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The Taming of the Shrew.

Old John never wanted much in life just a little company and some peace, and quiet. He never was one for loud music or crowded clubs, no a couple of quiet beers and some stimulating conversation. When he had married Maud he thought, this is it a life partner to share the same values. He could not have been more wrong, the shy and retiring young woman had become a nagging shrew. It sometimes seemed to him that once the ring was on her finger, a change of gargantuan proportions occurred in her personality. Suddenly her life’s goal appeared to be the slow erosion of his spirit, nothing he said or done was right. Nothing he provided for her was good enough, his job never paid enough, and his few friends were deadbeats. The list was endless and appeared to be growing by the day; she delighted in his every failing, which gave her another opportunity to nag.

John took to searching for quiet bars of the beaten track; here no one would see him as the victim of the shrew. In these small anonymous drinking establishments, he could project an air of confidence; he could sit and engage in conversation without the fear of constant criticism. It was in one of these small bars one winter evening that his luck changed, a chance meeting with the unusual little man was to change his life. Why he decided to open up to this man he could never really say, maybe it was because he had a few more beers than usual, who could tell. Suffice to say that within a couple of hours of meeting the small man, he had told him his life story. It felt good to be able to tell your woes to another human, without being judged on everything you said. It had felt even better when the small man with piercing eyes offered a solution to his woes.

John finished work and hurried to catch the bus home, things were far better now and he rarely even bothered to stop off for a drink on the way home. Yes, the little man was a genius at this kind of thing, Maud and himself were getting on better than ever now thanks to him. It may have cost him his life savings but boy was it worth it, he looked forward to going home these days. John opened the front door and stepped into the glorious tranquillity of his home; he went straight to the fridge and got himself a beer. “Time for some beer and sports Maud” he called out; perfect he thought, not a single word of contradiction. John paused before turning on the TV and stared at Maud in her chair. It never ceased to amaze him, just how good a taxidermist the strange little man was.

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