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.
The depressing sounds of barking hindlegs and protesting fourlegs reaches Duncan well before he turns the corner of Nelson Avenue into Swallow High-street. His snout twitches as expected at the sight of two fours bouncing down the middle of the street, upsetting growling roundlegs in both directions, both fours skidding to a stop in front of the big K9 Doberman, one with a sausage in its jaws.
I wanna lodge a serious complaint, officer pants ThreeLegs a completely unwarranted attack by vicious hindlegs.
Wishous, wery wishous nods Drizzle, chewing sausage.
Disturbing the peace states Duncan.
Totally nods ThreeLegs.
Under the influence of sausages states Duncan.
Pork, actually munches Drizzle.
Upsetting hindlegs all over states Duncan.
Absolu – what? ThreeLegs stops, staring at Duncan in shock. Drizzle staring at ThreeLegs, still chewing sausage.
Nah mate, nah, nah ThreeLegs raises his front paw to protest and almost falls flat on his snout.
Duncan steps up to ThreeLegs, furry toe to furry toe thought I told you to wait me outside?
Erh? ThreeLegs tries his best to look all innocent, like.
Cos I was gonna bring you some brekkers
Brekkers? Now? Again? Drizzle blurts out the sausage.
Duncan ignores Drizzle and knocks snouts with ThreeLegs.
I, erh, misheard yers, Duncan matey ThreeLegs minces, doing his little triangular dance but…but I’m here nows!
True. He’s here nows exclaims Drizzle, that modest bit of gristle between his earflaps sensing that another brekkers is close at paw.
“comeonDuncan,saygoodbyetoyourmates,wegotcommunitypolicingtodo” PC Andersen packleader strains at his chain. Duncan holds him fast.
Hold on a tic, I ain’t finished with this muttwit yet he strains back, looking up at PC Andersen packleader, before proceeding to lecture ThreeLegs that the Thames Valley Town of Swallow is a civilized sort of place, stuffed full of useful and honest folks, including fourlegs, furrylegs, longlegs, scratch (well, sort of), growling roundlegs that don’t take kindly to running over misshapen muttwits, and, erh, more assorted animals including hindlegs. Hindlegs being the least useful and honest. Drizzle nods approvingly, being one of the thus described civilized fourlegs what lives in the big houseden called Swallow. He drops a little squirt to underline said approval, accidentally soaking his half-chewed sausage.
..which all means continues Duncan your sort ain’t welcome amongst all the civilized four legged fauna of…here
Dog damn straight! Drizzle nods his head with his every word, earflaps slapping him in the eyes.
So pack yer bags and hop it back to Freddy’s before I slap you up with some severe police mauling
ThreeLegs sits down, at a loss. At a total pitiful loss.
But Freddy don’t wants me. He’s got Bee-yah nows. What’s he wants with an old three legs like me. Oh…Oh he begins to whimper.
He don’t wants him, it’s the dog honest truth adds Drizzle.
Duncan licks a thick tongue over his long canines in a big smiley snarl. ThreeLegs gulps.
What’s Freddy gonna do without you, erh? Duncan persists, tilting his head sideways who else d’you think is gonna control all those stolen doggies in all those cages for that black sniffy hindlegs?
Bee-yah? suggests Drizzle, always helpful that’s who
Duncan ignores Drizzle. You mate. You! Checkers he bangs his snout on ThreeLegs head.
Me? asks Threelegs, astounded at this truth. Cos truth it must be if the law sez so. Yes, my dearest bowl mate, me. Me, who’s is called Threelegs. Me, who’s is always and forever Freddylegs right hand four!
That’s right nods Duncan somberly so, jog on then
And all of a sudden Threelegs is off his butt, lopping along the high street and out of town in the general direction of Freddy’s Farm.
Drizzle watches him go before sniffing around Duncan obviously that muttwit don’t want to wait around for his brekkers then, so I’ll have it he steps forward eagerly, treading on the sausage.
Listen up the load of yous repeats Βία for the third time I’ve got that flakey three-legged muttwit off your haunches, ain’t I?
Off to the Chinese agrees Thunder.
Nah, even the Chinese won’t take-away that animal interrupts another whattabout the Turkish, tho, or even the Indian –
Or the KFC! interrupts a third
Don’t be a pillock, ThreeLegs ain’t a chicken is he? snorts Thunder.
Right, cos chickens don’t have three legs replies a fourth erh, do they?
They got wings which are sorta like legs, innit, without toes, innit adds a fifth.
But before all the great minds can further debate chickens and numbers of legs ad infinitum, Βία steers them back to the here and nows forget it with the chickens!
She sticks her long pointy nose through the cage bars for emphasis what I’m saying is, without his matriculations who knows how many muttwits are here
Which means? presses Thunder.
Which means he ain’t here to count us. So we can all escape and no ones gonna know
Cos no one can count as good as ThreeLegs, innit? agrees fifth.
I miss ThreeLegs whines the third fourlegs down the row I like being counted on his third toe, like
Shut it growls Thunder let her finish
As I’m saying, we can all escape and no one’s the wiser, cos no one’s doing the count! Βία is very impressed with her own plan.
Yeah, that’ll work Thunder squints his eyeballs towards each other in deep thinking. And if Thunder thinks it’s a great plan then all the other fourlegs think the plan is great.
Erh, ‘scuse me points out a sixth fourlegs countings a great plan, but how do we get out of our cages, like?
Ah said shut it, you growls Thunder again it’s a sic plan, what more d’you want?
“what’sallthisbloodyracket,then?” Freddylegs stomps through the barn door, his black sniff shutting up all the fours. Tony, the orange-sniffing hindlegs follows him in.
“gottit,boss” and the orange-sniffing hindlegs opens Βία’s cage and hauls her out.
See yers around fellas – not! Βία shouts to the others as she is lead away.
Well, fuk me gently with a big stick Thunder exclaims admiringly the plan works!
Are we going racing now? asks Βία, overwhelmed by the sniffy outdoors.
Tony is pulling her towards the same sniffy growling roundlegs as before.
I need my high protein feed Βία explains to the orange-sniffy hindlegs for my muscles, you understand, before I race
“it’salrightdarling” soothes Tony, holding her collar tightly “meandFreddy’sgonnamakesomegoodcashonyou”
Trouble is, orange-sniffing Tony, sniffing orange of all the alcohol he boozes, let’s go of her collar for the split second he needs both paws to open the back door of the growling roundlegs. And Βία is used to split seconds. Tenths of a second. Hundredths of a second, actually. And in that split second which oozes along so slowly to her senses, she transfers all her weight onto her back legs, twisting her body around in coiled energy and launches herself away from Tony’s flailing paw. And she runs.
“ah,forfuksakes” Tony bleats from somewhere behind her. Way behind her.
Βία, the racing greyhound, named after the goddess of force and raw energy, Βία the goddess of winning, races flat out. Past Freddylegs and Tony. Out past the gate to Freddy’s farm and into the road.
And off she runs. Because she is Βία. Running fleet of foot to her freedom.
Who knows how many squirts later another fourlegs comes hobbling through the gateway of Freddy’s farm. Drawn forwards by the heady green sniff of boiling chicken livers. His favorite.
And he hobbles right up to the door of Freddy’s houseden and bangs it hard with his cone-like snout. And he bangs again. And –
The door opens in a gush of green sniff, Freddylegs looking down at him.
“whereyoubeenCheckers,mate?” and he gives him a right good kicking up his lazy furry butt for good measure.
I’m home! ThreeLegs trots inside contently, heading straight for his bowl.
Copyrighted work by Julian Boyce