Ruth looked distressed. “Do you think Arnie should be in my cookbook?”
Arnie was her poodle. He passed on to the Great Fire Hydrant In The Sky last year.
“I should hope not,” I said. “He’d be much too stringy even to slow cook with by now.”
She scowled. “No. I mean in my Family Tree section. Should Arnie be in the Family Tree section of my family cookbook? Is that weird?”
“Let’s put it in perspective,” I replied. “Your cousin Graham. He borrowed $800 from you six years ago. Never repaid it. He hogged down half your peach cobbler last Christmas. He hasn’t said five civil words to you in half a decade. Is he going to be in your cookbook?”
“Is he more family to you than Arnie?”
“Family,” I said, “has little to do with time or life or death or even species. Family is love, and family is forever.”
“Hmmmm. Maybe,” she said. “Now I wonder if there’s some form of slow cooking I could do to Graham that would get my $800 back….”