The New Generation of Classic Short Stories

Vol. 13, No. 1

The Dwarves

by Veronica Stigger

Translated by Andrea Strane

He was pygmy-height, and she came up to his waist. The two of them were so small they couldn't even see over the candy counter. She was jumping up and down, trying see what good things the candy store had. He, more circumspect, craned his neck, pointed his nose upward, and inhaled deeply—as if he could identify by scent the sweets he couldn't see. The two thus made a handsome couple. They weren't deformed, nor did they have that morbid aspect characteristic of some dwarves. They seemed as if merely drawn to reduced scale. We could have felt compassion or even sympathy for them, had their grave character defects not been so evident.
     It was not the first time we had seen them; and worse, it was not the first time we had seen them skipping the line. The couple took advantage of their diminutive stature to slip shamelessly in front of other people who were waiting to be helped. That's how it was the other day in the drugstore. The two entered the store and went directly to the counter, ignoring all those who were waiting patiently. We didn't argue with them only because it wasn't necessary. The clerk, inattentive as usual, didn't notice them and—well done!—helped us first.

To read the rest of this story, both in English and in its original Portuguese, and others from the Spring 2009 issue, please purchase a copy from our online store.