His mother, in her old age, tells him stories.
“Have I told you, yes, I must have done, about the time in Kent I took a cow down to the beach? The farmer said I could. The children at the village school came out to watch. Their teacher canceled classes for the afternoon. She said, ‘Enjoy yourselves.’ The children cheered and ran along with us. The tide was out. The cow was like a lamb: it gamboled on the sand and paddled in the waves.”
He doesn’t challenge her. He only says, “It wasn’t Kent, Mum. It was Essex.”
Max Harris was born in England, received his PhD from the University of Virginia, and now lives in Wisconsin. His short stories have been published in A capella Zoo, Amoskeag, and/or, The Madison Review, The Midnight Diner, and other journals later in the alphabet. He has won the Wisconsin Academy Review/Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops Short Story Contest and the rather more scholarly Otto Gründler Book Prize.