Treacle

Road works in the growing community of Swallow are diverting growling roundlegs thru its narrow streets and have accidentally squished a popular fourlegs. Something has to be done about it, and it’s painfully obvious the hindlegs haven’t a clue because they are still letting it happen. Treacle the guide dog has a plan, but not all the doggies are gonna like it.

1.

It is a particularly noisy day in the small town of Swallow, cozily hugging the banks of the drinkThames in South West England. Flaplegs are squawking from trees, police longlegs lording it in the park, clouds are fussing along and, as usual, the hindlegs are barking nonsense at one other. Above the din, fourlegs attempt to sensibly converse:

Bake and buy is on at Greggs Already on my wa-

Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud! Can’t get over the road, too many growling roundlegs today Cos they’re stuck in a one way by all these daft road wo- Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud!

Can’t hear myself think, what’s that about Greggs? It’s a bake an-

Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud!

..so get over there quick before I- Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud! It is a particularly noisy day.

For some reason the hindlegs think it’s a great idea to dig up the high street, from end to end, and lay down a large pooping pipe right through the town center. They are crawling all over this nonsense like tiny legs, digging lots of holes and making the freshly turned earth very sniffy. This is pretty inconvenient for most fourlegs who have important places to go to, important things to do, lampposts to squirt on, and small trees to rest butts up against and poop under. Not to mention the difficulties attached to taking their hindlegs for daily walkies.

Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud!

Smudge is unhappy. Smudge – the mixed terrier with the big black smudge starting on top his head, running down between his ears and across the bridge of his nose before tumbling sideways and ending as a dab on the left side of his chin – cannot find his number one marker post. He is taking his Jemmapackmate for a walk which always starts with a wondrous squirt on one particular lamppost in the high street. But now it’s gone.

It was here before now!

He can see something lying flat on the ground beside a big hole where his marker post was standing beforenow, but it cannot be his number one marker post because it is not standing in the here and now. Smudge, like all fourlegs, has a bit of an issue with time. Fourlegs only live for this moment: the beforenow, the here and now, and the futurenow. Doesn’t matter when it was, or is, or when it will be, just so long as it is now.

That’s it muttwit Mouse, the Pomeranian, points a paw at the lamppost lying flat I’m telling yers Where?

There? Mouse points again and bounces over to stands on the lamppost Here! That’s not my lamppost. My lamppost is standing

Sniffs of you Mouse sniffs the metal beneath his paws, licks it with his tongue I reckons it is your lamppost, amigo Nah mate

Sniffs of Giblets too, and Duck and Decoy, and GitOrrf! and- Alright mate,

..and it sniffs of me, of course. But I also reckons the hindlegs knocked it down beforenow to make this big hole Nah mate, that’s not my lamppost, don’t care what it sniffs of mate he heads over to the big hole but that does sniff like a wonderful big hole

Smudge, looks up at Jemmapackmate, the puppy hindlegs he lives with behind Sainsbury’s, together with her baby brother and single mother. He is very protective of her because she sniffs of a sad spirit.

Jemmapackmate is also the best friend of Sarapackmate, another puppy hindlegs who lives with Mouse the Pomeranian. She doesn’t live behind Sainsbury’s and her mom’s not single. And she sniffs of a happy spirit.

All Smudge wants to do in life is make Jemmapackmate happy. He will do anything for that. It is worth more than life itself.

Jemmapackmate looks down at Smudge; Smudge looks up at Jemmapackmate. The smudge on his face making her lips wobble into the briefest smile. And it’s enough. She unclips his leash and he jumps into the hole with a joyous yelp followed by a muddy plop.

Mouse it really is a great big beautiful hole

Plop. Mouse dives in after Smudge.

The two puppy hindlegs giggle and squeak at the mud fight taking place between Smudge and Mouse. Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud!

Just like those fudge brownies at Costa Mouse rolls over and over, the whites of his eyes soon the only white thing about him.

Maybe my lamppost is down here after all Smudge furiously digs deeper with his paws, hosing mud behind him.

Fudge brownies? Costa? Never sniffed’m there And sausages

There ain’t no sausages at Costa!

Of course there ain’t no sausages at Costa, they’re on the Greggs all day breakfast menu, but that don’t mean I don’t love sausages

Does your hindlegs mom make sausages?

Sure. She can make anything Mouse remarks proudly

Mine can’t. She’s a pretty useless hindlegs and that’s why Jemmapackmate is always unhappy Sounds like it

Except for fish fingers, of course, she’s good at those

“Mouse!”

“Smudge!” Plop. Plop.

The two puppy hindlegs follow them into the mud, squeaking with joy, jumping up and down to make wonderful squelching squwoking squelching sounds.

The mud is gloriously sniffy of all sorts of things, plants, water, decaying squeakylegs, sweat and sour noodles in styrene cartons from Swallow’s Noodles, old poop, fresh poop and gasoline.

Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud.Thud! But, if only these road works could give a break.

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