Henry, the English Mastiff, the biggest and mildest fourlegs ’round abouts is at Westley Piddle Veterinarians for his annual rabies jab. But he wakes up to something worse. Wotz got to do with his very own plum bobs and a new nick name spreading fast.
A particularly snowlick time in Westley Piddle. That unremembered small town on the Thameslick between Bisham and Cock Marsh. Winter arrives and the snowlick falls from the sky leaving favorite squirting spots and marker posts all buried beneath it. Easy for the hindlegs who snifz particularly idiotic this time of year, mindlessly leaving random tracks all over the snowlick in Herdwick pooping park – seeing how many tracks they can kick up with thems footpaws for no sensible reason at all. That’s hindlegs for yu.
Fourlegs in winter are much more sensible, corss. They trot from A to B and trot back from B to A. One track only, and that’s the end of it. And when snowlick falls most streetlegs don’t trot anywhere ‘cept with their mates to go noshing ’round back of West Pid’s bins.
Hellooo you, tooo
Check out the bins ’round back of KFC. No snowlick there…
Cock a leg then, coz thems houseden fours will nosh it soon as they’re out
Aww, noshing all thems CHICKENS!
Immediately, Tuffy, GitOrrf!, Drizzle, and all thems other usual muttwits, are trotting off to stuff their snoutz ’round back of Tesco Extra, Costa, the Star of India, the Istanbool, Chuckles Chippy’s, and Greggs. Except there is no ’round back at Greggs. Will they never learn!
Wot! Already? On me way mate
Heavy thud, floorboards squeaking, loud panting.
“thereyouare,boy!” Franks scritches as Henry the English Mastiff fills up the kitchen doorway.
Henry yawns and pads up to Franks to permit some rough rubbing between the earflaps. He knows how much Franks needs to do this every morning. Probably cos Franks needs a load of rough rubbing himself. Probably coz Cheryl, Franks’ missus, don’t give him much herself.
Henry contemplates his tiny bowl a long way down. And that’s coz Henry is full grown. Everything to Henry is a long way down. Today he’s sleepy and can’t be arsed to bend so far to eat his meagre portion of dried biscuits.
Bring it up to the level, mate he eyeballs Franks. Franks eyeballs back. They face off one another. Finally, Franks sits down beside Henry and lifts up the bowl. Henry does nothing, not even lick his chops, until the biscuits are touching his snout holes. He deigns to taste one. Runs it ’round his mouth and drops it back into the bowl.
“lovelybrekkersHenry,yourfavoriteHenry,there’sagoodboy,Henry” the bowl comes closer, backs away, comes closer and floats about in a tempting circular motion.
Henry plays willing and snifz his food all over. Don’t touch it, looks straight at Franks, sits on his haunches, and waits. And so, the morning ritual begins.
I do wanna go outside. I do wanna eat. And I need a squirtz. But how about some decent grub? Meat. Full-bloodied red meat. Not this dry stuff? Givvus a break, Franks
Nah, I don’t
Nah, I wont
Henry’s snout fills the bowl. A few precious nibbles at first, big teeth delicately cracking thems open. Every crunch draws a smile on Franks’ face. He slowly lowers the bowl to the kitchen floor, Henry eagerly following it down, noshing thems up with his big spoon of a tongue, slobber catching the biscuits lyk beads on a string.
Bowl licked clean and brekkers over, Franks opens the kitchen door to the garden.
Wot is it with thems hindlegs and snowlick? Henry snifz cautiously at the snowlick covering the garden. He steps out, daintily lifting legs in and out of the silly stuff, before committing himself.
“gitoutthere,snowflake!” Franks’ footpaw rams Henry snout first into the snowlick.
He turns round and round, lifting paws in a mad skittle. The kitchen door slams shut behind him.
Ow, come on!
He snifz ’round abouts for his toys, Farty the Hippo and Squeaky the plastic bar bell. All buried under too much snowlick wot Henry can’t be arsed to dig out. He keeps eyeballing the small hedge at the end of the garden, his escape route into the real world of Westley Piddle whenever Franks is sleeping upstairs, boozing in front of the telly or, just out and abouts with Cheryl.
Mayumi, the Japanese Spitz, opens her eyeballs to another morning round of high-pitched wailing and painful vibrations wafting out from some tiny box in the living room.
Ayaa, more scritchy scritching, again
She twitches her snout holes at the brown cedarwood incense sticks wot her companions lyk burning every dog-damn morning.
Ayaa, watta stinky stink
Mayumi, who is a brown furred Spitz – not the traditional white furred Spitz – suffers being companion to two young hindlegs who snifz of new age wot-nots, tantric philosophies, and Karma sutras. Mayumi ain’t got a problem with any of that poop – coz hindlegs are naturally daft, but she does have a problem with all the thumping that goes with it. Makes her jittery.
Thump. Thump. Thumpity, Thumpity, ThumpThumpThump….Thump!
Mayumi lifts her snoutz in anticipation. End of thumping means noshtime.
Sitting daintily on her tatami mat by the kitchen door and waiting for JumaSabah and DaisyZhang to stop it with the thumpity thumping and get out into the hallway to discover a fourlegs wot urgently needs feeding.
That’ll be me Mayumi yawns, waiting.
“goodmorning,mytrueandgentlelittlebeauty!” scritches DaisyZhang.
Mayumi, wot means true and gentle in Japanese, lifts her head towards DaisyZhang and cocks it kitchenside
Ayaa, brekkers might be nice, but no butt-lickin’ rush, is there!
Popping his head round the bedroom door, JumaSabah calls out “goooooodmorning,Mayumi,peacebewithyou”
DaisyZhang patters over in bare footpaws, falling to the floor and smothering Mayumi in sniffy kisses.
Ayaa, stop it will yuz and get me some brekkers
Mayumi just eyeballs her nah, we can wait til tomorrow, lyk…
“there’sdoghairsonmytoothbrush” scritches JumaSabah from the bathroom.
DaisyZhang gives Mayumi a ruffle between ear flaps “isthatyours?”
Mayumi, it seems, is the only fourlegs in Westley Piddle whose teeth get brushed regularly.
One squirtz of time later and the kettle is steaming and the snifz of vegetables and tofu filling the houseden. Outside, snowlick is falling and the windows are steaming over. Mayumi makes her move towards the kitchen.
“no,no,no!” scritches JumaSabah.
‘sosorry,mytruandgentleMayumi” scritches DaisyZhang, lifting her up and depositing her back on the tatami mat ‘noanimalsinthekitchen”
She slinks down, snout pressed into the mat, eyeballs curving upwards at DaisyZhang and that all important bowl she is preparing.
DaisyZhang drops the bowl in front of Mayumi. A steaming and sniffy green mush set before her snout holes.
She stares at DaisyZhang. DaisyZhang stares back, a silly grin stuck on her face.
Wot am I, a rabbit?
“she’snoteatingit” DaisyZhang scritches.
Dog-damn right, I ain’t
JumaSabah steps forward and peers down at the Spritz. Eyeballs glaring, an angry red-snifz fuming off him.
Mayumi knows this angry snifz. Maybe it’s the toothbrush thing!
Toothbrush hairs? That’s not my fault, izit! Don’t brush me own teeth, do I?
“it’spedigreevegan” he scritches dangerously. “we’revegan,Mayumi…andyou’revegan,too”
It ain’t the toothbrush then, but something wotz to do with vegan. Wotever is.
Stuff yer vegan
“eat” JumaSabah growls again, sniffing a deeper red-orange. He puts his handpaw on Mayumi’s head and pushes her snout into the bowl “eat!”
Mayumi quickly starts eating.
Soon as we’re outside, I’m gonna find some real food
“Ithinkshelikesit” DaisyZhang coos.
Same time tomorrow for Part Two of Henry’s story…