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.
The clouds are minding their own business, not giving it any more drinkwet and just being dragged off all scratchy someplace else. All good news for Donuts who knows Wynn can’t be arsed to go walkies when it’s drinkwetting. As it is, Wynn’s now loping along at a fine trot behind Donuts, carrying the well-chewed rugby ball.
Ah, better out than in Donuts gives it his fifth squirt on the corner of Nelson Avenue and Aspen Drive. He sniffs Tuffy, Drizzle and GitOrrf!, the forward pack, already hanging out at Tesco Extra’s. First he must sort out Wynn.
Pulling with determination, Donuts hauls Wynn into Herdwick pooping park. Although Wynn is only hindlegs, he’s still intelligent enough to realise that Herdwick pooping park is where Donuts helps him perfect his drop kicking techniques.
Into the park, away from the road and well off the pavement, Donuts let’s Wynn unleash himself.
“andit’sDanBiggarwithadropkickrightdownthecenterfield…” Wynn drop kicks the ball deep into the park. Donuts immediately chases after it in his waddling see-sawing motion “goboyo,goboyo” Wynn encourages him.
Donuts reaches the ball, sniffs it, and keeps on waddling, see-sawing off into the distance.
Wynn’s jaw drops as Donuts waddles right out of the park and towards the high street, surprised that such a pudgy fellow as Donuts can be arsed to spend so much energy as to try and run away. Wynn sits on a park bench. “he’llbeback” he consoles to himself, equally un-arsed to spend any energy searching for the stupid mutt.
That’s hard work he puffs but, at least Wynn’s sorted heading off at a somewhat slower waddle towards Tesco Extra.
I sniff you Dongnuts Tuffy jumps up, rubbing snouts with Donuts.
Right then fellas, who’s here? Donuts rubs out snouts and butts in no particular order shout it out!
Drizzle says Drizzle.
Tuffy says Tuffy.
GitOrrf! says GitOrrf!
Sausage says Sausage.
Who? Says Donuts.
Me. Sausage. Cos what I heard is, is there’s gonna be some right hard scratch action, innit? So I wanted in
Uh-huh? Donuts sizes up the small, thin and very elongated Dachshund sez who?
Sez this lot, Fudge, One Ear and Charlie, him, him, and him Sausage points out each of the fours with his toe that’s who sez who
Isn’t your name Drizzle? asks Tuffy to Drizzle, who’s real name is actually Fudge.
Erh, and isn’t your name One Ear? questions GitOrrf! to One Ear, who’s real name is actually Tuffy.
That’s rich, coming from you, some muttwit called Gitorrf! exclaims Donuts to Gitorrf!, who’s real name actually is Charlie, but not a lot of people know it.
Okay? that’s who, who sez who answers Sausage, standing tall and pointing his snout and tail in a polar direction so where’s the scratch at and let’s go give them gobshites somervit!
The five fourlegs trot on ‘round the back of Tesco Extra towards the five bins. Their five bins!
They all sit, slouch, or lie down and generally await a clear direction on what happens second. First being some well deserved grooming action and the odd involuntary squirt.
Right then, lads, we all in battle rattle? Donuts inspects the forward pack.
Suggest we do a roll call first suggests Sausage.
You? commands Donuts
Drizzle says Drizzle
Marking him down as Fudge adds Sausage.
You? commands Donuts.
Who me? me Tuffy
Marking him down as One Ear adds Sausage
Who – Oh, forget the roll call, boyos, I’m already confused! Let’s just go givvit some Donuts leads the pack towards the bins. Hanging out around the five remarkably well-kept County Council bins are an assortment of scratch enjoying Tesco Extra’s daily special – which, today, just happens to be fish.
What about the plan like? asks Sausage did you bring it with yous?
Gnashers and claws, that’s the plan I got with me says Tuffy.
I got me large plumb bobs on, is my plan adds Drizzle.
Nosh all that Norwegian salmon is my plan wraps up Gitorrf!
He’s spot on, is that Sausage Donuts shakes his earflaps, wondering which end of Sausage is big enough to hold his vast intelligence. So, Drizzle you’re Loosehead, Tuffy you’re Tighthead and GitOrrf! you’re hooker…got it lads?
The fours look at Donuts, then each other, then Donuts again.
Don’t fret lads, it’s simple….GitOrrf! get in the middle!
And what about yous? asks Sausage.
Second row, along with yous.
Now, that’s a right ding dong of a plan pants GitOrrf!, suitably impressed at a plan so strategical he don’t quite understand one end of it from t’other.
I’m right behind yous! Barks Donuts let’s do this! And no prisoners!
Veni vidi vici adds Sausage I came, I saw, I conquered and what happens…happens!
At the five bins ‘round back of Tesco Extra a whole bunch of right gnarly-looking scratch glance up from today’s special. As Donuts pushes his forward pack forward, Swallows holds it’s collective breath. You can almost hear the nightmare of razor-sharp claws swishing out from many furry little scratch paws.
Mister Park opens his eye from a very pleasant chasing dream and lifts an earflap, suddenly alert to some very strange sniffs. He can’t open the other earflap cos he’s lying on it. The sniff is Sherbet and….four of five other Sherbets! The little Jindo rolls off his second favorite chair, pops up his other earflap and heads towards the kitchen, hackles up.
Lying on his favorite tatami mat is Sherbet wrapped around five very small scratch. Sherbet eyes him with utter menace. Don’t even think of coming closer she could almost be saying, if the animal had intelligence enough to say anything, that is.
Profit&Loss are standing protectively over Sherbet and her litter.
“don’tyoueventhinkofcomingcloser,MisterPark” they whisper together, closing around the puke-yellow scratch “wedidtellyou,she’sinadelicateway, didn’t we?”
Mister Park sits down, neat and delicate himself, and stares into the kitchen, into his future, aghast.
Now lo-look here, Sherbet… he begins.
The five fourlegs stand at the window of the cat sanctuary, snouts rubbing against the glass. Their faces a lively tracery of scars and bloody scratches. On the other side, a whole bunch of scratch sit in their cages or lounge on fur-covered climbing frames, staring back…sort of smugly.
Trotting down Swallow high street on his community walk is Duncan.
Hearing you fellas were in a right bit of dogfight, beforenows? he grunts also heard it was a complete rout. All alright then, are we?
The five fourlegs tear themselves away from the glass and look at the big K9 Doberman. Each wincing from slices and tears and other odds and sods inflictions covering their bodies.
Not so bad says Donuts, a bit subdued like.
Duncan grunts keep the peace boys, keep the peace and continues on his patrol, pulling PC Andersen packleader on down the road.
Donuts looks at the other four fours Rematch, boyos?
Let’s do dinner first winces GitOrrf! rugby is hungry work
They all think of the Norwegian salmon special at the Tesco Extra five bins. And, then stop thinking about it.
Erh, KFC anyone?
KFC! they all reply indecently fast.
Copyrighted work by Julian Boyce