Their Last Recovery - A Fable

Marine anthropologist Dr. David Posey hefted himself from Mediterranean waters onto the deck of the Labyrinth while his wife Patsy maneuvered the salvage net.

“What on earth? So heavy…not just another urn…” Patsy mused. David was bursting with excitement as he untangled his find from the netting.

“I think it’s gonna be a doozy, Pats,” he said. “Those aren't broken handles – more like horns. It doesn’t feel like marble, quite. We might just finally get out of the recovery business!”

He scraped away a few barnacles and found an eye underneath. It blinked. 

The Poseys took the minotaur home and set it up in their spare bedroom. They sold the Labyrinth and retired to take care of their last recovery. Fans of the classics, they called him Minos.

When Minos was small, they visited the library and museums as a family, but the zoo seemed inappropriate. As he grew, he drew more attention; soon they avoided going into buildings and spent time on walks among the Botanic Garden's hedges.

While Dr. Posey worked on that book he'd never been able to finish writing, Mrs. Posey tried to teach their new little one to read.  Minos seemed interested, and even had favorite books, but the most he could respond was a throaty Blarp. It became evident that his head would soon be too large to leave the bedroom, so Dave built a yard house in the back with a very wide door and a false room in front for storing the lawnmower. He installed comfortable furniture, a television with video games, and a small library. Patsy let Minos choose the books he’d put on those shelves. He kept growing bigger, especially his head.

Dave and Patsy would come out after dinner and visit Minos in his barn, taking care not to alert any neighbors. Minos was sensitive to the obfuscation, though, and his feelings were hurt. Eventually he took a shovel and hedge clippers from the front room of his house, and ran away.

His parents finally found him in the hedgerows of the Botanic Garden. Minos was in the process of digging up bushes and replanting them so they blocked any ingress to the center of the maze. The gardeners had been perplexed by these changes, but there was no maintenance to be done, so they left well enough alone.

“Minos, I know your existence must be lonely,” Patsy cajoled. “Please come home. We can add onto the barn. I’ll get you some bushes to plant. 

“Blarp,” mourned Minos. 

The Poseys continued to visit Minos in his garden. As years went on, Dr. Posey would push Patsy in a wheelchair through the maze, new books for Minos on her lap. She would read to him until she grew cold and weary; Minos would tuck the books into a crate between the boxwood and holly. Eventually, Dr. Posey came to the garden alone. 

“Your mother isn’t with us anymore,” he told Minos. “She won’t be coming to see you.” He handed Minos a large volume: Marlboro, His Life and Times, by Winston Churchill.

Minos howled to the sky. Scuttling could be heard about the grounds of the botanical gardens. Dr. Posey put a hand on Minos’ arm, trying to console him. Minos gave back the book.

“Don’t you want it? Just keep it, look at it later.”

“Blarp.” Minos shook his sizeable head and turned away.

Dr. Posey passed in 2019. Minos is still in the Botanical Garden; it’s very difficult to find your way through the maze he built but it can be done. You should bring a book, just in case.


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