Short Story: Mandover Cottage

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About this Short Story

Written by
Suzanne Mays


At a turning point in her life, Rennie returns to the tiny cottage that was her father's. As she helps her dying neighbor cook her last Thanksgiving, she meets a man from her past.


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It was the time of year when the squirrels ran across the road with their nuts. The leaves scurried with them. Mr. McNiver in his long johns and overalls held up his hand as I maneuvered my tiny car around the enormous ruts by his fence.

His three cows watched me. They were holding the field down. When I was a small girl looking up, Mr. McNiver explained that they were Dolly, Polly, and Molly holding the field down so it wouldn’t fly off. I had no reason to doubt him. Over the years, quite a few Dolly’s and Polly’s held down that particular field. I never knew which was which.

My destination was Mandover Cottage. Not my given name, but because a man went over there on a giant mower with deadly results. Now the steep hill was grown up in pine trees and my tiny cottage sat underneath them.

There was no yard, but flowers, all wild and profuse in summer.…

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Daniel Mays said "What a wonderful Thanksgiving story! I will read this again and again. I could see the characters as my own family. Well done. Very well done. Thank you. Daniel"
4 years ago
Suzanne Mays Guest Editor replied saying "Thank you, Daniel. I'm currently getting ready for Thanksgiving here and have my husband hard at work, too. He'll no doubt be thankful when its over. All the best, Suzanne"
4 years ago
Diane Dickson Guest Editor said "This is wonderful word painting. Although I have never been to that area I could almost see it, the cows holding down the field (lovely thought) and the gloriously wild garden. Of course the characters were all endearing and heart rending in their own ways and the atmosphere of love that you created was quite simply spellbinding. I thought I had read this before and was thrilled to find this treat was still waiting for me today. - Thanks for this."
6 years ago
Suzanne Mays Guest Editor replied saying "Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it. The wild garden comes from I'm a horrible weeder, so much easier to imagine a pretty garden then do the work.Take care."
6 years ago
Bill Haddow-allen said "A beautiful story. Such depth, so deftly done. You have a wonderful voice. Definitely a keeper. I will think about about Rennie and her neighbours. They walked off the page and linger here."
6 years ago
Suzanne Mays Guest Editor replied saying "Thank you so very much. Glad you liked it."
6 years ago
Debbie Johnson said "This is a beautiful story, woven with images that dwell in heart and mind. Thank you for sharing this story. It is what my mother used to call, "a keeper.""
6 years ago
Suzanne Mays Guest Editor replied saying "You're very kind.It's always been my dream to build a little cottage with my own hands. My husband is very wary of who would actually do the work.But like to think about it. Thank you."
6 years ago
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Suzanne Mays Guest Editor replied saying "Thank you, Jay.Glad you liked it. Hadn't heard the term "weepie" before. That's a good one. Suzanne"
6 years ago

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