blogger extraordinaire from a fantastical place in the heartland. Here is the link where you can post links to your 100 word story. You should try it. Does wonders for the mind.

This weeks story is about the mother of a boy who stands, hesitant, at the doorway to  new worlds. Perhaps with this nudge, he’ll find the first step easier to take.


Inside of a Dog

Madison held the lead rope and spoke to her horse in frustration.
“Thomas Carlyle said, ‘In books lies the soul of whole past times.’ Mark Twain said, ‘The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.’”
Her horse splashed water from the overflowing trough.
“Groucho Marx said, ‘Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.’”
Her horse snorted but would not swallow.
“I love him so,” she whispered.
Time passed, words on the wind.
“You ever going to drink?”

40 Responses to “Inside of a Dog”

  1. Jan Morrill December 9, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    I love this scene, Doug, especially the auditory cues. Very clever, too, the way you worked the quotes in, too. Nice!

    • dmmacilroy December 9, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

      Dear Jan,

      Thanks for the feedback. I hope he drinks deeply, don’t you?



  2. susielindau December 9, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    Love the quotes! It was wonderful to see how Madison’s mind works! Hahaha! She will love it!

    • dmmacilroy December 9, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

      Dear Susie,

      I hope so! Off to find your story now. Thanks for reading.



  3. Craig Towsley December 9, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    It’s pretty early, so I had to read this a few times, then it finally clicked in with Madison’s little writeup, and I got it (I think, hahaha)

    But before that, I loved it as an absurd little piece about a woman and her quote-loving horse.

    • dmmacilroy December 9, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

      Dear Craig,

      Thanks for digging deep into Madison’s back story. This one was solely for her and her son. I hope the magic of reading finds him and binds him with its spells.



  4. Russell December 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    I love the line, “time passed, words on the wind” – isn’t that the truth? Enjoyed it, Doug. Nice job.

    Stop by today and read mine if you get a minute.

    • dmmacilroy December 9, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

      Hi Russell,

      Just got off the mountain after a long night. I’ll be tracking down everyone’s stories as soon as I get some sleep. (I hit the early ones between laser spotting shifts early this AM.)

      Mahalo for the feedback. I live and die by it and never take it for granted.



  5. Robin Hawke December 9, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    Love this story about stubborness…oh, and so much more…Robin

    • dmmacilroy December 9, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

      Hi Robin,

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. If I could bottle hindsight and sell it….



  6. John Wiswell December 9, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    It is definitely a challenge to string the paragraphs together into narrative. I think I get it, though the quote that strikes me is “You can lead a horse to water…”

    • dmmacilroy December 9, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

      HI John,

      The entire back beat of ‘you can lead a horse to water’ was for Madison’s benefit. No matter how much she’d like her son to read, the desire has to blossom from within. She’s thinking of her son as her horse let’s her know how the world really works.

      Thanks for sticking with it. I try to reveal the tree by painting everything that surrounds it and that’s difficult on a canvas of a hundred words.



  7. Karen Pfister Nelson December 9, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    That Groucho Marx quote is one of my faves! I really enjoyed this one, thanks!

    • dmmacilroy December 9, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

      Dearest Karen,

      Thanks for the thumbs up for Groucho! “Of course TV is educational. Every time they turn it on I go into another room and read a book.” The gentleman was ahead of his time.

      I just got down off the mountain after 15 hours of stargazing. Will read yours and comment articulately as soon as sleep is done with me.



  8. Carlos Repuesto de la Tabla December 9, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

    Terrific, Doug. Really has the right level of subtlety, puts the readers attention to the meaning instead of the words without hammering one with that meaning, whatever it might be. After all, you can lead us to the water, but…

    • dmmacilroy December 9, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

      Hi Carlos,

      You just made my day with your kind comment. I so want this to lodge in the minds of Madison and her young son. That you figured out where I was trying to lead everyone tells me there might be a chance. Thanks so much for commenting.



  9. Siobhan Muir December 9, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

    Darn horses, they never do listen. Teenagers either, more often than not. Fun story, Doug. 🙂

    • dmmacilroy December 9, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

      Hi Siobhan,

      In this case the lesson for both humans was being taught by the horse. Still, if the student hasn’t learned, the teacher hasn’t taught. I hope everyone get to drink their fill at the end of this story.



  10. Madison Woods December 9, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    Hahaha. Well, you know what they say…’You can lead a horse to water…” So true. Thanks, Doug – I know he’s going to like reading these, but just like you illustrated so perfectly in your story, I can’t make him drink. This little effort might just plant a seed that sprouts and grows later though, and it’s never too late to start.

    • Madison Woods December 9, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

      oh and here’s an updated link to mine:

    • dmmacilroy December 9, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

      Oh, Madison,

      I bet he drinks deeply one day. You just keep being you and he’ll see the light. I’m glad you liked my story. I put a lot of love into it.

      For you.



      • Lindaura Glamoura December 9, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

        Love your quotes! All of them. Made me laugh as usual!
        See you in the blog soon,

      • Madison Woods December 15, 2011 at 3:23 am #

        Guess what, Doug? He took a sip! He came to my office tonight and said ‘if it makes you happy to know, I’m thinking of reading something’. LOL. Thought you might like to know 🙂

      • dmmacilroy December 15, 2011 at 3:55 am #

        Great news, Madison,

        Start him on the Hobbit and then give him the Lord of the Rings. That will hook him for sure.



  11. dmmacilroy December 9, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    Dear ‘Lindaura’,

    Thanks for the reading and the commenting. And the enjoying!


    Sleepy Douglas

  12. Susan Wenzel (@SusanWenzel) December 9, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

    As the mother of a high school junior who has yet to take any steps out into the big wide world, I appreciate your story more than you know. (I, too, hope she drinks well…)

    • dmmacilroy December 10, 2011 at 3:48 am #

      Dear Susan,

      I’m sorry for taking 12 hours to reply to your comment. I was in such a fog this morning. Eclipse coming tonight.

      I’m sure the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. My bet is that you’ll get your wish.

      Thanks for reading!



  13. Deanna Bollinger Hill December 9, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    I loved the Groucho Marx quote! Then it got serious and I could feel the anguish she felt with this line – “Time passed, words on the wind.” Maybe – one day her son will get the passion to read. 🙂

    • dmmacilroy December 10, 2011 at 1:26 am #

      Dear Deanna,

      I hope so. Reading has opened up so many worlds to me as I’m sure it has for you. Reading played a large part in how we met and that alone demonstrates its magic.

      Thanks for stopping in and checking out Inside of a Dog. I hope Groucho approves.



  14. Caely December 9, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    Hi D,

    This story painted up a scenery in my head. A blurry one, and a little sad somehow. Love how you put magic to your words, I just can’t explain it…
    Here’s my story 🙂 ->


    • dmmacilroy December 10, 2011 at 1:30 am #

      Dear Cae,

      The same magic lives in you. i see it growing with every story. Thanks for reading, my busy girl.



  15. justlyd December 10, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    Love this, those quotes were so perfect for the scenerio.(I had never heard the Groucho Marx one before,but it’s one I’ll remember now. I also liked how you went past the photo prompt and used the story between adison and her son. This has a lot of layers and I was impressed by how you were able to do that in so few words. Very cool.

    • dmmacilroy December 10, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

      I’m glad you approve of Groucho, Lydia. And thanks for the vote of confidence re my decision to use them. Once I figured out that Madison could use them talking to her horse I was off and running.

      Thanks for stopping by and reading. I’ll be looking for more of yours next week.



  16. Sonia Lal December 10, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    Hey, Madison’s blog said he enjoyed the stories. So the boy drank, so to speak.

    Loved the quotes.

  17. elmowrites December 12, 2011 at 7:37 pm #

    Hi Doug, Sorry for the delayed comment, Madison’s page wouldn’t open for me on Friday and I’ve had a crazy weekend since, so I’m just catching up. My story is posted too if you’re interested.

    I absolutely adored this piece, I’ve been reading everyone’s this morning and it’s by far my favourite. I thought you balanced the imagery just perfectly – you led us to the water but you did hold our heads under it. I wish I’d written this.

    • Douglas MacIlroy December 12, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

      Dear Elmo,

      Better late…..right? Thanks for such a nice compliment. The 100 word limit really forces you to use your resources wisely, doesn’t it?

      My story was more for Madison’s benefit than anything else. That it resonate with you is icing on the cake. I enjoyed your story, too. Dragon’s tail for breakfast. Yum!



  18. weight loss tips July 2, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    Hi! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick
    shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading your
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  19. rochellewisoff January 18, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

    Dear Doug,

    Alas, Madison’s story that goes with this can no longer be found. 😦 Your words are magic, regardless. Your friendship, even more-so. As I’m trolling back for past stories….yours…I still feel like the new kid on the block and am in wonder that I ended up at the helm.

    Guess I’ll get off my arse and take it to the pool.


    Kia Ora




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