Gram spotted the doghouse and literally threw up her hands, just as grannies are supposed to do. I was near enough to hear what she said to Gramps.
“Pa! It’s the very thing!”
My job that day was to chat up the customers, and so I walked right over. When I told her the asking price, I thought she was going to cry.
“Why, that’s so reasonable! And we’ve been looking for one just like this for three years!”
I helped Gramps carry Blue’s house down to their car and then asked, “What sort of dog do you have?” I was going to tell them about Blue and the Catahoula — the doghouse’s provenance, you see. But Gram shook her head.
“Oh, we don’t have a dog.” When I asked what kind they planned to get, the old dear smiled radiantly.
“It’s not for a dog. It’s for all our gnomes!”
Then she described her plan: to paint the doghouse to look like a proper gnomes’ home and plant violets and primroses around it.
I was stunned but managed to ask, “And will the gnomes be inside it?”
“Some,” she said, pleased by my interest. “Some will stand in the doorway, and others will be inside, looking out around them.” She was almost lost in her vision. “And more will be standing around outside, among the flowers.”
I so wanted to know how many gnomes in all, but now she was hugging me and even kissed my cheek.
“You’ve made us so happy — hasn’t he, Pa?” Pa nodded at me, but I’m pretty sure he also raised both eyebrows.
And then, damn it! I let the car drive away without asking where Grammy and Gramps live. I’d drive a hundred miles to see the gnomes in and around Blue’s doghouse, their freshly painted manor. Of course, I’d take Blue along with me.
On a leash.