A Nail The Kingdom

2199 Words9 Pages
For want of a nail the kingdom was lost �C that 's how the catechism goes when you boil it down. In the end, you can boil everything down to something similar �C or so Roberta Anderson thought much later on. It 's either all an accident ... or all fate. Anderson literally stumbled over her destiny in the small town of Haven, Maine, on June 21st, 1988. That stumble was the root of the matter; all the rest was nothing but history.


Anderson was out that afternoon with Peter, an aging beagle who was now blind in one eye. Peter had been given to her by Jim Gardener in 1976. Anderson had left college the year before with her degree only two months away to move onto her uncle 's place in Haven. She hadn 't realized how lonely she 'd been until Gard brought the dog. He 'd been a pup then, and Anderson sometimes found it difficult to believe he was now old �C eighty-four in dog 's years. It was a way of measuring her own age. 1976 had receded. Yes indeed. When you were twenty-five, you could still indulge in the luxury of believing that, in your case, at least, growing up was a clerical error which would eventually be rectified. When you woke up one day and discovered your dog was eighty-four and you yourself were thirty-seven, that was a view that had to be re-examined. Yes indeed.

Anderson was looking for a place to cut some wood. She 'd a cord and a half laid by, but wanted at least another three to take her through the winter. She had cut a lot since those early days when

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