Kleist, Heinrich von

The Beggarwoman of Locarno

This morning, as with all mornings, I took She Who Must Bark At The Most Inconvenient Times on an early morning walk, which, given the several feet of snow on the ground (read: a few inches), was less an “early morning walk” than a “mighty difficult time staying afoot for the bipedal member of the walking party, as the bipedal-squared one trounced happily and darted into snowbanks and tried her best to cause the amputation of the fingers on my icicly leash-bearing hand.” And as I was trying both to preserve all my fingers and my stance (literally), it hit me that really, I ought to buy a sleigh and let the beast walk me for a change. And then, immediately following this thought, it hit me with horror: snow. Sleighride fantasies. Fresh fingersnaps. It’s holiday time.

And then I shuddered with enough ferocity to send beads of ice crystalled cold sweat from my brow and thought: I know what I need to get me in the holiday spirit– a glass of warm milk, a stocking by the fireplace, and just a little Teutonic Gothic Horror.