Pale Old Finucane

Pale old Finucane pulled his horses, who pulled his plow, all so slowly going over a stoney field under grey skies.

Every time he would pass the window of Widow Jones — the newly widowed Widow Jones, it must be noted — he’d pause to listen to her sobbing within, think for a moment and start again.

It was on the morning of the third day of her mourning that he abandoned his work, bit the inside of his cheek hard and worked himself up into a weeping fit before knocking on her door.

Peeping around the door, she saw the state of him and asked:

— Ah, Finucane, what’s the matter?

— I’ve lost my wife who was so dear to me, and seeing you here lamenting your lost husband, I came to thinking: shouldn’t we live together as husband and wife, each doing for the other now that we’re both alone?

She thought it over, posing a few objections that he handily dismissed, until they had agreed that it was to be. Their tears dry and with their smiles newly shining, he gave her a chaste peck on the cheek and returned to field to find his horses and plow gone and stolen!

He set to wailing and shouting and bemoaning his loss, which brought the widow out of her cottage.

— You’re still grieving?

— I am, and this time I mean it!

This entry is part of my journal, published January 25, 2012, in New York.