A Chameleon by Chekhov #DealMeIn2018

As part of the Deal Me In Short Story Reading Challenge, I turned over another card in my reading deck. It came up clubs. Clubs means Chekhov.

The story I picked at random was “The Chameleon”. That was a lucky choice, because a little humor goes well on a dreary day.

In “The Chameleon”, a police superintendent comes across a man chasing and catching a puppy who has bitten him. The superintendent asks whose dog it is, and the spectators have a difference of opinion about it.

When it seems the dog belongs to the General, the superintendent abuses the man who was bitten. When it seems the dog is a stray, the superintendent sympathizes with the bitten man and promises to strangle the dog.

The dog survives.

The story is small, short, and obvious, but so nicely written it made me laugh. At the same time, I realized that the poor dog’s life depended on its belonging to someone the official wanted to toady up to. So it was scary and sad at the same time it was funny.

That’s Chekhov for ya!

If YOU need a short story to read, I have free ones here on my Free Reads page. I also have four collections for 99 cents each linked from my Short Stories page.

A WRITING PROMPT BASED ON MY POST:  Write about somebody trying to curry favor with the powerful.


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I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “A Chameleon by Chekhov #DealMeIn2018

  1. Roy A. Ackerman, PhD, EA

    April 2, 2018 at 11:48am

    I’m more curious to know how Clubs means Checkhov!!!!!!
    (By the way, it’s not just the dog. It’s how America dispenses justice- or condones those that use guns to murder other citizens.)

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      April 2, 2018 at 1:42pm

      Clubs means Chekhov because I decided it did before the challenge began. Some people assign a specific story to every card, shuffle the deck, then read whatever story’s card comes up. I assigned Chekhov to clubs, East of the Web to hearts, Andrew Lang’s Rainbow fairy books to diamonds, and Daily Science Fiction to Spades. And, alas, I think you’re right about the dog.

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