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Posts Tagged ‘Dogs’

Imagine you own a dog called Rover, Fido, Barney or something else. One day you are out walking your dog and throw a ball or stick or body part for the mutt to chase and return. Sadly you forget your arm strength and the object lands in the deep undergrowth. Dog runs into said undergrowth in a show of canine fidelity. Cur never returns.

You are heartbroken and confused. What happened to your dog? What happened to your ball, stick or body part? To which there is no answer. You are bereft. How can you replace such a loyal, steadfast, slobber chopped companion?

Simple! With a pie!

dog walker copy

Could This Be The Family Pet Of The Future?

Gingerfightback conducted an opinion poll in a pie shop in east London to find out which pie would make the best pet. Not surprisingly Apple Pie came out top. But savoury pies took most of the top positions! We asked Professor Alfred T. Damp-Patch, Professor of Advanced Cobblers at the University of Salamanca for his views and he told us, “Really? How interesting. I’m allergic to short crust pastry. Where’s the bar?” pie

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My Laboured Breaths

The heavy set thump of white tailed deer

As they charge away across the streams wet clay

They caught in its tight slippy narrow confines

Their panic palpable

But short lived

As easy their powerful strides carry them up and away from me and the dogs’ agog

Dun red and the orange of this years bracken Oak leaves under foot

Their crinkle patterns as we slog by this glorious winter’s day

Promised for snow

Now sleety biting rain

Breathe you fool

Another day is the day for sorrows

Not today

My laboured breaths as I push uphill

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fresco_rescue

Hello

To make sense of this story please read Part 1 here and Part 2 here!

The journey is nearing its end………..

 A teenage girl, wearing rouge, eye liner and a clown’s nose stood on the platform. She was holding a dog lead. With no dog attached. The lead busied itself around the ghoul’s plinth.

She greeted the elderly couple as they left the train. The man was still red faced from his dalliance with a breast and a potential satan whilst the woman bent down and petted the lead saying, “Hello Bobby, you do look well!” They walked toward the station exit with  Invisible Bobby dragging its owner along.

The train guard appeared shortly after departing Widdle. He was a tall powerfully built man, his hams in particular were a sight, dressed in an ill-fitting liveried suit. He checked the imaginary ticket of my neighbour and handed it back with a smile.

I decided to hold out an imaginary ticket for inspection.

“Sorry sir, this ticket is no good.”

“Why not?” I asked. I  had a real ticket in my pocket and wished I had not been so cocky now. My neighbour rattled his translucent newspaper with purposeful indignation at my fare dodging antics.

“This takes you only as far as Piddle, two stops back. I’m afraid you’re going to have to pay a penalty fare.”

“How much?”

“Thirty pounds.”

I thought this a bit steep but looking at his stern features and enormous hams I knew there was little point in arguing. But I had an idea………

“Thanks very much sir, here’s your ticket.” The Guard handed me an invisible ticket along with a crisp real ten pound note as change for the two imaginary twenty pound notes I had handed him.

One born every minute I mused.

The Guard moved on and stopped to talk to the knitting woman, still furiously casting off. They spent a few moments in conversation before she held her design up against The Guard’s thick set arms. Perhaps her bogus knitting was for him? The colour certainly suited him. But alas I never found out. It still rankles.

A voice, Ghostly, almost ghastly to the human ear then filled the Carriage. We all turned our heads to see the evil being that uttered these sounds. The voice was accompanied by the sound of heavy chains rattling their miserable tone. A smell of rotting flesh pervaded. The wraith’s voice grew louder as it neared and spelled out its doom laden message,  “Hot drinks…….snacks…….. beverages……….peanuts?”

It was the headless Ghoul from Widdle station, mimicking the act of pushing a heavy  trolley. The Ghoul had donned a vivid red waistcoat which bore the title “Andy – Customer Service Assistant.”

My neighbour stopped him, “Tea please Andy, Everything OK?”

“Fine thanks, El Mystico. Running around like a headless chicken this morning.” He went about his business with relish,  pouring imaginary liquid into a nonexistent cup, although how he saw, being headless was beyond me.

“Milk and sugar?”

“Yes please.”

“Be careful it is very hot.”

El Mystico blew into his tea to cool it before taking a sip.

On the Ghoul trundled on, calling out in that beastly voice if anyone else wanted comestibles, the heavy chains scuffing the floor.

My bladder nearly gave out with the excitement, so I traipsed to the toilet in the adjoining carriage. A Charlie Chaplin lookalike doffed his tattered bowler and waddled up to me in that famous comic gait. He offered a cheeky grin before tripping over some invisible object only to be saved by hooking the armrest of a nearby seat with his walking cane. He repeated this several times until it became a tad tiresome.

The toilet was being vacated by a man painted silver, sporting a Tricorn hat and wearing Eighteenth Century costume. I had no idea who he was depicting, but the cubicle reeked of cigarette smoke and he had not flushed his ablutions. I gave him a beady stare as I stepped over the prone Charlie Chaplin and returned to my seat.

The train rumbled through the stations of Tinkledrop, Bladderton and Tapper, where the mother and Invisible, possibly satan, Baby Geoffrey alighted.  Andy, the Headless Ghoul Customer Service Assistant adopted a pose on each station platform presumably hoping he could earn a bob or two from passers by.

It was in the Tapper tunnel, now less than five minutes from home  that I caught my reflection in the carriage window. My face had rouge and eyeliner roughly applied and cabbage had become stuck between my teeth. Feeling liberated from the strictures of the Oral  World, I stood and pretended to climb a rope and then, despite my back injury, aped shuffling along a wall, towards the woman to enquire if she needed help with her luggage again.

“Thank you, most kind,” She said. We smiled at each other revealing the trapped vegetable matter between our teeth. I watched her stow her invisible knitting away.

“That’s coming along nicely.”

“Thank you, most kind.” She failed to tell me for whom the finished garment was intended. It still rankles.

The train pulled into our destination. Mimehead Station.

I walked to the Station car park. I don’t own a car, but in the world of The Mimico all that matters is imagination and a reasonably believable body position.

So, I fired up the Lamborghini and sped off to buy an ice cream from the van, humming Greensleeves as I drove.

There is a reason Mimehead is a silent town. But that tale will be for another day…………………………

I Hope You Enjoyed The Story – here is a musical interlude

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fresco_rescue

Hello,

To make sense of this story read Part 1 here.

Our hero continues his journey to Home Town…………..

My attention was drawn away from the mackerel smack, which had begun to list heavily, by a woman who had appeared at the entrance to the carriage. She too wore white foundation and poorly applied black eyeliner and was dragging rather theatrically, a large invisible load behind her. My neighbour peered over the top of his newspaper to watch.

As befits a gentleman I stood up.

“Would you like some help?” I said.

“Thank you, most kind.” She smiled. There was a pea stuck between her front teeth.

The imaginary suitcase was much heavier than it looked and I struggled to stow it in the overhead rack, jiggling with it repeatedly to ensure a secure stowing had indeed been effected. After I had managed to do so, I dabbed my forehead with a faux handkerchief. She nodded her thanks, sat and became engrossed in imaginary knitting; casting off and pearling like a good ‘un. I think it was a scarf or maybe the arm of a jumper or cardigan. I could not be sure.

I felt a twinge in my back as a result of my muscular chivalry. Been a martyr to my back since an early age.

I looked out to Sea and noticed that the spot where once a Smack puttered homeward, was now merely a glut of dead mackerel floating on the water’s surface. Gulls swarmed around this unexpected feast. The crew were now confined to Davey Jones Locket. Or is it Locker? I always get the two mixed up!

We pulled into Piddle Station, where another human statue was located on the platform. It was Napoleon.  My favourite tyrant. The artiste bore an uncanny resemblance to the pudgy faced Corsican.

A woman boarded at Piddle. She spoke, “There, there Geoffrey, I’ll feed you in a minute.”

The woman wore rouge, eyeliner and also a shiny red clown’s nose. She carefully guided an imaginary pushchair down the aisle and spoke softly to its occupant, presumably Baby Geoffrey. Who was invisible.

She sat near the elderly couple and carefully picked up Invisible Baby Geoffrey, cooing to him, even bouncing the tot up and down, smiling as she did so. There was a baked bean stuck between her teeth. The old couple joined in and all three of them pulled strange faces and made gurgling noises at the fantasy infant.

“Do you mind if I feed him?” the woman asked.

“Not at all!” replied the old woman, although the old man flushed when it became apparent that Invisible Baby Geoffrey was still on the breast.

The old man looked at his wife and exclaimed, “Maureen look, the child carries the number of the beast!”

The skies blackened for a fleeting moment as Invisible, possibly satanic, Baby Geoffrey stared at me. If I could have seen his face no doubt I would have been very shaken.

Luckily, things settled down and the train rumbled along. The clouds were darkening further out to Sea and the terrain turned rockier and harsher. Inland was the old quarry and the ancient stone circle near Squelch where local legend tells of human sacrifices being carried out as recently as last Wednesday.

We drew into Widdle station to be greeted by the ghoulish apparition of another human statue, a dust ridden headless spectral with rusted chains sprouting around its legs and dripping from its arms. It was a very impressive display, the best one yet. I wondered where the performer’s head was in the costume and how he or she kept cool in hot weather.

Part 3 tomorrow……..

 

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I

Dog (no 4)

Stopped and pointed

Well, its in him to do it

Dog (no 3) mabey still has city thoughts

Although he can tell there are smells new to us here

Deer or Wild Boar

This time I didn’t get to see to tell

But resting an elbow

Better to focus binoculars

Realised this tree too was heaving in the wind

II

This earth moves

This hill below bears witness

To the glaciers

It’s stones more rounded for having travelled further

Than those sharp shattered

Frost stopped angles

Those stones of Tyrella’s Drumlins

Try burying a dog there

(Nos 1 & 2) and you’ll heave up

Such smashed stone through its thin soil.

Up on top

We walk on.

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fresco_rescue

“Apologies for the delay to your service this mornin’ – we believe there are sheep  stowawaying on this train.”

We had been motionless for over twenty minutes on a remote branch line in deepest Somerset when the Shepherd and his dog clambered aboard.  He was a sturdily built man, with features set to a permafrost of stoicism. A pair of wirey mutton chops clung warily to his face and a  multi-stained, baseball cap displaying the Massey Ferguson logo crowned him.

He held a fine crook, the handle carved into a figurine of Martin Luther King. He strode, down the Carriage aisle whistling or bellowing commands at his dog, “Come by Sadie” or “Away to Me Sadie”. The bright eyed mutt obeyed and crawled under seats, scrambled through luggage racks and scoured overhead shelves.

But no sheep.

As the Shepherd passed me, I noticed a badge on the lapel of his Barbour jacket which stated “Shepherds For Obama.” It was good to see the Transatlantic Alliance sustaining itself amongst Somerset hill farming folk.

The Guard, without much enthusiasm it must be said, helped the Shepherd in his search for the missing ewes (if looking in an old man’s rucksack counts as searching that is).

The dog sold a ticket to a young mother who was wet nursing a large and extremely ugly child.

“Ta,” she said to Sadie without surprise. Clever dog.

The search was fruitless. Well, sheepless to be more exact.

“Can’t say they’re ‘ear then Sam,” said the Guard.

“S’pose y’ure right Bob,” replied Sam, “Must still be in top field still or summat. C’mon Sadie!”

Shepherd and dog climbed down onto the track. He leant on his crook as the train trundled onwards toward the Tor. Sadie ran alongside the train for a hundred yards or so before stopping. She stood and watched as we hoved out of view.

It had been a pleasant distraction and I returned to Sense and Sensibility. As I allowed Willoughby’s caddishness to raise my hackles, I heard a kerfuffle in the carriage toilet.

“Baa.”

Strange.

“Baa.”

An “Out Of Order Sign” was pasted upside down on its door. I opened it and was met by a throaty sheep chorus of “Baas”. Three of them to be precise. In a pyramid formation. The pair on the bottom had lit cigarettes. Turkish blend.

The Guard appeared and asked them to put the cigarettes out. But they didn’t. I asked him if he should let the Shepherd know.

“Nah. Mate. Miserable Old Bugger is Sam, let’s just say he had this comin’ – he stole this train once. We had to go to France to get it back. Went through a Worm ‘ole he reckoned.”

The Guard closed the toilet door and left the sheep to their gymnastics and smoking. He looked at me, gurned a tobacco ruined smile and said, “Promised Sadie she could drive the train if she drove them beasts onboard yesterday. Clever dog. Scary really. Thas Collies for ye.”

“Baa.”

The next morning, the front page of the Tor Examiner read “Renegade Smoking Sheep Run Amok In Drink Fuelled Town Centre Rampage – Again. Shepherd Arrested.”

I caught the train home later that day. No sheep on board this time thankfully and grateful that Marianne finally saw the goodness in Colonel Brandon.

The Train Dispatcher blew his whistle. The traction engine rumbled into life and the train pulled away. As I walked toward the Station Car Park, a Border Collie’s head crowned with a multi stained Massey Ferguson cap appeared out of the driver’s cabin. The dog raised a paw in salute and waved goodbye to the Dispatcher. Who waved back.

Clever dog Sadie.

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Hatred must have it’s own taste

Something that draws us

As with a toy for a dog to chew

Not quite bones or meat

But oh,

The grinding

The grinding

The breaking of words and teeth

As we return to it

As we come to recognize and seek it out

That not stuck in your craw

Is hardening as it goes down

Ready to tear it’s passage

We shall know it by its shoddy

This our dreadful familiar

One of my dogs destroyed a chew toy

Bits emerged later

There the largest piece

Smiling up from the filth

The toy’s face

It grinning as I bent again to clean

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