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 time Missy Biscuits will be ready for that evil black scratch. But first she’s walking Tony towards the rear of the police station and the compound of Swallow’s Thames Valley K9 detachment. She’s gonna tell Duncan all about it.
The sniff of happy munching greets her as she reaches the compound wall.
What you’re eating Duncan?
That’s police business munches Duncan from over the wall.
Salmon fillet with rice and carrots nibblets Shadow’s voice adds It’s right tasty!
Don’t tell her police business growls Duncan what kind of K9 are you?
The German Shepherd kind, the proper kind, mate
Anyway boys, hate to intrude on your gob-filling duties protecting public and property and all that like, but…
“oh,Missy, don’tupsetthosepolicedogs” Tony whines.
It’s alright Tony, they’re harmless
Harmless is it? Archhhhhh, ughhhhhh Shadow starts choking on his biscuits.
What’s up Missy? Duncan’s gruff voice over the top of all the chocking.
Well, nothing that two mins without a chain round me neck won’t fix, but…
There’s this scratch in Herdwick that needs a right whooping
Furry? Two ears? Whiskers? Black?
As well as….
Archhhhhh, ughhhhhh continues Shadow.
We know it, love adds Jax, the other German Shepherd K9 from the new scratch sanctuary down on the high street
“oh,Missy, stopupsettingthosepolicedogs” Tony continuously whining.
So, what you going to do about it, boys?
The reply is contented munching of salmon fillet with rice and carrot nibblets.
Archhhhhh – ah, ah-heh! That’s cleared it
We’ll keep an eye out adds Duncan reassuringly, who has a bit of a soft spot for Missy Biscuits that’s what we’re trained for
Missy Biscuits stares at the wall, sniffing the munching, noshing and gobbling going on the other side.
Come on Tony she pulls her companion away, ears flat back on her neck and heading purposefully for the park bunch of muttwits! When you gotta do a job then you gotta do it yourself, ain’t yer Tony, my luv?
It doesn’t take long for Donuts to find some well hard street fours – well, Drizzle and Tuffy, anyways. Both are lying under Costa Coffee tables, out of the drinkwet.
I sniff yers, boyos
Sniff you too Drizzle calls back
What’s up Dognuts? adds Tuffy.
“stayhereDonutswhileIgograbmelatte” Wynn ties up the Welsh Terrier and disappears inside the very sniffy coffee shop.
Right then, you boyos up for some gainful employ?
Donuts sits, shaking his earflaps to get the drinkwet out of them. Even better, scratch bashing!
Tuffy jumps up, bashing his head against the table when? Where?
Keep yer fur on One Ear, we need a plan first and a few more fours Donuts sits, scratching himself.
Exactly! ‘cept I got the plan, boyos, but I need the fours – some right hairy-butt wrenchers, too
I know two hairy-butt wrenchers Tuffy wags his tail in excitement.
Donut licks his chops don’t be a muttwit, muttwit. I mean other hairy-butt wrenchers
Big knickers ‘enry? suggests Drizzle don’t get much hairier-butted than him
Lost his plumb-bobs tho, ain’t he? Tuffy answers, quickly checking under a back leg to make sure his own plump-bobs are still hanging where he last left them.
Nah, we need street fours, not houseden pets. Who else?
Giblets? sez Drizzle.
Nah, also houseden!
Gunther? sez Tuffy.
Duncan? sez Tuffy again.
K9 pigs? No way boyo Donuts says aghast I said what we need is a well-hard, hairy-butted street muttwit….well then? Who?
They all look at one another.
GitOrrf! they all bark at once.
Donuts shakes his head, oh dog, give me patience! GitOrrf! is the smallest street four around but…what to do?
Alright then, we got the forward pack sorted, now for the plan –
What’s a forward pack? asks Drizzle.
Rugby pack, boyo, same as rugby scrum… what comes from the telly
The telly? both fourlegs answer, grudgingly impressed by Donut’s intelligence.
Oh yes boyos, the ones who’re gonna crouch, bind and set to rights these scratchy ugly buggas!
That’s the plan? asks Drizzle, a large Rhodesian Ridgeback who’s always happy to get into danger close snout tussles with fourlegs or scratch, or any other four-legged animal.
And that’s the plan? quizzes Tuffy.
No, boyo, that’s the scrum. Now, the plan…the plan’s to trot down Tesco Extra’s five bins and kick the poop out every fother mucking scratch we find down there
The two fourlegs stare at Donuts not really getting the first part of the plan, or even the last part, or any part of it, really.
If Donuts could suck in his teeth right nows, he would. But it’s his plan and he knows what needs knowing, and what needs doing.
“comeonethenDonuts” Wynn is back with his latte.
Right then boyos, five squirts later ‘round front of Tesco Extra…and don’t forget to bring GitOrrf!
What about him, Dognuts? Tuffy looks up at Wynn, Donuts’ hindlegs companion how will you get there with him on his chain, like?
Nah, don’t worry about him, I’ll bring him, too replies Donuts he’s not very intelligent but he’s sorta harmless!
Laters Donuts and his companion waddle off, Wynn sipping at his latte.
Erh, what’s a scrum, then? asks Drizzle.
Who cares! wonders Tuffy, still confused by how complex the plan is, whatever in dog-damned name a plan is, exactly. Front, end or middle. He starts scratching one earflap to stop his brain hurting.
And, erh, erh, what’s a telly? asks Drizzle.
(Donuts part.5 follows next week…)
Copyrighted work by Julian Boyce