A predator lying in wait Unaware the prey will bumble It’s loud and often will mumble Sadly unaware of its fate Unknowingly it is the bait Passing the chair still unaware It’s nemeses is hidden there. A yawn, a stretch a sharpened claw. Preys struck,stumbles hits head on door. Cat smiles, job done, she doesn’t care.
“Ican’tsee,Ican’tsee” scritches Squeezy. Two muttwits, all earflaps and furry bodies, obscuring the High Street, handlebars, all else “Ican’tcontrol–“
Paddles is in a state of shock snifz yu–
Don’t move! barks Bananas
..Kama, Karma, Karmaaa…
Wot yu doing? Squeezy’s gotta squeeze the handlebars Paddles can’t eyeball anything neither, the little Pug being all wrapped ‘round his large snout.
“arhhhh!” Squeezy scritches, trying to move her handpaw from the control but stuck under the weight of both fourlegs.
Don’t move Bananas yaps into Paddle’s thick earflap until…
The mowta whizzes down the High Street, completely out of control, flashing past Tuffy and GitOrrf! in a blur of sniffy fourlegs, whinny skinny roundlegs and Kama, Karmaaa…
Woaa, is that Paddles hanging off the front? wonders GitOrrf!
Nah, mate Tuffy corrects, bit of a sausage hanging from chops just a cool Bananas, init!
At a speed never intended for the mowta, all control is lost, thanks to thems pink and yellow fluffy lumps preventing Squeezy from doing wot she needs to do with handpaws on handlebars. The entrance to Herdwick pooping park rushing up to meet thems.
Jump! yelps Bananas.
Jump, yer fluffy muttwit and both fourlegs bail out, leaving Squeezy with a perfect view of the pooping park gates sweeping by either side. Loss of weight – coz Paddles is a right heavy four – causes the mowta to yaw this way and that, throwing the accordion high into the air. It crashes down in a squeezy, wheezy whine onto the grass, right beside Nutz.
Erh, snifz yu he barks at the wheezing thing.
Outside Costa, wotz actually nicely placed inside Herdwick pooping park, Squeezy almost manages to get the mowta under control before it gently crunches into a table and umbrella. The umbrella tips over and drapes Squeezy in bold Costa logos.
..if your colours were lyk my dreams…red, go–
Boy George cuts out. Squeezy struggles from under Costa logos and emerges into daylight.
“sorry,MissusLavinka” Arjom scritches, wobbling up to help her off the mowta.
“sorry,MissusLavinka” Oskar scritches, the legless, furless dumb scratch held in both handpaws.
Snifz yu barks Nutz at the accordion
Flaplegs, init adds Boltz, unfazed by an accordion flying into the park and landing on the grass right before his paws.
Yeah, yor right Nutz gives it one final snifz and I think it’s a gonna,d’yu know wot I’m sayin‘, bruv?
Usual same old, same old.
Lavinka gets Paddles ready for his guest appearance to the paying masses in the big city. She combs his fur over and over until static makes it stand on end in a blob of electric fuzz. She ties a Union Jack bandana ‘round his big head and completes the look with the gold-tinted aviators.
‘cept that, instead of the same old neon pink fuzz, Paddles is now cream coloured. Natural Chow Chow cream coloured.
“thereweare,mypatriotic,puffy-liondoggy” she takes his big furry snout between both handpaws and plonks a kiss on the tip of his black snout, all TLC.
Trouble is, Paddles don’t appreciate all the fuss. Coz all night long, Squeezy’s been washing all that pink out of him in the bath. He snifz of two-in-one shampoo and conditioner.
He wants to snifz his brekkers – but can’t.
Brekkers ain’t brekkers if yu don’t snifz it proper
That’s not gonna happen for a few days yet, not til his natural oils restore him to the handsome Chow Chow lyk wot he normally is.
And off they whine, on the mowta, towards West Pid. town center.
Dessert loving in your eyes all the waaay
They reach the corner of the Vape Shop at the top of the High Street.
“sitstillandbehave,thistime” Squeezy slowly whines the mowta down the pavement.
Me, behave. Me?
“fourmilesperhour” Squeezy scritches and don’t dare go one MPH faster.
Two streetlegs regulars watch thems trundle past.
Sharp as a pin, wot yuz are barks Tuffy to Paddles as he crawls by.
How can a fluffy four be sharp as a pin, One Ear? quizzes GitOrrf! between chomps of Greggs best brekkers bacon butty.
Tuffy, also known by the intimates as One Ear, sighs at his streetlegs mate don’t yu know nothink?
Sure, I know nothink GitOrrf! replies, a bit affronted by such snouty behaviour before a proper brekkers knows everything there is to know about nothink, init? not wanting to appear without intellectuals in front of Tuffy nothink I don’t knows about nothink!
The two streetlegs eyeballs the mowta whine down the High Street and slowly turn into Short Cut.
Let’s go ask Paddles sez Tuffy and see if he knows anything about nothink and off they trot. GitOrrf! carrying a sausage roll wot Paddles was promised – whenever.
Bananas ain’t getting any peanut butter today – or any other day, judging by all the scritching going on. She takes shelter under the kitchen table.
“could’vehurtsomeone,withthatstunt” packmom scritches at her hindlegs pups, slamming brekkers on the table.
“purple,orpink,orgreen,or-“ Squeezy is scritching to herself “or…” she stops the motor unexpectedly and Paddles is nearly thrown over the handlebars “red,whiteandblue,yes!YES!”
Wot? Paddles turns his head and gives her the eyeball.
“ohPaddles,whataluckydoggy” she rubs his shaggy head “verypatriotic,veryBritish,veryglitterspray”
Paddles definitely don’t lyk the sound of this, his black tongue hanging from his chops in consternation.
Erh, wot? he grunts again, nows feeling tight down under.
“UnionandJack,ofcourse” Squeezy scritches in delight
Paddle’s got no idea who Union and Jack are and can’t snifz thems anywheres, but he sure knows where Squeezy wants to start glitter spraying. Right on his no go area – no go for anyone except him. Wot often takes some finding coz of all thems Chow Chow butt furs in between, that is.
Before he can start complaining the mowta whines into the drive thru area of Mackers. All thoughts of patriotic plumb bobs, Union and Jack are instantly forgotten in the noshing moment.
Big Mac, extra-large, corss, plus upsize fries he barks and don’t go easy on the cheese
Wot he actually gets is chicken niblets. He chomps his way through most of thems before the mowta whines out of the drive-thru.
“tomorrow,unionandjack” Squeezy scritches a promise ruffling Paddle’s earflaps “tomorrow,Ipromise”
As it happens, Bananas is a very practical fourlegs. Being a Pug, wotz a bit flat in the black snout and a bit short in the yellow four legs, she appreciates that she can’t submit the mowta all by herself. Wot she needs is Paddle’s help, too.
Such thoughts are bouncing ‘round between her black earflaps the next morning – snifz of colourful ideas wotz only goal is to help out Paddles and stop thems plum bobs from getting glittered. She don’t know how, but she sure knows the mowta’s the problem and the solution, all mixed up in the same nosh bowl. There’s gotta be a way.
Meanwhile Oskar’s got his handpaws in the peanut butter, again. And he ain’t giving any to Bananas.
Wot about yor four-legged friend? she yaps at him.
The hindlegs pup sticks a sticky handpaw at her snout and she starts licking at it.
That’s the spirit
Nows, everyone knows that peanut butter is not good for fourlegs – coz there ain’t never enough of the stuff. Not for hindlegs nor fourlegs. But wot there is must be shared.
Oskar puts the jar on the floor under the table where Oskar’s packmom won’t eyeball it. Together they stick handpaws and fourlegs’ paws into the same jar, jostling for room to get at the sniffy nosh. Bananas, being quicker, gets both front paws into the jar, wedging herself tight, preventing Oskar–
Ahh the solution to the mowta problem that’s it!
We need to get out and abouts she starts yapping soon as the peanut butter’s all licked and sorted.
Oskar, who’s waiting his second brekkers – his first brekkers being gobs of peanut butter under the kitchen table – ain’t going along with that.
“afterbreakfast” he scritches, coz small hindlegs pups know exactly wot small fourlegs are yapping on abouts.
Don’t think so Oskar, we gotta go save some plum bobs before they go unsavable
Funny thing is, today is Arjom’s football practice. He wobbles out of his bedroom wearing his footers and leaving dried muddy flakes everywhere.
“hurryup,Oskar” he scritches at his brother.
Sitting room door opens and out wobbles packmom “whatdidIsay?Nobootsinthehouse!” and immediately eyeballs Oskar and Bananas under the kitchen table. Luckily the jar is hidden. But ain’t nothing hidden about the great big dollop of peanut butter stuck on the end of Bananas flat snout.
“rightthen” in that low-sounding packmom scritch wot everyone knows means trouble “onyourcushion,you” she scoops up Bananas and dunks him onto his favorite cushion, none too gently. Wot also reveals the empty peanut butter jar under the table.
Hold on a tic – ain’t me, were him eyeballing Oskar, the accused snifz out his handpaws, go on, snifz ‘ems!
At the football ground laters, a small bit of Herdwick pooping park wotz cordoned off and completely free of poop, Bananas sits on the grass with Oskar carefully sniffing at a pack of hindlegs pups wobbling about and having too much fun. Between thems a small scratch is being kicked all over the place – which is only right, coz all scratch need a good kicking. ‘cept this scratch is round, don’t have no legs or fur, and only snifz of grass. But it’s definitely a scratch coz it’s dumb as any other scratch – wotz got all its legs and fur.
“gooooooal!” scritches Arjom, but misses – coz the scratch is too dumb to roll where it’s supposed to roll.
Beyond the poopless grass, Bananas keeps her flat snout sniffing towards the direction of Short Cut. Her eyeballs see everything hazy – coz fourlegs are a bit shortsighted – but her snout makes all thems sniffy colours stand out crystal clear. Her chops start watering from thems orange-sniffy colours of the nosh shops in the High Street, wotz a good enough reason to trot over there right now – especially as she’s missed brekkers. But today she’s waiting for a very particular snifz and thems scritchy sounds of Boy George.
..if I listen to yor lies, would yu saaay…I’m a man without conviiiction…
Squeezy mowtas out of Hazlehurst Road and whines towards Short Cut. Paddles in front, taking most of the space – massive pink and fluffy. Squeezy can hardly get her handpaws ‘round his fat furry butt to work the controls.
“ouf,Paddles,youbiglump” Squeezy scritches, eyeballing the pavement ahead between his thick furry earflaps.
Yeah right, sez she Paddles pants, little black tongue lolling and enjoying the rush of air wotz cooling him nicely.
..how to sale a contradiiiction…
The whiny mowta steers towards the High Street.
“today’stheday” Squeezy in a sing-song scritching “theBritishgetheirpatriotics – andPaddlesgetshisglitter!”
Squeezy sing-songs a lot of poop and he ain’t got no clue wot she’s scritching on abouts most of the time. But today, right nows, he certainly understands all the sing-song and wotz behind it.
Wotz underneath it and behind it, to be specifical
“red,whiteandblue” Squeezy carries on, sniffing too dog-damn happy for Paddles’ liking.
As Hazlehurst Road reaches the corner of the High Street, it starts to dips down towards Herdwick pooping park at the other end. Beyond that is the sniffy Thameslick, just sitting there.
Wotz often forgotten is that Westly Piddle High Street is on a shallow hill – but not too shallow. Squeezy, being a bit of a show-off with her flashy mowta, neon pink Chow Chow, and Boy George vibes,
lyks to advertise to the whole town of pedestrians that she’s coming down the hill to busk to ‘ems. And so, Squeezy squeezes her little handlebar and speeds up.
“weeeez” she scritches in delight as they hit the top of the High Street.
Weeeez barks Paddles, forgetting the future of his plum bobs in all the heres and nows.
Bananas ain’t forgetting, however.
Without further ado she’s up and trotting right across the poopless grass – wot she’s not allowed to – trotting between all the hindlegs pups – pausing for a little squirtz over the legless, furless scratch, wot it rightly deserves for being so round and dumb, lyk – and trots towards the exit of Herdwick pooping park and the High Street, beyond.
Wotz the rush, Bananas? Nutz and Boltz trot up to bump snoutz snifz y– but Bananas don’t stop for such polite affiliations.
No time, fellas, got an appointment with destiny she races on, leaving the Jack Russell brothers sniffing at a butt that ain’t there.
By the corner of the vape shop, where the pavement widens out for all thems nosh shops’ chairs and tables, Squeezy squeezes harder and the mowta starts picking up speed.
..loving would be eeeasy if your colours were lyk my dreeeams…
Coz the pavement is well paved and even, the skinny roundlegs on the mowta spin faster and the breeze blows stronger, sweeping back all the fluff from Paddle’s snout – turning him into a pink Chewbacca – ‘cept without the big teeth.
“sixmilesperhour!” scritches Squeezy “weeeez”
Weeeez barks Paddles.
Bananas paws are tiny and her short body makes trotting real tongue-wagging work.
But there ain’t nothing for it ‘cept to press onwards and upwards, weaving in and out of hindlegs, lampposts, and ducking under tables wot get inconveniently in the way. The scritchy strains of Boy George getting louder all the time.
Tuffy and GitOrff! are hanging about outside Greggs, contemplating the regular brekkers menu wafting out the door in a wonderful orange snifz.
Is that a bird, is that a plane?
chuckles Tuffy, eyeballing the Pug shooting up the High Street or is it a banana?
Nah, mate, that’s a doggy on a charge GitOrrf! marvels, fried sausage and bacon momentarily forgotten as Bananas trots right past without so much as a snifz yuz muttwits grunt.
Down, down they fly. The mowta not far short of warp speed.
..and you used to be so sweet I heard you saaay…aay
They rush past Oxfam, the sour sniffy colours gone before Paddles can even appreciate thems. His eyeballs are watering and he’s feeling all giddy.
This is the life, init? he howls, caught up in the rush.
Coz Bananas is so well behaved – and wouldn’t say boo to a flaplegs as the old saying goes – she’s not always attached to the lead. Perhaps, on the other paw, coz Oskar’s so well behaved he don’t need to be on his lead?
Yor’all very well behaved today she barks happily at Oskar and his siblings. The older brother and sister always go on walkies with Oskar coz packmom don’t let any of thems go on walkies alone.
No lead means Bananas can do wot she wants – which is not a lot coz Pugs are boisterous but not necessarily adventurous. Mostly, she trots along in front of Oskar snouting her familiar way towards Herdwick pooping park, squirting on familiar markers, checking out potential noshing opportunities, and occasionally bumping snoutz with her fourlegs mates.
Snifz yu, Missy Biscuits yaps Bananas happy to see her bigger sister the red-merle Australian Shepherd.
Snifz yu, too, beautiful replies Missy Biscuits equally pleased to bump snoutz with Bananas, the only female fourlegs in West Pid wot don’t act the jealous stonk.
A short bit of rough and tumble in the park, followed by a very small poop – Arjom dutifully bagging it in that specially scented plastic glove packmom provides him; and then it’s off to the High Street. The older pups have got a shopping list of errands to run for packmom. Bananas lyks these errands coz she gets to stay outside in the street with Oskar and play while the older pups disappear inside the shops. But she can always snifz thems wherever they disappear to.
“watchBananas” they scritch at Oskar, wobbling off.
Don’t fret about Oskar, I got him well under control she yaps back.
Today, the older pups go wobbling into the Organic shop on the corner of Short Cut. Bananas ain’t sure wot organic is but it sure don’t involve nosh coz they never bring back anything sniffy.
Wot a waste of good noshing time considers Bananas.
She turns her attention elsewhere for some fun and a bit of chin-wag.
Who better than Paddles sitting upon his tartan blanket halfway along Short Cut and blazing away in a big fuzzy blob of neon pink. Funny thing is the bright hot ball in the sky now shines on Squeezy squeezing her accordion and lighting up Paddles in an eyeball-watering corona. It ain’t the pink color wot Bananas eyeballs – coz fourlegs don’t catch many colours, ‘cept blues and greys – but Paddles fuzzy shape reminds her of thems strange things Oskar lyks to stick on the end of little twigs; wot he calls pencils.
Hey Paddles, snifz yu she trots forward, Oskar pulled close behind.
Don’t interrupt Paddles grunts sharply performing to the pedestrians, init
Bananas snifz about the blanket, attracted to the small metal bits, discovering a lot about individual hindlegs and wot they’ve eaten and how healthy they are from the greasy touch of thems handpaws.
And don’t touch ‘ems, coz Squeezy’s gonna take thems home and nosh ‘ems
Sure! shocked that Bananas could even ask such a muttwit question.
Squeezy stops squeezing the accordion for a break “woooooph-huuuuuuh” she immediately tokes on her e-cig.
Thank dog that noise is over sighs Paddles now I gotta wait permission to take a squirtz
That makes no sense to Bananas. Any normal fourlegs can squirtz whenever it wants to.
“whyisyourdogpink?” Oskar scritches at Squeezy.
Normally Squeezy won’t scritch anything back about dogs and colours but coz Oskar is just a pup she allows a rare exception “coz,apinkdogattractsmorepeople–andmorepeoplegivemoremoney,makesense?”
Wot? asks Bananas, coz she understands Oskar but don’t understand wot most other hindlegs scritch – the same for most fourlegs, as it happens.
Pink. I’m pink for more money
Corss. From thems pedestrians.
The fact that both hindlegs have got no clue wot they’re barking about is irrelevant. But wotz a bit more relevant is glittery plum bobs. In that great mind between his short, thick and furry earflaps Paddles recalls Squeezy’s promise to spray his plumbs with glitter. Yes. That’s totally butt-lickin’ relevant. Coz he don’t want the glitter.
And he tells Bananas all abouts it.
Paddle’s plum bobs are of no great interest to Bananas – but glitter is. Thank dog no one scritches about promising to glitter her plum bobs. The fact that she don’t have any ain’t the here or over there.
Hindlegs think they can do wot they lyk she grumbles, trotting off with Oskar to join his siblings for the long wobble home.
Ya, snifz yu, Bananas Gunther stops squirting on growling roundlegs and trots over to bump snoutz.
Hello, Gunther, snifz yu followed by a token sniffing of mutual rear ends.
Westley Piddle is looking up sez Guntherfräuleinmate and me are making spritzen on one BMW 450i roundlegs, one Mercedes C220 roundlegs, diesel corss, one Porsche 9–
That’s manyones comments Bananas
Ya Gunther pants happily.
“prettychildren” scritches fräuleinmate at the three hindlegs pups “allfromUkraine?”
“Estonia,actually” scritches Arjom politely.
Wotz outside Westley Piddle adds Bananas, catching the sound of ‘Estonia’. She does some heavy thinking of any other places she knows between her short black earflaps.
And she then recalls glittery plum bobs – and Paddles – and the disaster of glittery plum bobs on Paddles – one stuck to the other.
Gunther, wot do yu know about glittery plum bobs?
German brand? he barks immediately.
Not German, not worth a spritzen
..yu come and go, yu come and go…Karma, Karma, ka…
As it happens, Paddles and Squeezy pass by on the mowta making all sorts of strange scritchy Boy George sounds. Off for a squirting break and a bit of nosh.
Gunther raises his snout and sniffs disdainfully at the mobility scooter.
Wot is the world coming to he grunts, dismissively.
And, all of a sudden, Bananas earflaps start flapping in great agitation. She’s thinking. Something most fourlegs won’t, don’t, can’t do much of.
Gunther, wotz that growling roundlegs? pointing her flat snout – wot ain’t so easy to do – at the mowta.
Not German – and not growling. Just a whiny, skinny roundlegs he replies getting bored and wanting to trot on and spritzen on a Jaguar F-Pace he’s sniffing, wotz illegally parked at the end of Short Cut.
Sure, but wot.is.it.?
Gunther who knows everything there is to know and wotz cleverer than most fourlegs – with his straight back, tail up and all tip-top, best of breed, lyk – delivers his lecture.
Ya, das ist a mobility scooter he begins in a patricianly manner TGA Breeze, mark 4 – if I am not mistaken – wot runs on two standard 12 volt, deep cycle, lead acid batteries, zat produces 24 volts…
“thatdoglikesbarking” scritches Oskar
“ya,German” scritches fräuleinmate, and the hindlegs pack watch in amusement as the two fourlegs yap at each other.
..running a class 3 mobility scooter with a maximum trotting speed of eight miles per h–
Don’t matter continues Gunther now into his element with ze turning radius of one hundred and seventy four centi–
Brother interrupts Bananas,
all big black eyeballs staring up at the curly grey Standard Schnauzer I just wanna bump snoutz with that mowta and start some big submitting!
Ya, so? Gunther’s earflaps prick up in astonishment yu appear a bit small to do any big submitting, meine schwester
I’m female her flat snout brooking no further argument.
And, without no further argument, Gunther barks at her wot she’s got to do.
Welcome to another blisteringly cheerful day in Westley Piddle, all fourlegs noshing themselves silly. Including Bananas the happy yellow Pug, and Paddles the neon pink Chow Chow. Fourlegs all living the life. Hundred percent bang on perfect… and it ain’t even rainlicking!
A particularly cheerful day in Westley Piddle, that unexpected little town on the Thameslick between Bisham and Cock Marsh. Hindlegs are up and wobbling about, scritching good mornings to everything and anything; scratch are lazily licking their murderous long scratchy paws and planning global domination; flaplegs are flapping ‘round abouts everywhere in a blitzkrieg of poop. Life as normal.
Fourlegs, not to be outdone in this struggle of cheerful bon hommie, add their daily morsel of intellectuals to the cacophony –
Another day, same poop
And yuz can shuddup an’ all
Oi, trot over here and bark that!
All in all, it’s another particularly dogs-dinner day of unbearable cheerfulness.
Paddles the overweight Chow Chow wears his cheerfulness beneath a neon pink-coloured fluffy hide. Newly sprayed, his snout twitching in mild allergies, and getting last minute touches from Lavinka before his presentation to the pedestrians in the big city – West Pid. that is. She combs his fur over and over til static makes it stand on end in a big electric pink fuzz. Lavinka then ties a Union Jack bandana ‘round his large neck, completing the look with a pair of gold-tinted aviator shades squashed over his small eyeholes. Paddles is transformed into a teddy-bear Elvis Presley, standing foursquare with black tongue clenched between teeth, quietly enduring this ritual of tender loving care.
I think I wanna vomit
“suchabigbeautiful,brightdoggy” scritches Lavinka the busker, known as Squeezy to the intimates – coz of the accordion she squeezes in and out, this way and that. She grabs his snout in her handpaw and eyeballs him in his huge, frizzy face “rememberPaddles,pedestrianswholovedoggy,lovegivingmoney”
Paddles is not sure wot money is but pedestrians sure love throwing little metal things at him when Squeezy starts some squeezy-stretchy action on the accordion and Paddles sits looking lyk a furry rockstar.
Can we go now?
Downstairs and ‘round back of the apartments, Paddles enjoys the first squirtz of the morning as Squeezy unplugs the mowta and growls it out of the lock-up into the early light of day.
That’s better Paddles lifts a fluffy pink rear leg and lets go a solid stream.
To be specific the mobility scooter don’t actually growl coz it’s electric. Instead, it whines at a high-pitch wot makes Paddle’s short thick earflaps vibrate.
“comeon,then” and Paddles hops into the space between Squeezy’s footpaws “andlet’sgiveitsomeBoyGeorge”
And off they whine towards West Pid. town center.
Dessert loving in yur eyes all the waaay
They whine off from the lock-up and turn onto the pavement of Hazlehurst Road.
..a man without conviiiic-tion
Odds and sods hindlegs are wobbling out the way of the trundling mowta scritching Boy George – Paddles pushing his pink frizzy face into the gentle wind. The round hot ball, wotz only just been thrown up in the sky, reflecting off his gold-tinted shades.
…yor wicked words every daaay
Squeezy mowtas towards Short Cut, that stretch of pedestrians-only pavement where all the clothfurs shops are and wot only hindlegs are allowed to wobble about on; wotz a short cut between the High Street and Nelson Avenue.
..Karma, karma, karma, karma, kar–
The mowta stops whining. Boy George stops scritching. Paddles leaps off and starts sniffing the street.
Squeezy unclips her accordion, sticking a large paint bucket on the pavement and unfolding the tartan blanket. She sits on the upturned paint bucket and Paddles sits on the blanket. Squeezy starts stretching some dog-damn awful wheezy noises and Paddles takes a deep breath. Let the day begin. Let the pedestrians come and throw thems little metal things.
“oneforyou” Oskar scritches softly at Bananas “andoneforme”
How abouts one for yu and two for me? Bananas the young fawn-coloured Pug sez to Oskar.
The little hindlegs boy is from Estonia – wot is somewhere just outside Westly Piddle, according to Bananas –sticking his spoon into the wonderfully-sniffy peanut butter and not quite decided who’s going to get the next mouthful. Bananas lifts her flat snout to the spoon and opens her chops and decides it for him there and then.
That’ll be mine, I reckon she licks the contents off the spoon. The next spoonful follows the same route as the last – straight down her nosh hole.
Bananas knows that nosh is never more than a snifz away from her chops in the Rebane houseden. In fact she is one of the few fourlegs in all Westley Piddle wotz not constantly hungry – well, not constantly – nosh being always licked off spoon, handpaw, or from the floor.
Liisa, Oskar’s older sister, enjoys pickles and smoked fish – fishes are good for Bananas.
Then there’s Arjom, his older brother, wot enjoys cheeseburgers and fries – cheeseburgers are good for Bananas.
And, there’s packdad wot lyks all sorts of nosh but don’t lyk sticking it anywhere, ‘cept down his own little nosh hole. This unnatural behaviour is a work in progress for Bananas. Finally there’s packmommy who don’t lyk much of anything and who certainly don’t lyk sticking nosh down Bananas’ anytime. That’s also a WIP. But, at least the three pups lyk sticking nosh down Bananas nosh hole and that’s a fine start. All in all a sort of C+ houseden according to the fawn-coloured Pug, suggesting a lot of improvement room for canine welfare.
Bananas languidly burps don’t let that remaining peanut butter go to waste in the jar, Oskar – Oskar?
But Oskar is already wobbling out into the hallway and pulling on his footpaw covers along with his brother and sister.
Out? We’re trotting out?
Bananas snifz the rising excitement of the three pups whilst eyeballs the cozy temptation of her favorite cushion good noshing also deserves good sleep straight afters, don’t it?
Before she can happily trot towards her cushion Arjom sweeps Bananas up in his handpaws “nicewalkies” he softly scritches in her black earflap “beforefeedingtime”
Can’t argue with that, s’pose Bananas licks her chops. Even so she turns large black wistful eyeballs towards her cushion and the unfinished jar of peanut butter on the kitchen table. The front door opens.
Alright, let’s make it a short walkies before nosh then, please!
The door shuts in a clatter of footsteps.
Squeezy squiiiz, squeezy, squiiiz the accordion stretches this way and that in endlessly awful noises.
Squeezy’s handpaws are stretching in and out in and out. Paddles sits perfectly still behind his gold-tined shades, eyeballing wotz going on up and down Short Cut. The squeezy noises are plain horrid but the pedestrians must be loving it coz they keep throwing little metal things.
Not at me he snorts to me, on the tartan!
Snifz yu, Paddles Gitorrf! trots up and bumps snoutz.
Clear off, I’m performing
Oh! GitOrrf! sez well impressed but not clearing off.
The squeezy noises get louder and uglier.
Squeezy don’t lyk interruptions
Wot comes between the artist and thems pedestrians GitOrrf! don’t know any pedestrians – perhaps they are bit lyk hindlegs or some or some kind of scratch who live in Short Cut. Wotever! all he can snifz are hindlegs wobbling about carrying paper bags full of nosh from the coffee shops.
Brekkers? suggests GitOrrf!, the sniffy paper bags reminding him he’s hungry, again.
Don’t be a muttwit, I’m working, init sighs Paddles but, if yu snifz any of thems sausage rolls then bring us some, know wot I mean?
Righty ho the thought of sausage rolls, wotz part of Greggs all day brekkers, compels GitOrrf! to stick one furry paw in front of the other and wander off following his snout towards his standard morning nosheries. He is a Border Terrier after all with a snout fully trained to snifz out all sorts of noshing potentials.
Squeezy squiiiz, squeezy, squiiiz awful noises chase him up Short Cut.
A pedestrian stops wobbling, ohs and ahhs and throws a bit of metal at paddles.
Not at me – to me, on the tartan!
Paddles snoutz the metal – there’s brekkers snifz rubbed onto it from the hindlegs handpaw. He stands up, eyeballing Squeezy. She stops her squeezing, struggles up from the paint pot, stretches and wobbles over to the mowta.
Paddles licks his chops.
Squeezy returns with a plastic bag and lays out two bowls on the pavement. One for biscuits and the other for waterlick. Brekkers interlude.
Biscuits are good an’ all chomps Paddles, snout buried in his bowl but sausage rolls is waaay better dreamily sniffing Greggs up the High Street.
Squeezy squiiiz, squeezy, squiiiz
Ffff! Here we go again!
As it happens, another pedestrian wotz wobbling along don’t lyk the squeezy squiiizy sounds, either.
“nonsense,nonsense,nonsense” the pedestrian scritches at Squeezy, waving a handpaw towards Paddles.
Henry shakes his large head, splashing away the rainlick.
No time for noshing?
Wot I means is, one: I grab Poppet, two: yu slap muttwit, three: we goes noshing, afters
Load of numbers, init?
Henry mate, just give that big brown muttwit a right hammering and I’ll crunch thems numbers
Crunching? Lyk the sound o’ that
C’mon, let’s finish this
The little and large fourlegs spin left and crash down into the undergrowth following the snifz of Poppet and that worrisome brown muttwit. Sniffy colours intensify the closer they trot.
Need some noshing Henry is panting not really built for speed, only submitting
Hold fast Henry. Gotta get Poppet back to the fayre before our hindlegs start missing us
Who? Franks? Nah, he’s banging the piss in the beer tent. Thinks I’m under the table
Erh, excellent. Let’s end this – nows!
Poppet is conflicted. Running away into the sunset ain’t supposed to snifz lyk this. Izit?
Cold, damp, dark, versus comfort, warmth, and safety. Maybe nows the time to go home to Stonks and enjoy that coffee!
Are we nearly there – erh, anywhere yet?
We are my lover Drizzle stops and turns to Poppet.
A right solid male lyk Drizzle is all her dreams come true, right? Trouble is, all her dreams also include loads of dry weather, a cozy houseden, and Stonks with food bowl in handpaw.
Drizzle’s touch changes that in an instant.
Without further ado Drizzle trots ‘round back of Poppet for some well-deserved eightleggers. Sudden weight and Drizzle’s damp front toes are hanging down either side of her flanks. Large teeth are nuzzling her earflap before firmly clamping down onto her scruff. Not painfully, but in a right solid and intimately submitting grip.
Poppet is conflicted no more.
Spy ’ems and snifz ’ems!
Hold on, need my second wind Henry lumbers along behind.
The snow drives back the foot that’s slow
Sparky is tingling. He is Fenrir. And the time for action is nows. He streaks forward.
They ask no quarter Henry, and we show no quarter
They – we – wot?
This Drizzle is well fit, thinks Poppet, and wot he’s doing is simply–
Get off ‘o her! Sparky streaks out of nowhere, crashing into Drizzle’s flank.
And bounces off, upside down in the rainlick leaves, paws sticking up in the air.
Yu wot, mate? Drizzle slides off Poppet to stand over the Whippet.
Great legs tower up into the darkness, merging into sky-blotting head.
I am Fenrir Sparky croaks, chops dry companion of Tyr, Norse god of war
And? Drizzle cocks his head, ready to lunge.
Sparky looks away and, erh – and this is my mate, Henry!
Royt then! Henry lumbers into view any yuz muttwits wanna submit before nosh?
Drizzle leaps away from Sparky. Henry stands foursquare. Poppet feels ignored.
Aww, mount up again, Drizzle, yu big tonk
The two big fourlegs knock heads, stubs and tails raised respectively.
Bodies slide past one another, searching and seeking. Butt sniffing all that hunger, desire, disappointment and despair. Both pull away, berserker ready.
Submit! roars Drizzle
Yeah royt huffs Henry.
They knock heads together once again, and – well, just stand there, shaking earflaps and wagging butts, the daft muttwits.
How yu doing Fudge?
Not so bad, Henry. Yu?
Wot? Sparky jumps upside the right way.
Fudge? Poppet squeaks, backend still quivering.
Hold up, thought yor name’s Drizzle?
Henry looks at Poppet for a moment nah, this’s Fudge
Unbelievable Poppet steams.
Missing his pleasurable weight is bad enough. Worse, this Fudge is more than happy to stand there shooting the poop with Henry.
As for Sparky, he drops earflaps and braces for the wrath of a Poppet-denied his coming his way.
Sparky! Yu stupid, little mu–
Meanwhile, Fudge and Henry are catching up on all the latest.
No sign of yor lost hindlegs then, Fudge?
Nah mate, sniffed ’ems in Herdwick pooping park beforenows, but – nah!
The two great minds happily peer ‘round abouts the woods.
Nice gaff says Henry, wishing he can live in the woods and not in a small backyard.
Not so bad Fudge replies, content to simply stand with his buddy and snifz in the surroundings. He wanders over to the nearest squirting post and cocks a leg. Henry follows, sniffing Fudge’s squirtz for all the latest intel, before adding a little intel of his own.
Oi, yuz two! Poppet shatters the bromance moment. A flaplegs sqwarks in surprise from the branches above.
And yu she hisses at Sparky stay right there, I ain’t done with yuz yet before marching over to the two great minds.
Right then, Drizzle or Fudge or wotever she barks, before adding softly we still an item, init?
Item? Drizzle or Fudge looks confused.
Yes. Us she snarls yu know, a link?
Fudge looks at Henry for answers. Henry slobbers a bit before looking at Sparky. All three fourlegs look back at Poppet.
It was really, really good. But now… I’ve got to go away! Oh, oh, oh.
Sparky dares to go and stand beside Henry and Fudge – the three fourlegs gawking at Poppet.
Silence hangs heavy in the dark woods.
The flaplegs sqwarks again.
Buncha kretins she spits, and flops down to start licking her butt.
Fancy marking some posts? Fudge breaks the moment.
Totally replies Henry.
And just lyk that the two great minds trot off into the woods, abandoning Sparky.
Uh-oh Sparky starts getting tingly as Poppet directs all her fluffed-up blond earflaps frustrations straight at him.
Upon us all, upon us all a little rain must fall. It’s just a little rain oh yeah…
“theGibson?” KevLegs is beaming idiotically at Stonks “whenyousaidEDS1275” he pinches out his tee-shirt from his belly “youmeant,thetwin-necked,GibsonEDS1275!”
“corss” Stonks replies “obvs”
“notalottapeopleknowthat” KevLegs admits in wonder, beer glass drooping in one handpaw, tee-shirt pinched out in the other.
“saw’emlive,O2-“ she pokes a handpaw at Jimmy Page.
“noway!” he is stunned into silence. And then, tentatively “aStarWarsfan,also?”
“doesakickinthenutshurt?” she replies, lifting her tiny snout to the sky and scritching happily.
KevLegs fumes every possible shade of orange. A colour of pure happiness wot spreads across Herdwick pooping park, making fourlegs forget wot they’re doing, eating, squirting, eating, sniffing, eating. Black snout holes everywhere, twitching the air.
Don’t tell me… Poppet starts in amazement.
Yeah, both into Zep answers Sparky with intense satisfaction.
Knew it! Worrisome snifz really woz bad news Sparky eyeballs the unfolding events.
The brown fourlegs is all large head, solid limbs and sculptured muscle, a crease of silky hair rippling along his spine as he runs. The pretty Afghan, her coat shimmering in soft movement, following him. For a moment Sparky stares in appreciation at these two magnificent gods racing in and out between outraged fourlegs and slow witted hindlegs, to freedom – before common sense slams in sideways and he barks a panicky warning.
No Poppet, don’t do it!
KevLegs, we gotta stop Poppet
No. We gotta stop Poppet before it’s too late
We gotta sto– dog-dammit! in a burst of insane speed – wot Whippets are famous for – he sprints away from KevLegs, leash snapping from handpaw, and races off to save Poppet.
Poppet, I’m coming. I’m coming
And Sparky is transformed from tingly Whippet into Fenrir, the gigantic wolfmate of Tyr, Norse god of legend. At least, he thinks he is. Always sez so. An ultra-sleek lightning fast grey battledog, zeroing onto thems, zig-zagging corners and cutting air to catch up. Lessening the distance with each bound. God of acceleration chasing gods of good looks.
Poppet! he barks Poppet, I’m com-iiing!
Poppet hears Sparky behind her – his bark closing fast. But she’s got no time for this nows. That big brown backside ahead pumping sturdy legs through the drink puddles is calling to her in irresistible colourful song. Summoning up all she ever wants, needs, must have. Nows.
Poppet, wait up!
Leave me alone Sparky she manages to pant can’t yu see I’m – preoccupied?
I cannot – no – never as she crashes into the wonderful brown backside of the big fourlegs who has, in fact, stopped to face their pursuer.
Snifz yuz Drizzle roars keep away, she’s mine his body vibrating with heat, licking at Poppet and leaving her in no doubt who’s in charge here.
Solid Rhodesian Ridgeback awaits sleek grey Whippet speeding towards him.
Sparky skids to a halt on outstretched pads, not winded in the slightest.
Hey, girl, stop what yu doin’ he pleads to Poppet the only way he knows how hey girl, yu’ll drive me to ruin
Wha? Poppet blurts, astonished.
Zeppelin, init he licks his chops first album, the bestest
Changed rock forever, erh, anyways thin tail protectively curled between his back legs Poppet don’t do this
“Sparky,comehere,comehereboy” KevLegs longways off, wobbling fast as he can wobble to try and catch up.
Poppet? Nice snifz-name Drizzle shakes his head approvingly before dropping it menacingly towards Sparky’s own delicate snout and my conquest
Over my dead paws
Leave off, Sparky, we’re a pair Poppet sez, dizzy from all this wonderful male attention.
Sparky knocks snouts with Drizzle so nows yu’d better stop and rebuild all yor ruins
No Sparky Poppet pleads I want this
Not gonna happen
Really? Drizzle lunges so quickly Sparky don’t see it happening. Blinding white pain behind his earflaps, ‘round his scruff.
SUBMIT! Drizzle roars
The pain, the pain without quarter Sparky chokes, pinned down the d-dogs of doom are h-howling m-more
Poppet finds herself jumping in to separate thems stop Drizzle, please stop, it’s only Sparky
Good advice, streetlegs Duncan irrupts onto the scene. Snout cold and wet, eyeballs smoldering, his badge of office bright across his black and tan chest: Thames Valley PD Unit.
Step away from the little fella he slaps his snout against Drizzle sharpish
Drizzle releases Sparky, who gets up, shakes himself down and determined to get back into the fight.
Sparky! Duncan’s commanding growl making the whippet pause in mid-leap.
Not Sparky, Fenrir sez Sparky
Wotever, just do it
Sparky starts tingling violently but does wot he’s told and backs away.
She’s with me, nows Drizzle sez, not giving ground my conquest, that’s fourlegs rules, and yu knows it
“easyboy” PC Andersen pulls Duncan to heel.
Duncan twitches earflaps, reluctantly agreeing the streetlegs is right. He turns his snout away, dismissing the problem.
Thought so Drizzle replies, returning the compliment. Nudging Poppet he whispers in her earflap run darling!
They sprint away into the distance, out of Herdwick pooping park, gone.
No wonder Poppet screwed up doggy intellectuals sighs Duncan.
Duncan looks down at him, his eyeballs cooling yu know I cannot. He ain’t broken no laws he grates between his teeth and he ain’t broken our ways
Wotz broken? Henry lumbers out of nowhere, all loose limbs and slobbery jowls.
Hello Henry Duncan looks at him didn’t see yuz down at doggy’s intellectuals?
The trouble with hindlegs, PD Duncan muses, is they get all sorts of excited about nothing. PC Andersen is scritching into his handpaw to Roger which, to start with ain’t natural and, to end with, coz he’s got himself agitated.
“domesticdog,goneintowoods” PC Andersen is scritching in agitation
“nonsense,nonsense,nonsense” Roger scritches out of thin air.
Listen yu twos Duncan advises Henry and Sparky in a soft growl don’t go thinking of doing anything stupid?
Some mutts gotta go save Poppet? explains Sparky.
That’s her problem, not yors
And not yors either, s’pose Sparky is hoping about on tiny paws.
Yu twos got any common sense–
Sense? Henry quizzes.
Yes, sense repeats Duncan yu’ll both ignore that big brown muttwit and go grab some free nosh while it lasts
All yuz police fours ever think ‘bout is noshing Sparky yaps.
Dog-damned right! PD Duncan trots off towards the nosh stalls, PC Andersen still scritching into his handpaw at Roger.
Come on Henry, let’s get after ’ems
Both fourlegs wait for Duncan to disappear before dashing out of Herdwick pooping park, all stealthy lyk. Stealthily as a stout English Mastiff and tingly Whippet can manage.
They’re wearing steel that’s bright and true.
They carry news that must get through.
They choose the path where no-one goes.
The song bounces ‘round between Sparky’s earflaps.
Sparky? Henry whispers in a loud voice I got common sense, ain’t I?
Aww, buckets, mate
Poppet and Drizzle find the nearest street corner to squirt off some of the excitement. Running from the law may not be new to the streetlegs Rhodesian Ridgeback but it certainly is to the pretty Afghan hound.
Come on we need to move Drizzle nudges her forward.
Drizzle leads Poppet up Nelson Avenue and across Westley Piddle High Street, dodging between roundlegs.
“stupidanimals!” hindlegs shouts.
Drizzle trots a maze of back streets in a wide circle towards home, taking the long way to throw off any pursuit, his sporting female close at tail – just how he lyks it.
Caught up in the danger, Poppet starts considering wot she’s gone and done. Deserted Stonks at the Doggy Intellectuals Show. On the one paw, she’s never gonna hear the end of her scritching over that. On the other paw, she’s run off, init? So she’s probably never gonna hear about it, anyways.
Wot about Stonks?
Sharonpackmate, me companion
Wot about it without lessening his trot beforenows, init?
Poppet’s can hardly get earflaps ‘round this new nows. Wotz harder is getting earflaps ‘round this big male with his earthy orange-snifz and meaty hindquarters wotz nows allhers. All hers! Wet snout holes pinch together in lustful delight. Honest to dog, there’s gonna be no probs in getting her earflaps ‘round any of that meat loaf up front. Thank yu!
Scraping clouds let fall a right load of rainlick, soaking both fourlegs. Drizzle’s fur stains black under all the drink – another alluring feature of his, Poppet thinks. She’s also thinks that Stonks always makes a B-line for the nearest coffee shop when its rainlicking. Unexpected memories of the snifz of coffee falters her step.
Keep up Drizzle barks
Stonks needs her coffee she whines.
Don’t bark poop he grunts, dismissively keep on trotting
Rainlick is bouncing up from the pavement into Poppet’s eyeballs, her beautiful hair is dripping in black tails, her pads are soaked and she stops to lick thems.
Wot nows? Drizzle turns on her we gotta reach thems woods and safety
Givvus a second
Two muttwits saunter ‘round the corner at the far end of the street.
Argh, not thems again!
That skinny muttwit, Fenrir and some right ugly wrencher
Fenrir? Nah, that’s Sparky. Right dreamer is wot that Whippet is
Don’t know, don’t care. Cock a leg and keep up!
Poppet wants to flop down and throw a sulk but, wotz even more important, she don’t want to lose her stud muffin, neither. They hurry through the rainlick, pursued by the two muttwits. After a squirtz or two further on West Pid’s housedens give way to woods and hedgerows.
Keep up Drizzle shoots left into the undergrowth beneath the trees.
“OhPoppet,that’sus” Stonks almost trips over the rope barrier to get at the showring.
Cultureless beetch the French Poodle daintily trills at Poppet.
In less time than it takes a large fourlegs to squirtz three times, end on end, Drizzle has already stuffed his snout with pizza bits, pork rinds, fried noodles, doner kebab, and sticks of chicken satay. He indolently cocks a leg against the corner of the Cornish pasties and starts to –
Put a stopper on that! PD Duncan barks, stepping into view, PC Andersen on a lead beside him.
Snifz yu, big fella Drizzle sez, mid squirtz and stopper wot?
Cocking a leg lyk yu owns the place
Squirtings against the law, officer? Drizzle raises his solid black snout, eyeballing the Thames Valley Police Dobermann.
Yes. Within proximity of hindlegs nosh Duncan eyeballs back, unblinking, snout twitching easily.
Close to, nearby, within range of…
So, whys that then?
Coz fourlegs are not permitted to squirtz in non-designated squirting areas
Hmm Drizzle flashes a big maw of teeth, slowly lowering his cocked leg.
Duncan steps forward to bump snouts thems are the squirting rules of law. Understood streetlegs?
Drizzle wants to fight. He snifz ready for it, expecting the PD to do the same, but the Dobermann stands rock steady, relaxed, disinterested.
Drizzle snorts and backs off.
Thought so Duncan watches him slouch away and disappear into the crowds.
Shaking his head, he forgets Drizzle and eyeballs PC Andersen right then, ‘bout time for some well-earned police lunch, constable?
Rainlick, wotz been dripping on and off all morning nows decides to turn it full on.
Better find some earflaps shelter
Earflaps battened down, Drizzle quickens his pace towards the pooping woods behind the park, his homeden. He stops in mid trot, snout up, sniffing colours of extreme interest: female colours. Lots of ‘ems.
One colour is particularly overpowering. Snout holes twitching – a sporting female on the cusp of ragging it red.
An ugly grey Whippet is eyeballing him from the distance.
Mind yor own dinner he barks in his direction.
Trotting on he soon finds himself amongst a pack of fourlegs. Females all turn and snifz in his direction. Their daft hindlegs companions don’t notice, eyeballing straight ahead at something – wotz the same direction that overpowering colour is sniffing from. He pushes through the pack to snout it out for himself.
Snifz vous some Frenchie whispers at him. Ordinarily that’s enough to get some sporting action going but all he wants now is to follow his snout towards the most exciting colour he’s ever sniffed. Today anyways.
In front of Drizzle, across an empty space, Armitage is scritching nonsense at Stonks. Drizzle begins licking his chops.
And Stonks, in turn, is scritching nonsense at Poppet “turnleft”
..and turning left
..sitting, lying down, and staying
Ha, we’re burying it, Stonks!
Erh, wot – wot?
Nah, easier I come with yu, init, not wait ‘round abouts here?
Nah, I’m coming with yuz. Definitely coming with yu–
“leaveoff,youold-erh,mrArmitage” Stonks is flicking handpaws at Armitage.
Givvus another chance, mate
All of a sudden she don’t care. She ain’t listening, ain’t sniffing, and ain’t being intellectual. Coz Poppet’s life is being turned upside down, inside out.
Onto the show ground trots the most dog-damned solid stud muffin she’s ever sniffed. Trots right up to her without a care in the world and bumps snoutz.
Snifz yu, kitten he nuzzles
S-nifz – snifz yu
Poppet ain’t part of this world no more. She allows this stranger to go do something no other fourlegs is ever allowed to do beforenows. To trot ‘round back and snout her necessaries.
Ooooh-ahhhhh female fourlegs from all ‘round the show area swoon in unison.
Before Stonks can overcome her shock, before Armitage can scritch any more nonsense – Poppet is flying for her life. Following this wonderfully sniffy fourlegs off the show ground. Flying headlong towards the exit of Herdwick pooping park, and beyond.
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