In October 2017 the Twinning Association Le Relecq-Kerhuon (Brittany, France) - Bodmin (Cornwall, England) in cooperation with the town of Le Relecq-Kerhuon announced an English short story contest for young people and adults.

As the contest was by the Twinning Association, I wanted to write a story which made a link between Bodmin and Le Relecq-Kerhuon. Or England and Le Relecq-Kerhuon, as the beginning of the story was given by the association and it started in London:

“They were standing on the platform at Victoria railway station in London when suddenly, they saw...“.

The short story should not be longer than two pages.

It was fun writing this story and I hope that you will enjoy reading it.


Monsieur’s adventures

“They were standing on the platform at Victoria railway station in London when suddenly, they saw...“. Jenny was reading aloud from the Daily Mail. Now she put down the newspaper and met the gaze of two brown eyes watching her. “This article is about you, Monsieur! And here is your photo!” Sitting on the sofa next to him, she pointed at the picture in the newspaper. Monsieur gave her another look from under his wavy white hair before he laid his head on her knees and closed his eyes. Jenny gently started petting his head while she saw the scene at the railway station pass before her inner eye...

It happened on platform 16 where the train to Brighton was due to leave. Jenny was waving good-bye to her boyfriend. The doors were about to close, when suddenly a small white dog jumped out of the train from the carriage next to her. He just made it onto the platform before the door clunked shut behind him and the train started to move.

The dog ran straight away to the nearest bench, lifted a hind leg to pee, and then started sniffing, following a trail on the ground. When he suddenly realized that the train was gone, he sat down, tilted back his head and let out a long, sad howl.

The people around him discussed what to do. Someone came with a piece of string to attach to the dog’s collar, and Jenny called her boyfriend’s mobile on the train. She learned that the little dog belonged to an old lady. Very upset to see her dog disappear, she had tried to pull the emergency brake, but luckily other passengers had stopped her. It appeared that she was on her way to her granddaughter’s wedding in France. The old lady was all in tears, going back to London would mean missing the wedding. She was to meet a friend in Brighton who was driving to Brest, taking the night ferry from Portsmouth to St Malo.

Mrs. Smith, the old lady, had been very talkative when Jenny spoke to her on the phone. Her son was married to a Frenchwoman. They were living in a small town near Brest. It was their oldest daughter Alice who was getting married this weekend. Mrs. Smith had explained, that Alice and the dog had a very special relationship, therefore she really wanted the dog to be with her at the wedding. The dog was a Westie, and his name was “Monsieur Curieux”, after a character in children’s books. This name had been Alice’s idea, because of the dog’s curiosity and nosiness. But usually he was just called “Monsieur”.

Well, in the end Jenny offered to take the dog to France by car. Taking a long weekend off, driving around in Brittany. She knew she would love it. Mrs. Smith had given the dog’s passport and money for the fare to Brittany to the train conductor. Jenny picked it up when the train returned to Victoria Station.

Early Saturday afternoon Jenny arrived in the small town of Le Relecq-Kerhuon near Brest, shortly after the wedding had started in the town hall. She decided to wait outside at the bottom of the stairs in front of the wedding hall. They didn’t expect her before the evening. Jenny imagined how glad Mrs.Smith and Alice would be to see the dog at the end of the ceremony.

Mairie pour Nouvelle

A man ran past them and up the stairs. He silently opened the door to the wedding hall and tiptoed inside to the next empty chair. He had left the door open. Jenny could see the bride and the bridegroom sitting in front of the public officer.

Suddenly there was a howl from the dog. The next moment he had freed himself from the lead by pulling his head out of the collar. He ran up the steps and into the hall.

“Monsieur! Come here!” Without thinking Jenny had shouted aloud. All the people in the hall turned their heads. The man who had just arrived, raised from his chair and came towards her. The dog was whining and barking, trying to jump up on to the bride’s lap. Jenny was ready to sink into the earth with shame.

“Un instant, s’il vous plaît ! A moment, please!” The public officer addressed the attendees of the wedding ceremony in both French and English. “The bride has told me that this dog named “Monsieur Curieux” is her English granny’s dog. She is so glad that the dog made it to her wedding, even if his arrival was a bit too turbulent. Well, it seems that Monsieur Curieux is very curious about following the wedding of his dear Alice. Now we will continue the ceremony.” The officer smiled, addressing the dog: “Please, Monsieur, sit down!”

The dog looked at the officer, and then to the surprise of all, he sat down next to the bride where he stayed calmly until the end of the wedding.