Friday, 26 October 2018


Unka: Character Post 69
From Pisky Business and The Kissing Ring

From Pisky Business and The Kissing Ring

Merryn Pendennis was a pisky man who lived at Treborrow over there. He was also a mutable fay, like his natural son Jory. Unlike Jory’s fluffy white terrier manifestation, Dog Jory, Merryn’s was a sleek, long-legged black dog that looked somewhat like

"a cheerful whippet.

This was Unka, a friendly and mercurial dog with a merrily beating tail. Unka was playful, and when Merryn’s younger son Tane was small they often played together.
Years later, when Tane was an adult, Linda came with Jory to meet Merryn for the first time. While Merryn and Jory got acquainted in manform, Linda talked to Merry’s friend Drew, who explained how Merryn’s dog manifestation got its name:

My sons used to love playing with Unka, which, I regret, is what they call Merry’s mani self. "Walking Unka" was a great game to them and Merry, bless him, played along.

Jory was nervous about displaying his (fluffy, white) dog self to his father, but he steeled himself to do it.

The fluffy dog appeared. It looked from the pisky to Linda and back. Its tail was low and nervous, and Linda wanted to pick it up for a hug. But this was Jory’s business, so she held back.
“As well your boys did not see that. They would be green as an angry pixie,” Merry said cheerfully to Drew. He dropped to his knees and bent so he was nose to nose with Dog-Jory. Then he raised one hand and blinked out. In his place stood a sleek black dog with long legs and a pointed snout. It reminded Linda of a whippet, but it exuded more joy de vivre than whippets typically did.
Dog-Jory jumped back. Dog-Merry waved his tail and descended into a play-bow. Dog-Jory yapped and bounced. In a moment they were rushing about, barking madly, and then, by some accord, they took off up the hill.

A few years later, Jory and Linda were married with a daughter and a second child on the way. Linda’s mother and her new husband had a daughter and Merryn, to his inexpressible happiness, had reconnected with Jory’s mother Rachel and they’d had a daughter. This meant three little girls, all connected, had joined the extended family. When Jory suggested spending a night somewhere nice, Linda enquired about their daughter…

"I take it Mum’s looking after Laura?”
“Not this time. Ma and Merry turned up with Richenda just after you left this afternoon. Tane and Jill came with them. Laura wanted to play with Richie, so they all stayed over so I could come out and do that job. Last I saw of them, the little maids were snuggled up in a beanbag with Unka keeping guard. Tane was playing the flute, and Ma and Jill were dancing and discussing the finer points of pisky ears.”
“Good God.”
“Situation normal, you might say.”

The latest mention of Unka is in I Promise, when Promise Grene sees her cousin, Corin, hanging a picture in his father’s gallery.

Then Prom saw Corin come out of a store room and hang a picture of a cheerful black dog in one of the few empty spaces.
 “Greet you, Corin,” she called, smiling as she wondered what gallery visitors would say if they knew that dog wasn’t only or always a dog.

Merryn’s black Unka had a short dense coat. As Merryn turned sixty in 2018, Unka might be greying a little about the eyes and muzzle, but he’d still love going for a run or playing with Tane and Jillian’s youngest children. 

To meet Unka and Dog Jory, check out Pisky Business

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