It was a beautiful day. Simply gorgeous. Only a man with a heart of stone could fail to wander out and enjoy the lovely bright skies and the warmth.
I have a heart of stone and my dog has a heart of pure sulphur which is why neither of us ventured into the morning sunshine. We had issues to resolve.
Why do you attack postmen and tinkers?
Why do you attack neighbours’ dogs and run away spitting out lumps of fur?
When did you achieve such a mastery of deductive reasoning?
The first two questions were a trick. What I really wanted to know was how a small dog with an even smaller brain-pan can analyse my defences and identify precisely the weak point to probe successfully.
I’ve had this minor battle of wits going on for a few years now, and I have to tell you, the dog is winning.
In the early days, it was simple enough. There’s a hole in the wall. That’s how the dog is escaping and savaging the postman. Fix hole.
The gate isn’t closing properly. That’s how the dog is getting out to murder the little corgi from up the road. Fix gate.
But then it became more nuanced, like the time I was sitting in the garden enjoying a well-deserved glass of wine when I noticed a small shape walking along the top of the wall.
A cat? No — a dog. My dog, making his homicidal escape.
Or the time I had to set up cameras on tripods and drive away from the house because the dog wouldn’t come out when called in case I’d see how he was escaping.
It’s driving me crazy. Every time I close off an escape route, the dog sits down, lights a pipe, strokes his chin and says Hmm. Let’s see now.
Yesterday, I found another escape route which I closed off by building a section of fence and bolting it to a wall, ending forever any possibility of the Hound of Satan breaking out and terrorising those who live near me.
I left my car in town last night, very sensibly, because I went to see the incomparable Groove Junction in Dolans, a fine outfit of musicians and featuring the great Carlos Hercules on drums.
Now, as it happens, my neighbour nnormally goes to all these gigs, but he had a quiet night in for some reason best known to himself, and was up bright as a button before the birds brushed their teeth. Decent fellow that he is, he kindly offered me a lift, but as we drove away he looked back.
I think your dog is following us.
You know what? I said. Postmen, tinkers and corgis can all fuck off. I’m going to the market, and then I’m watching the match. Normal service resumes tomorrow.