The Thorn In My Paw

I saw a man I hadn’t seen in a while I’ll call Ted, who’s very active in the church I sometimes go to.

When he sees me he does everything but genuflect, like I’m one of the Apostles, because I had helped him once, way back when.

It was on the eve of Hurricane Irene, when the media had us scared shitless, people buying everything off the shelves as if it were the 1962, Cuban Missile Crisis.

I remember being calm, since I flip out over more important matters like, my roots are showing, cheerfully on my way to lunch.

There was Ted standing on the corner, almost in tears because he needed flashlight batteries that were sold out everywhere. I just happened to have a mini flashlight in my purse my shoemaker had just given me, so I gave it to him. You would have thought it was a kidney, because after that, Ted wouldn’t leave me be.

He wrote me letters of thanks. He had a mass for me. When they asked during the Prayer of the Faithful, is there anyone you’d like to pray for, Ted would rise up and say…for Suzann’ah, the kindest girl in the world.

No I’m not making this up. I finally had to speak to a priest to kindly tell him to please curb the over-the-top adoration, which brings me to Baskum Dernfield, a Beagle I used to know.

He belonged to a very Orthodox Jewish family at the end of our street. I was about 11 at the time, on my way home from school, when I encountered Baskum sitting on a step mewling. The poor guy had something stuck in his front paw, so I, the future Joan of Bark, without paws (couldn’t resist), took it out.

You’d think that would have been the end, but Baskum, like Ted, had so much gratitude that he just wouldn’t leave me alone.

They’d let him out and he’d race to my house, guarding it like a furry, speckled sentry. Mr. Dernfield would have to come get him, when finally, the only solution, was to keep him fenced in.

There’s so much poignancy in both these stories, when you think, nowadays, the world’s appreciation is down several quarts, so when I saw Ted this morning, I just let him gush when he passionately grasped my hands and said…

“It’s the lovely Suzann’ah,” doing everything short of showing me his paw.



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in animals, creative writing, Gratitude, humanity, humor, inspiration, New York City, religion, Uncategorized, words and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

66 Responses to The Thorn In My Paw

  1. robprice59 says:

    Their response is commensurate with their inner relief, sooner than your contribution. I think that’s just as it should be. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  2. aFrankAngle says:

    Cheers to kindness! โ€ฆ but my favorite line hit a homerun. โ€ฆ “the worldโ€™s appreciation is down several quarts” โ€ฆ wow!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorryless says:


    Kindnesses are fuel for the cosmos. If that sounds too much like a hippie talking, I don’t really care. The world needs more kindnesses if it wants to keep breathing, and you supply . . gallons worth.

    That name . . . Baskum Dernfield! It sounds like a famous literary character.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. skinnyuz2b says:

    So often what seems a small act to us has a tremendous impact upon the receiver. We would do a disservice to the receiver if we pooh-pooh or try to diminish the importance of the act. Perhaps you could carry a small rug in case you run into him in the future, so he can kneel on it, ha ha. After all, you seem to have everything else in that purse!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dale says:

    I know you are not big on receiving thanks and kudos and praise and stuff like that…

    However, I shall agree with Frank and Marc that the world needs more kindness – and, though you think your little acts are nothing or no big whup, they were something to the receivers. And that’s a good thing.

    Keep being you, Miss Suzann’ah!


  6. It just goes to show how much of an impact we can have on someone’s life with small gestures. You’ve always been great at spotting those little moments, so I’m sure there are hundreds of people in New York that feel similarly (even if they don’t have a mass for you). ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • He was so panicked, the poor guy. I should have been more concerned myself but wasnโ€™t. Something told me weโ€™d be okay and we were. Manhattan more or less was spared. Little things mean so much. Sigh


  7. Eilene Lyon says:

    I really was thinking you made up that story about Ted, not because you hadnโ€™t shown kindness, but that you donโ€™t see that kind of gratitude. Ever. Wow.


  8. You are getting some of the adulation you deserve.


  9. Isn’t it funny how something so small to one person is immeasurable to another?
    As you can see I’m catching up with my reading, and I’m glad I decided to do it on this quiet Sunday morning. I’ll be heading to Meeting shortly with a lot of good things to ponder on in silence. Kindness, grace, humanity at its best and lessons, many lessons. Thank you, Grasshopper โค


    • I get that. Jehovah Witnesses who blog have a bigger following than mine because I don’t read anyone. Just now someone commented…read my post…I deleted it immediately. Go away…I just have no tolerance as good as I may be at helping others. Writing and what you read is very personal. I don’t care much what people say as a rule. Sometimes I think of pulling the plug on a Thing Girl but then don’t. I’d lose almost 2000 essays and my gymnasium to work out at, which is really what it is for me. See what you tapped into? sigh

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I have had students so happy over some tiny praise (or big one) that I gave them. They would listen intently and do anything to be around me for awhile. I used that time to teach them about things. Sometimes it worked; sometimes, they left – either way was okay…

    Liked by 1 person

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