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.
I knew it, and didn’t I say I knew it beforenows…and didn’t I say, beforenows, I told you so? Mister Park is sitting at his shiny stainless steel drinking bowl which is now not so shiny. In fact, rimmed with puke-coloured scratch furs. He stares at the scene of the crime, stares up at Profit&Loss and stares all around for Sherbet. Sherbet sits on the stairs, deliberately looking the other way.
If this ain’t bad enough, water droplets are mixed with more scratch furs all over the tatami mat – his mat.
The bowl is whipped away, washed in the sink, and replaced brimming with clean cold water. Mister Park immediately slurps fast before any other nasty surprises.
“notsofast,Jindywindy” Loss scolds him “you’llmakeamess”
Me? slurp, slurp Mess?
Sherbet swivels its head and stares at him from between the bannisters.
Oh, that’s right, stare right on, why don’t you…you guilty party!
“MISTPARK!” a cuff across the earflaps “don’tupsetSherbet,she’sdelicate!”
Honestly, this is outrageous
“that’senoughfromyou, confinedtoquarters” as Mister Park is dragged off the tatami mat by his lead, his butt sliding across the parquet flooring, sliding around the corner and into the living room. Bang! Frosted glass door slams behind him.
The fuzzy outline of Sherbet slinking down the stairs, rubbing itself on the bannister, and disappearing towards the kitchen, and Mister Park’s bowls. Mister Park pushes his snout against the glass, watching developments. The sounds of short sharp slurping reach his earflaps.
I protest! He squidgies his snout against the glass Hello! Hello anyone? I protest
Time doesn’t mean much to a fourlegs. Far too sensible to worry about time, waiting for it, or even wondering about it passing them by. Time is always the here and nows.
And in the here and nows, the glass door to the living room opens and Mister Park immediately skitters across the parquet, skitters around the bannister rail, and skitters into the kitchen. His bowls are all sitting there, shiny stainless steel, and immaculate.
Slurp! Slurp! Slurp!
His chops dripping water over his tatami mat, his earflaps turning a smidgeon faster than his head at the soft padding of little scratch toes on the stairs.
But he’s not fast enough. By the time he’s skittered back down the hallway, scrubbing off speed at the turn by the bannister and sliding to an abrupt halt in front of his favorite chair in the living room, Sherbet has already claimed it.. Sitting there in all her puke-coloured furry majesty. Immovable as a stone. Sitting, looking down at Mister Park and enjoying itself.
Mister Park licks his snout furiously.
Now look here, Sherbet…
Sherbet is looking elsewhere.
Please be mindful that we share this houseden together and, out of my heartfelt respect and appreciation towards yous and your place within it, nows the time we need to draw up a peaceful arrangement for the use of chairs, bowls, mats, etcetera, etcetera…
A clock ticks tocks on the mantlepiece.
As such, I nows invite you share my food bowl, share my drinking bowl, share dirtying my tatami mat and…and share sitting on my favorite chair…
A growling roundlegs passes by outside the bay windows.
And so, in the spirit of this new found respect and tolerance, and in the firm belief that dialogue is the only way forward to achieving long lasting peace between us, I am nows honoured to split everything I own fifty, fifty
Mister Park nudges his snout at Sherbet to encourage a response so, hows about it?
In a violent hiss of fur and claws Sherbet carves a bloody scratch from one side of his Jindo snout to the other.
“MISTERPARKS!” Heavy footsteps and Mister Parks is being dragged away by his collar. “whycan’tyouleavethatpoorcatalone?she’sdelicate!”
I’m gonna tear yer earflaps off, one by one, so yous can hears me doing it!
Missy Biscuits points her snout directly at the black scratch lurking in the undergrowth. A dark coiled spring of energy, waiting its chance to pounce.
“oh,comeoneMissy,leaveitalone” Tony whines.
Fortunately, she doesn’t have to as the appearance of a grey furry legs bouncing along the grass immediately catches the interest of the black scratch. Shooting out from the bushes, it dashes, a black streak of pure evil, towards the little creature. Even so, it is not nearly fast enough and the grey furry legs is halfway up the marker post and sitting on a branch before the scratch gets anywhere near it.
Doesn’t matter – Missy Biscuits now has the black scratch out in the open, exposed and vulnerable. The hunter becomes the hunted. But she needs to be fast.
Without a word of instruction to Tony, she dashes away from him fast and aggressively, knowing he will drop the lead. This in itself is dangerous, Tony being off the lead and out of control, like, but what to do! In five bounds she’s right up behind the black scratch and giving it a right healthy chewing at the scruff before it even knows what’s hit it. Scratch being scratch, of course, it defies gravity and leaps vertical up the marker post, Missy holding onto it for good measure. Grey furry legs, flaplegs and all other assorted animals scatter every which way, except the scratch which knows its only escape is straight up.
Missy Biscuits lets go and drops to earth before she ends up stuck in the branches. Black furs fuzzy between her teeth.
She trots back to Tony, still holding the lead, mouth open, speechless. Sitting in front of him she reverts to fourlegs cuddly mode, rolling onto her back all four toes in the air. Tony automatically starts tickling her belly.
Thing about Tony is, he’s controllable.
Well impressive shouts out Donuts, who just happens to be passing by on his way towards Tesco Extra after his fifth squirt
I sniff you Donuts calls Missy Biscuits.
Got a use for you as Losehead, if you wants it he suggests, thinking of his forward pack.
You mean prop?
Yeah, or Tighthead if you prefer, but I had Drizzle in mind for that
You still mean prop?
Or…erh, yeah, erh, you know your rugby then, Missy?
I’m an Australian Shepherd as if nothing else needs explaining, surely but thanks for the offer, tho’ me and Tony are enjoying enough excitement today as it is
Yeah….well impressive and Donuts pulls Wynn along on his chain, eager to get to Tesco Extra and its five bins ‘round back.
Missy Biscuits watches Donuts waddle off, laying down a small squirt on top of his before she leads Tony towards home Chin up Tony and best paw forward!
Laters pussy she chuckles, choosing not to look up at the black scratch desperately clinging to the highest branch of the marker post.
(Donuts final part.6 follows next week…)
Copyrighted work by Julian Boyce