Shopping Is as Shopping Does

Animated sequence of a race horse galloping. P...

Animated sequence of a race horse galloping. Photos taken by Eadweard Muybridge (died 1904), first published in 1887 at Philadelphia (Animal Locomotion). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wednesday seems like a good day to tell a little story. I was thinking on what to post today and I tumbled a few ideas around in my head.(Nice thing there isn’t much in there to get in the way) I thought I would come up with a holiday story, but right now it is a little too far away for the story to have the same meaning. I also considered doing one of those surprise ending – mystery – type things, but felt the holidays were a little too close for something macabre. So, I settled on what you see here. It is a story of a guy caught trying to enter a department store with a horse while doing some holiday shopping. It’s titled Me and my Pal and I hope you like it.

Me and My Pal by John W. Howell ©2013

“Excuse me sir, but you can’t bring that animal into the store.”

“This so called animal happens to be a thorough bred horse.”

“Yeah I can see that, but you still can’t have it in the store.”

“Why not? He’s housebroken and cleaner than a lot of the folks I see in here. He wiped his feet before coming through the door.”

“He just may be cleaner, but he is still an animal and animals are not allowed.”

“What about service animals? Would you deny the entrance of a seeing eye dog for example?”

“No sir. We would not. Clearly your horse is not a service animal.”

“Oh but he is.”

“Sure sir. Your horse is a service animal. What service if I may be so presumptuous as to ask?”

“He is a gift horse.”

“A what?”

“A gift horse.”

“Okay I give, what is a gift horse?”

“A horse with the smarts to tell you when you have the right gift.”

“Sir I am going to have to ask you to step outside before I call security.”

“No I mean it. Watch I’ll show you. See this gift set of cologne, powder, and moisturizer?”

“Yeah I see it so what?”

“Well here. I’ll just pick it up and show it to the gift horse and ask if it is the right gift. The horse will nod his head yes if it is right and stomp his foot if wrong.”

“How does he know who the gift is for?”

“Oh that’s easy. I just tell him.”

“You tell him?”

“Yeah watch. I’ll hold this set under his nose and call him by My Pal. That’s his name.”

“Uh okay.”

“My Pal, does this look like a good gift for Judy?”

“He is stomping his foot.”

“See it means it is not the right gift.”

“Okay I have had enough. I need you and My Pal here to go outside.”

“Wait I have one more. My Pal, see this hundred-dollar bill? Would it make the right gift for this nice department store employee so you and I can continue shopping?”

“He is nodding yes. . . Did I hear you say he was housebroken?”


  1. Excellent. Always happy to read your stories because I can never tell where you’re going to go with it.


    1. Thank you. This is like an “A” on my general lit paper. 🙂


  2. Never underestimate the civility which money can buy…or not. Cute story. I want a gift horse, but I wouldn’t want to look him in the mouth.


    1. Thanks Susan you made me laugh. I couldn’t figure out how to work that in.


  3. Brilliant! Made me laugh out loud! 🙂


    1. A real good thing.


  4. That was wonderful, John. You just made my holiday month special again.


  5. Reblogged this on readful things blog and commented:
    John is the master of feel good stories.


  6. Hahaha! I never expected that ending.


  7. Olivia Stocum · ·

    That’s just awesome! Thanks.


    1. glad you liked it.


  8. Love this story! The ending is perfect 🙂


    1. Thank you. It was fun.


  9. I love it. This earnest employee was simply in need of a translation, brought to him by Ben Franklin. Nicely done, love the twists and turns and yes…the payoff.


    1. Thank you. The payoff is the key. Gotta wonder about bringing a horse into a store though.


  10. Oh, very clever – I enjoyed that!


    1. Thank you Katie.


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