Swallow’s Georgian Fayre has arrived at last and all the fourlegs are feeling the heat of the Best of Breed Show – Poppet, the Willowy Afghan blond is determined to win at any cost…until along comes Drizzle. Stepping out of the local woods appears the best looking male fourlegs she’s ever sniffed. Best of Breed flies out the window as excitement, danger and escape come sniffing at her rear end. Only a fourlegs can stop this right dog’s dinner from upsetting everything to save the day. Or can he?
The trouble with hindlegs is they get all sorts of excited about nothing. Looks like PC Andersen packleader is talking into his paw, a daft thing all hindlegs do, while Johnylegs is hoping from one hindleg to the other, talking nonsense into his paw, too, Sparky’s leading dangling from the other.
Listen you twos, hope you ain’t thinking of doing something really stupid? K9 Duncan warns Sparky and Henry.
That’s right. Both yous twos
Then who’s gonna save Poppet? Sparky asks
That’s her problem and not yours
And not yours either, obviously Sparky is getting pissed.
Sparky and Henry look at one another, Henry shrugging his haunches.
Duncan continues in police vernacular: she went off on her own. She didn’t need to listen to that big brown muttwit
“straydog’sgoneintoHerdwickwoods” PC Andersen packleader is saying into his paw. “justincaseyougeta call,asthAfghanisaregistereddoginSwallow,sdon’tknowtheotherone” some nonsense barks from inside his paw “rogercentral,justkeepingyouinformed”
You both got any common sense – highly unlikely in your case, Henry – you’d leave this little domestic well alone and trot along to commandeer some free grub…which is what I intend to do, right sharpish
All you ever think about is grub Sparky comments darkly
That’s cos I’m a service fourlegs mate, well entitled to it…just gotta steer PC Andersen here in the right direction
And with that Duncan of the Thames Valley K9 Unit turns away, instantly dismissing them both.
Sparky eyes Johnylegs who’s deeply engaged in a load of nonsense with PC Andersen packleader.
Come on Henry, let’s catch them up before the scent goes cold
Both fourlegs stealthily leave. As stealthily as a full size English Bull Mastiff and a tingly Whippet are able.
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 lyrics bounce around between Sparky’s earflaps.
Sparky? Henry whispers in a loud voice You think I got common sense don’t you?
Loads of it, mate
Outside Herdwick pooping park both fourlegs need to squirt out some of the sudden excitement, Drizzle against a street lamp, Poppet over an abandoned plastic bag.
Come on we need to move Drizzle nudges her forward.
Drizzle leads her up Nelson Avenue and across Swallow Junction narrowly missing a growling roundlegs
“stupidanimals!” some idiotic hindlegs calls out. Drizzle ignores it, he has his sporting female and she’s right on his tail – just how he likes it.
Poppet is so caught up in the excitement that it’s not until now she finally remembers Sharonpackmate and what she’s just gone and done to her. Deserted her at the Dog Agility Show. She’s never gonna hear the end of this. Another thought, she’s running away from Sharonpackmate so maybe she’s never gonna hear the end of it cos she’s never gonna ever hear it. After all, she is running away!
What about Sharonpackmate?
My hindlegs companion, Drizzle
Without lessening his stride Forget her, she’s beforenow
Ah! Poppet’s not sure she is quite ready to accept this new now. Mind you, it’s equally hard to believe that this big male with his earthy sniff and meaty hindquarters just a few strides ahead, is now hers. All hers. So maybe she can accept it. And accept it quite nicely, thanks a lot.
Scraping clouds let go a right load of drink from the sky, soaking both fourlegs. Drizzle’s fur is turning black under the drink – another nice feature Poppet thinks – but it’s normally moments like this that Sharonpackmate makes a b-line straight for the nearest coffee shop to caffeine OD until the drink from the sky stops drinking. Memory of the sniff of coffee fills Poppet’s snout, faltering her step.
I need coffee she informs Drizzle.
Coffee’s for hindlegs he grunts dismissively it’s not much further
Drink is bouncing up from the pavement into Poppet’s face, her pads are already drink wet and she stops to lick them.
What the hell Drizzle turns on her. There’s no time for this. We need to reach my markers where we are safe
Safe from what?
From the little grey bitch who’s already following us
Ah, that’s Sparky for you, always a bit of a dreamer that fourlegs…and he’s not a bitch. He’s a Whippet called Sparky
Whatever. Here it is! Drizzle shoots left into the undergrowth, dropping down into a dark, dripping and intimidating maze.
I’m tiring out with all this chasing Poppet pants Where are we going?
My world he slips down, down, down through his marker posts.
So what’s the plan Sparky?
Save Poppet and sort out that big brown turd
Henry shakes his large head, splashing away the drink. And how you plan to do that then?
I’ll grab Poppet and you’ll do a bit of heavy submitting on the big brown turd
Submitting! Really? I like the sound of that
The two fourlegs spin left and crash down into the undergrowth following a wide and colourful highway of Poppet sniff and big brown turd sniff. The colour intensifies the closer they get.
Getting a bit tired Sparky, not built for speed…only sudden and extreme submitting
Don’t fret mate, they’re just ahead. We gotta get them back before Johnylegs, Sharonpackmate and FrankieFullermate start leaking wet from their eye holes.
Nah, don’t worry about Frankie, he’s banging the piss in the beer tent. Probably still thinks I’m under the table
Excellent. Just a bit further and we’ll nab’m
Poppet is puzzled. Running away into the sunset isn’t supposed to sniff like this, is it?
It’s cold, it’s dark, and there’s too much drink all over to feel comfortable, to feel safe, or even to drink it all away. Maybe it’s now time to go back and find Sharonpackmate after all.
Are we there…here yet?
We are my lover and Drizzle is all of a sudden doubling back to get at his Poppet.
Poppet is in conflict. A right solid male like Drizzle is all her dreams come true. Trouble is, all her dreams also include a load of dry weather, a cozy houseden, Sharonpackmate nodding her head up and down while flapping her ear flaps in happy approval, food bowl in paw. And all this ain’t it.
Sudden weight and Drizzle’s front toes are hanging down either side of her flanks, his large teeth nuzzling her earflap before clamping down onto her neck. Not painfully, but in a right solid I-got-you-baby grip. Anyway, it’s all feeling good in the wood. So far.
There they are Sparky streaks forward
Hold on, let me get my second wind Henry lumbers along behind.
The snow drives back the foot that’s slow, The dogs of doom are howling more
Sparky’s brain is tingling with the lyrics. He is Fenrir. And the time for action is now.
No time Henry. And no quarter. They ask no quarter and we show no quarter.
Erh, alright mate as they burst upon the scene.
Poppet! Sparky howls and launches himself at Drizzle.
Poppet’s moment of surprise is fast, colourful and simply wonderful. This is her life. This the dream come true. She’s found her fourlegs…finally.
Until it stops, thanks to Sparky.
Leave her alone you big muttwit, Fenrir comes Sparky streaks out of nowhere right into Drizzle’s rib bones.
And bouncing right back, upside down in the drinkwet leaves, all four toes in the air.
You what mate? Drizzle pulls off Poppet, the little fourlegs’ impact not even memorable. He stands over the Whippet, staring down. From Sparky’s point of view great legs tower up into the darkness, merging into solid head blotting out the sky. Just as the very reasonable idea of submitting fills his brain – Henry finally steps onto the stage.
Royt then! Who’s for submitting?
Drizzle is leaping away from Sparky. Henry is standing foursquare, bracing for impact. Poppet is feeling indignantly light, not happy that Drizzle’s pleasurable weight is no longer pressing down on her back?
The two big fourlegs knock heads.
I sniff you
I sniff you
Their massive bodies slide past one another, searching, seeking a good intake of male butt sniffing. A slow circular dance entails, licking in the sniff. The sniff. An open and honest story of their big dog identities, their history, their travels, their feelings of hunger, desire, disappointment and despair. Deeper, the intoxicating sniff is the true colour of their fourlegs spirits. They suddenly pull away from each other, berserker ready.
Submit! roars Drizzle
Yeah royt huffs Henry.
The two fourlegs knock their heads together again, and begin to…just stand there, wagging earflaps and the stumps of their tails like two idiots.
How’re yer doing Fudge?
Not so bad, Henry, and you?
Whoa! What? Sparky is still lying in submission mode, all four toes upwards. He quickly spins upside the right way.
Poppet can only stare wide-eyed behind her feathery blond ear flaps. Fudge?
Hold up, isn’t his name Drizzle?
Henry looks at Poppet for a moment. Nah, his name’s Fudge believing no other explanation required.
Unbelievable Poppet steams.
Missing the pleasurable weight of this hefty male is bad enough. To make matters worse, this ‘Fudge’ is looking quite content to stand there, like an idiot intellect, shooting the crap with Henry, another big idiot intellect.
And as for Sparky. She turns on him with all the wrath of a female denied You stupid, ugly, silly, nervy little foolish fu-
Against a background of Poppet’s verbal assault on Sparky, who’s bravely flinching out the storm, Fudge and Henry are meanwhile catching up on all the latest.
No sign of your lost hindlegs then, Fudge?
Nah mate, may have sniffed them in Herdwick pooping park beforenow, but…nah!
The two great minds happily look around at the woods.
Nice here says Henry, wishing he can live in the woods and not in a small backyard.
Has it’s moments Fudge replies, content to simply stand with his buddy and share the surroundings. He wanders over to the nearest squirting post and cocks a leg. Henry follows suit, sniffing Fudge’s squirt to make sure he’s gathered all the latest intel, before adding a little bit of his own intel for good measure.
Oi you two! Poppet shatters the bromance moment. A flaplegs sqwarks in surprise from the branches above. And you stay right there, I have finished with you yet she warns Sparky before marching over to the two great minds.
Right then Drizzle or Fudge or whatever… she begins hotly What about us? quickly softening down into purr mode Aren’t we an item?
Us? Fudge looks confused.
Yes. Us she ramps up a bit You. Me. Here. Right now.
Fudges looks at Henry for answers. Henry slobbers a bit before looking at Sparky. All three fourlegs look back at Poppet, confused.
Our love, Drizzle-Fudge….our love for each other her tone increasingly desperate.
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 as all three fourlegs simply stare back at Poppet in complete male incomprehension.
The silence is heavy.
The flaplegs sqwarks again.
Fancy marking some posts? Fudge breaks the silence.
Northing else to do
And just like that, the two great minds trot off into the woods, abandoning Sparky.
Uh-oh Sparky get all tingly as Poppet turns her fluffy blond ear flaps towards him.
Upon us all, upon us all a little rain must fall. It’s just a little rain oh yeah…
“youmeanttheGibson?” Johnylegs is beaming idiotically at Sharonpackmate “whenyousaidEDS1275” he pulls out his tee-shirt into a point “youmeantJimmyPage’stwin-neckedGibsonEDS1275!”
“ofcourseIdid” Sharonpackmate replies, pulling in her chin at this most obvious observation possible. “whatelsecoulditbe,neh?”
“notalottapeopleknowthat” Johnylegs admits in wonder, beer glass drooping in one hand, still pinching out his tee-shirt with the other.
“really?” Sharonpackmate giggles “sawthemliveatO2-“
“nofakinway!” he is stunned into silence. And then “youlikeStarWars?”
“doesakickinthenutshurt?” she replies, lifting her tiny snout to the sky and giggling.
And Johnyleg’s lets rip a sniff from his furless body, rippling outwards out in scintillating gold across Herdwick pooping park, making all the fourlegs forget what they’re doing, eating, squirting, eating, sniffing, eating and looking his way instead, snouts twitching the air.
Desperation? queries Sparky.
Necessity confirms Poppet.
“nonsesense,nonsense,nonsense” says Johnylegs
“nonsesense,nonsense,andmorenonsense” replies Sharonpackmate. And the two hindlegs sniff around one another with their silly barking, falling into one another’s sniff zones so fast that both fourlegs are promptly forgotten.
Nice here remarks Sparky after a bit, staring round at the Swallow Summer Fayre. Enjoying yerself, then?
Me? she stares down at the tingly Whippet disqualified, dogged and dumped, what’s not to like? Poppet curtly flicks away feathery blonds earflaps from her eyes.
Me too he wags his stump.
You muttwit she chides him, not unkindly. Actually, if she thinks about it and if the stinging between her rear quarters is anything to go by, it’s quite a nice day afterall.
I thought his name was Drizzle?
Maybe cos he’s always wet Sparky shakes his body all tingly it drinkwets a lot in those woods
It does that
They sit in silence, scratching bellies, hunting down tics, dreaming of food. Two contented fourlegs.
Thank you for coming to save me… Fenrir Poppet looks straight at Sparky from behind her frothy blond earflaps. She nuzzles him You are one brave muttwit
He can say nothing, but a whole lotta lyrics are spinning through his head.
A sniffy wave of mustard yellow catches their attention.
Sausages? Maybe Turkey burgers? Poppet asks.
Both. Let’s go eat
They both bound off towards the food market, leaving their hindlegs behind to bark more nonsense at each other, and not even noticing the two are gone. It’s one of those Swallow days that truly deserves a good nosh.
Wanted a woman, never bargained for you. Lots of people talkin’, few of them know Soul of a woman was created below, yeah
Sparky is tingly.
In Memory of William George Boyce, a father who taught his son to sniff