Just for Fun — Firefly

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This is where we have fun, some of which is poignant, with talking animals. Also, this particular story represents a time when I was experimenting with pseudonyms. Thus — Grace Strange. My given middle name is Anne, which interprets to “grace”, and my first name, Barbara, means “strange”. Have fun with that! I did!

The short story Firefly came about as an experiment, too. For a writing project in the Writer’s Digest School’s “Writing and Selling Short Stories”, 2002, we were asked to play with POV. I created three different viewpoint characters to relate this horse racing drama.

The version presented here from the racehorse’s POV, I created as a fantasy. For extra fun, I’ve scanned the copy of the story as it was edited by my WDS instructor!  Enjoy!

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The original short story, Racing Dilemma, from which this fantasy was taken, may be read at
My Writing Life Xposed 
my Primary Blog here, at WordPress. Excerpts of this story, and other versions of it may also appear at some of my other numerous WordPress blogs.

Short Stories and Story Art

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Credit:
Story and Roughcraft Artwork from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

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Do We Cheat Them?

A trotter takes a warmup run.

Sometimes, of course, we let our animals to the talking for us, rather than for themselves. Deweycheatumnhowe is a splendid example of this.

Do We Cheat Them And How — Deweycheatumnhowe (Dewey for short) was 2008’s Three-Year-Old Male Champion Trotter in American harness racing. You can go anyhwere with a horse’s name, as long as you remain within the many rules governing the naming of race horses.

Dewey’s name is sneaky clever with a purpose. It was assigned to point out the butt of a Johnny Carson gag that concerned a crooked law firm! Deweycheatumnhowe is a champion who carried his racing name with dignity, wiping out his competition everywhere for two seasons before his retirement to stud to produce new little Cheatums to carry on his owner’s philosophy of bringing about certain public awareness.

I have a question. Could the response to the Johnny Carson gag have been just as strong if Dewey’s owners had opted for something on the less slippery side? Say, like, Rwehonstuafaltubet — Are We Honest To A Fault You Bet? Perhaps Aryhonstunoit — Are We Honest You Know It? The nicknames would still be appealing — Faulty and Ary — and the message would still be strong, but it would highlight the opposite side of the coin, not so much advertising the cheating, but instead boosting the idea of honesty.

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