Scratch are on the rise. A nightmarish cross between furry little doggies and sharp clawed killing machines. They’re invading Swallow and something’s gotta be done. Donuts, the rugby-loving Welsh Terrier decides enough is enough. Together with his bestest mates and a well-chewed odd-shaped ball, he’s gonna endgame this invasion once and for all. Sure! It can only end in tears. At the infamous battle of the Tesco Extra 5 bins.
This just ain’t natural Missy Biscuits is also thinking as she pulls Tony through Herdwick pooping park and it’s starting to piss me off
Trailing behind her within the cover of the bushes is one nasty-looking black scratch. It’s been stalking her ever since she entered the park and she’s priming herself up cos soon there’s gonna be a reckoning.
“what’supMissy?” Tony stops, squats down and looks Missy Biscuits in the eye.
Nothing, my love
Now Missy Biscuits is doubly pissed off. She’s pissed off at the scratch. And she’s more than pissed off that, by being obviously pissed off, she’s gone upset the one hindlegs in all Swallow she cares for more than anything at all. Cares more for more than noshing her face.
Tony, be a good’n and unleash me for a mo
No Tony, I want go kick the scrunt out of some catch
No patient pause Tony I am not. Please unhook me
“let’sgetyouhome” Tony starts worrying. Thing is about Tony, he’s a bit challenged between the earflaps and the slightest thing will start him off worrying. Like the time Missy gets kidnapped in the high street right in front of him beforenows. And that’s another story. “wemustgethome”
Keep yer lid on, mate but she knows she’ gotta do something fast – apart from tear out the scratch’s laughing gear. She plumps down there on the sidewalk and rolls over, mewling all four legs in the air. She knows how to keep Tony on the right side edge of crazy.
“ah,youjustwantatickle,Missy” and Missy Biscuits sniffs all the worry colour go right out of Tony.
That’s right, Tony, it’s all okay and I just want a little tickle and her companion happily obliges.
Meanwhile, head upside down, she stares towards the bushes where the black scratch stares back. It drops down into predatory stance, getting ready to pounce.
You saucy little fu –
“ah,lookatthat,it’sacat!” exclaims Tony, forgetting all about Missy Biscuits and heading towards the hedge, dragging Missy with him.
Scratch explodes from bushes in a threshing of claws. It bounces off Missy Biscuit’s back, taking precision swipes at her and Tony in midflight, lands nimbly and turns, hissing, heckles raised.
“ouch!” cries Tony.
What the f –! as Missy Biscuits spins up onto her toes and launches herself towards the monster. It stays its ground, inflating as it arches its back, hissing like a good’n. Within instant mauling distance Missy Biscuits is jolted backwards impotently on her choke chain. The scratch ain’t budged its ground one bit.
Tony, let go the lead, mate! TONY!
Too late. Tony is pulling her back to him and hurrying off down the sidewalk, pulling Missy Biscuits along. She sniffs dark red iron. Tony is bleeding from his paw where the scratch got at him.
Being frog marched out of the park, Missy cranes her neck backwards to keep the scratch on target.
I’ll be back for you yer nasty bastard
The saucy scratch sits, watching them go for a mo, before it resumes its stalking of Missy Biscuits and Tony.
It just so happens that two other fourlegs are trotting through Herdwick pooping park at the same time and totally miss all the Missy Biscuits action. Surprising really, as both GitOrrf! and Tuffy – who’s also known as One Ear because of a battle injury sustained from Big Knickers ‘enry, feel entitled to the belief that all of Herdwick belongs to them. In fact, the whole of Swallow probably belongs to them if you were to directly question them on the subject.
As it is, what with the whitedrink melting all about, it’s now time for some decent fourlegs to get out and about and renew familiarity with favorite marker posts. The two street fourlegs have been at this draining task all morning. It’s a slow process as all marker posts need a small squirt to establish territories, plus they all receive a double squirting after each fourlegs carefully sniffs and squirts over the scent of the other before proceeding on to the next.
Trouble with marker posts is Tuffy remarks, cocking a back leg at a ridiculous angle and holding the pose before he begins to lose balance and fall over is the number of fours who just don’t do a proper squirt
What do you mean One Ear? GitOrrf! carefully sniffs the squirt left behind by Tuffy.
What I mean is as he trots onto the next if you’re gonna leave a calling card then at least leave one without half the message missing
What do you mean One Ear?
What I mean is – and will you stop asking ‘what I mean’ and will you stop calling me One Ear – is, is who knows who half these fourlegs bugga’s are! Honestly, it’s scandalous
What do – I mean to say, what bugga’s?
Exactly! What bugga’s? Fourlegs go squirting everywhere, like they own every dog-damned marker post within trotting distance and can’t be arsed to leave enough squirt to make it crystal who theys really are!
GitOrrf! thinks Tuffy is talking nonsense, of course. Who cares who they are? Whoever leaves the last squirt owns the marker post and that’s fourlegs lore. He drops a small squirt on top of Tuffy’s squirt, after sniffing it first, of course. All this leg cocking is hungry work and GitOrrf! decides the next point of call is Tesco’s.
It’s nosh time One Ear and today’s pizza promotion at Tesco’s
First, it’s Tuffy…and second, it’s the first dog-damned sensible thing you’ve sez all day
Of course, getting to Tesco Extra requires plenty of marker squirting along the way. The two fourlegs trot out the park, stopping at every mandatory spot that sniffs up in front of them. Lampposts, council trash bins, the traffic lights at the corner of high street and Nelson Avenue, and a suspicious card box left outside the sour sniffing Oxfam clothes shop. They are even thrown off track by the scent of a female squirt in the middle of the pavement.
Sasha decides GitOrrf!
Nah, it’s Mayumi Tuffy licks at the squirt.
It’s Sasha, One Ear, telling yous
Moving on, dodging the growling round legs that are just such an inconvenience on every road where they want to cross, Tesco Extra can be sniffed in the near distance. More importantly, the orange tang sniff of Tesco Extra’s five bins ‘round back is tickling their snouts. Slobber fills their mouths.
Telling yous One Ear, I’m starving GitOrrf! picks up the pace I’ve only noshed four times today, can you believe it!
Scandal mate, real scandal agrees Tuffy, the thoughts of pizza filling all available space between his earflaps.
But what’s truly scandalous is the rank sniffy colours fuming off the five bins ‘round back. The sniff of scratch.
The two fourlegs trot round the corner from Nelson Avenue, through Tesco Extra carpark and head ‘round back. The sniff of scratch getting stronger with every trot. And there they are, five lovely sniffy council green plastic bins, neatly parked in a row, wheels clamped and lids off two of them. Cheese and pepperoni pizza wafts over their heads, quivering their earflaps. A few slices already litter the concrete apron in front of the bins. All is in order. Ready for a fourlegs tasty trot thru.
Except, Gitorrf! and Tuffy stare aghast. There are scratch everywhere. Everywhere!
A big black monster is dropping into one bin, back toes just seen before they disappear. Padding up to the same drop off point is a shaggy grey monster, daintily walking the rim of the bin and also dropping inside. A ginger scratch is standing on its back legs, front toes up and looking for the right spot to jump up, too. And if that ain’t bad enough, there’s a tabby scratch well stuck into a slice of pizza sitting innocently on the concrete apron.
Cor blimey! Gitorrf! stops dead, Tuffy rear-ending him.
Stuck to the spot, snouts twitching like mad and shocked more than is good and proper, the two fours are at a loss. Lost for words. And it’s not a good thing to loose a fourlegs his words.
The tabby scratch swivels its head towards them, unconcerned and arrogant. Worse still, it then returns to its pepperoni and cheese, completely ignoring them.
We – we gotta report back croaks Tuffy.
Report back to who?
Who’s all of’m? GitOrrf! blurts, already hopelessly lost in the strategicals.
Em! Ee.Em. Tuffy spells it out all of’m
Makes sense GitOrrf! flaps his earflaps happily, glad that Tuffy is the taking the lead as brains of the outfit.
But we need to reports back to all of’m how many scratch are gaffing our bins, mate
Easy peasy, I’ll do the counting GitOrrf! adds fast cos he doesn’t want Tuffy to think that he’s the only brains of the outfit.
Sounds like a plan. Get on with it
Gitorrf! sits down on his hinds cos deep thinking like this needs a bit of comfort. Not only that but, Gitorrf! knows to his cost that a spot of deep thinking can also affect his balance. Imagine the shame of falling on his butt in front of all these scratch while doing his arithmeticals?
One there he begins and one over there…and there’s another one… slowing down to ensure he’s got all his counting spot on one up there and one –
How many’s that already?
GitOrrf! cocks up a leg to scratch his underside which encourages deeper thinking That’s a total of one!
One! Tuffy marvels let’s get back fast and tell all of’m
GitOrrf! hesitates what about lunch, then?
Erh? Us against a total of one!! Yous a suicidal muttwit or what?
Plan agreed, the two fours sniff the air, sniff all over, and sniff each other before trotting off, sharpish like, back ‘round the corner of Tesco’s Extra, determined to tell all of’m the terrible news.
(Donuts part.3 follows next week…)