Supervising kidnapped fourlegs at Freddy’s Kennels is rewarding work, so sez ThreeLegs, the fearsome bully-boy terrier who runs the place with a firm bite. However, his world is quickly turned upside down with the sudden arrival of fleet-footed Βία, a gorgeous ex-racing greyhound. Soon finding himself caste out, broken-hearted, and on the wrong side of every fourlegs in Swallow, ThreeLegs is set to learn the tough-love truth of who his real friends are, the hard way. Unreasonably, it’s all thanks to his arch enemy, that tough-snouted Thames Valley K9 trooper, Duncan.
Vexed, I’m very vexed ThreeLegs considers his state of mind, that place where all thoughts of noshing, eightleggers and sniffing occurs between the earflaps. And thinking about noshing, Threelegs’ belly reminds him he’s missing his breakfast back on Freddy’s Farm. Bacon, well done scraps of bacon, anyways. Toast, the crusts. Sausage…fried to perfection….a touch of healthy kicking from Freddylegs or a sudden wack out of nowhere from his big stick. Home.
Ahh wails Threelegs, feeling lonesome I’m undeserving of such heinous exile from me pater famillias?
The orange sniff of nosh makes his nostrils flick and bubble with hunger. Just down the street is Greggs. He can sniff the special of the day, two sausage, scrambled and baked beans. Just the ticket!
But he’s reluctant to leave the wall of the K9 compound.
Swallow is a small town but ThreeLegs has never been here, beforenows, and is wary of the other fourlegs he can sniff all out and about. GitOrrf! and Tuffy the two street fours a constant presence. He knows them well, flapping his earflaps at recollecting their last meetings – both ending badly. Missy Biscuits and Gunther are walking their hindlegs companions up the high street. They’ll help me he perks up, before recalling how that last meeting also ended up on the wrong note. And there’s Henry, now calling hisself Big Knickers ‘enry, for some odd reason, is over in Herdwick pooping park. Yes? Nah, he’s the last muttwit ThreeLegs wants to meet today, vividly sniffing the colours of their last violent encounter.
What then? Earflaps flap, bouncing his thinking box from one side of the head to t’other, trying to pummel up a good-sized plan. Trouble is, he needs noshing to think straight. Greggs it is, thens!
As fate has it, loitering outside Greggs is that other right useless great mind, Drizzle. Ear flaps furiously flapping, Threelegs tries renders up his last encounter with that slab-sided piece of Rhodesian Ridgeback. His brain box comes up blank. No probs there, then.
Hello there, erh, Drizzle, I sniff you
Sniff you, too Drizzle bounds right up to Threelegs, sniffing him all over for good measure, a colour of barely contained violence sizzling off the big four. But that’s no problem for a right three-legged wrencher like Threelegs. Sniff away
And to all yous dis-intimates, it’s Mister Fudge Drizzle corrects Threelegs, sniffing about the stump of his missing limb.
Of course, of course Threelegs acknowledges, knowing now is not the time to have a scrap with this low-life muttwit. Well, not before noshing, anyways.
Whatcha doing aways from Freddylegs, then?
A bit of this, bit of that
So, how’s the mammal stealin’ business, then?
Not wishing any implications regarding his professional goings on, in short, wanting to change the subject quick like, ThreeLegs hovers from one leg to the other in a three-sided motion Just thought I’d trot down to the big city to enjoy the culinaratories of and he points his snout at Greggs erh, Greggs
All-day breakfast special, mate, all day Drizzle nods his snout in agreement, all further interrogations wacked aside at the mention of food let’s go in then and order!
ThreeLegs is used to nosh being served up on a plate in front of him. Sometimes with a solid Freddylegs kicking for desert. (Ah, home again…) But there don’t seem much chance of a good kicking as ThreeLegs can’t sniff Freddylegs in Greggs. However, as his earflaps continue ping pong with his brain box, the idea of going in search of nosh is, well, a little unusual. At Freddy’s Farm everything comes to him. However being a bit of a leader, like, quite apart from being every bit a survivor, too, ThreeLegs is confident of some right healthy noshing judging by the colourful all day brekkers sniffs coming out of Greggs.
You better let a trained fourlegs handle this, Tuffy
Sure, ThreeLegs, but-
No buts, furry or otherwise my dear peon, I’ll take the lead on this
ThreeLegs marches, well hobbles more like, into Greggs. Tuffy, also being a bit of a survivor but, whose misfortunes make surviving more lifestyle than choice, decides to wait it out on the street and watch points. If Threelegs gets served an all day special then he’ll trot in after him. Right quick, too.
I’ll watch points he justifies.
ThreeLegs disappears inside.
And ask about upsize portions, or is that just on sausages? Tuffy adds, drooling over the idea of sniffy pork sausages served strait down his face hole no need for’m on a plate, neither
The sound of shrieks, hindlegs shrieks, explodes out of Greggs, followed by ThreeLegs being propelled at speed out of Greggs on the sharp end of a hindlegs foot.
Indignantly, ThreeLegs spins around on his front pin how dare you! and…and enough with the animal, Gottit? he shouts back at the disappearing foot.
Tuffy observes from the safety of the pavement what’s the score on upsize portions then, yes, no?
Βία awakes to the tap-tap-tap of Freddylegs stick against her cage. The stick continues tap, tap tapping towards Scroggy’s and stops.
“roytthen” Freddylegs open the cage door “out!”
Scroggy pushes himself on his haunches right into the back of the cage, trembling not the take-away, oh please no sir, not the take away!
Stay strong Scroggy Βία tries comforting the Redbone Coonhound, who refuses to budge from his spot.
They says being chopped’n’diced is quicker than being boiled wholes adds Thunder.
No writhing in agony like adds another sympathetically.
Shut it you fruitless muttwits warns Βία sure as sure they’ll be humane about it
Diced, boiled, fried or sautéed, same difference, innit? ponders Thunder
Oh, no, no, no squeals Scroggy anything but the Chinese!
“shutyeryapping,loadayers” roars Freddylegs “royt,that’sit” and he fills the cage with his black malevolence, grabbing Scroggy by the scruff and yanking him out the cage. “allthatracket,anyone’llthinkyergoingtothebutchers!”
THE BUTCHERS! all the fours exclaim together, including Scroggy.
As Scroggy is dragged from the barn, never to be seen again, the fourlegs are left pondering the fate of one of their very owns.
He’s not going to the butchers states Βία that’s Freddylegs just being simply rhetorical
A pause throughout barn number two as all the fours imagine Scroggy’s simply rhetorical bloody ending.
Nah Thunder disagrees after a few moments scratching he’s def going to the Chinese. Dead certain, like
Grunts of approval greet this. No one’s gonna contradict Thunder – what with him being a bigger bone-headed wrencher than most and who certainly don’t take contradictions lightly – and who definitely must knows what he’s talking about.
Any o’yous muttwits got the number for the takeaway? he asks around.
Nah, but I think yous can order online a voice replies.
That’s it. Βία is just about right up to here with this muttwit madhouse. Soon as that cage door opens, she ain’t gonna go to the Chinese take-away, nor any other dog-damned take-away. Uh…uh! She’s just gonna race right out of barn number two and keep on racing.
(ThreeLegs 5th and final part follows next week…)
Copyrighted work by Julian Boyce