The Corgi Who Didn't Yet Have A Tail

Excerpted from "Ruby and the Moon" by Kelly Lynn Thomas

Once, there was a Welsh Corgi dog who had no tail. She never had one, and did not know the difference until a child exclaimed, 'He doesn't have a tail yet!' Aside from the indignity of being addressed as a boy, she was not sure what the child meant. Was she supposed to have a tail? She was still young herself, but she'd gotten along without a tail for this long.

bulLdogFrom then on she noticed that all the dogs she passed did have tails, even the new-born puppies. She felt self-conscious about her lack of tail now, and hoped the other dogs wouldn't notice. But they did notice, perhaps because she made such an effort to hide it. A large bulldog asked her what happened to her tail, but rather than respond she hung her head and walked away.

The Corgi grew shy and reserved, and kept to herself. She tried all she could think of to make her tail grow. She pulled on the spot where her tail should have been to see if it was stuck inside, but all she did was pull her hair out and give the other dogs cause to laugh at her bald spots. Then she tried attaching some bushy reeds to act as a surrogate tail, but that made the other dogs laugh even more.

sheepdog A few weeks went by without the Corgi leaving her yard, and she grew more and more miserable. Now, if you have never met a Corgi, they are not the kind of dog to sit around and mope, and she finally couldn't take her self-pity anymore. So one day, she sought out an old, wise sheepdog at the dog park.

'Sir?' she asked. 'Do you happen to know why I don't have a tail?' She looked away from him while she spoke.

'You don't need a tail,' the sheepdog said.

'But all the other dogs have tails. Is there someway I can get one?' If dogs could blush, the little Corgi's face would have been bright red.

The sheepdog laughed. 'No. You don't need a silly tail. They get all tangled and give children something to pull on. Your ancestors herded cattle. The People removed your tails so that the cattle wouldn't step on them and so you wouldn't get burs caught in them. I don't know if you've ever lain on a bur, but it hurts like a-well, it hurts.'

His eyes sparkled with mischief, but the Corgi knew he told her the truth. Even so, she had it in her mind that she wanted a tail.

'That's still not fair,' she said. 'All the other dogs make fun of me. And I do not herd cows. Or anything else.

'Fair doesn't mean everyone gets the same,' the sheepdog responded. 'It means everyone gets what she needs.'

The Corgi wasn't happy, but the sheepdog's tone implied that he would not be coaxed into saying anything else on the matter. She thanked him and went back to her People. On their way home, she lost herself so thoroughly thinking about the sheepdog's advice she didn't notice another dog walking toward her until she bumped into him.

'Hey, shrimp, watch where you're going!' he said. His People pulled him back, but he continued looking down at the Corgi with disdain. 'What happened to your tail?' he snickered.

The Corgi's first reaction was to look away from the dog in shame, but she recalled the sheepdog's words about her ancestors. 'I don't need a tail,' she scoffed. 'It would only get in my way.'

She walked away from the bully with her nose in the air. If she would have looked back, she would have seen shock on his face. Once she was sure she was out of sight and sound, she let a wild grin spread across her muzzle.

After that, she took pride in not having a tail and in the history of her ancestors. Her attitude surprised the other dogs, and they never bothered her about her tail again.

Corgi graphic by M/Y/D/S graphic designs & illustrations