Caspar and I are trying to pull Houdini out of the gap beneath the bridge over the ducks. It is not going well because Houdini has a stick and he will not let it go. Bercow, who likes telling people what to do far more than he likes doing it, directs us from above. The ducks, like a discontented proletariat, gaze at us from their floating position, quacking occasionally.
The mud refuses to give Houdini up without the stick, and Houdini refuses to give up the stick, so we are all losing heart. Bercow says Houdini is being ridiculous, since as a group, we have decided he needs to let go of the stick and he simply needs to come out of the pond so we can all get on with our day.
Houdini says whilst he voted to get on with his day, nobody told him that coming out of the pond meant letting go of the stick. He would rather stay here in the pond with the stick thank you very much. He manages to say all of this without letting go of the stick.
Caspar points out that he wasn’t here when we voted. (Caspar is often not here as he has weekly fluffing appointments which he had always considered more important than a vote, although he now realises that, as Marx said, nothing is more important than a vote as the proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.)
I point out that I wasn’t even born when they voted and it doesn’t seem right that I am stuck with the consequences of Caspar’s failure to turn up and Houdini’s ignorance of the inevitable consequences of agreeing to leave the pond in any circumstances.
Bercow says Caspar isn’t helping, and I’m not helping, and if nobody can make their mind up he will decide for us. Houdini says Bercow can say what he likes because nobody is listening to him, and he, Houdini, has said all along that whilst he has no objection to coming out of the pond, he is keeping the stick. He says it is a very good stick and any dog would want this stick if they understood about sticks. Caspar says Houdini is suggesting that not all dogs understand about sticks, which is rather doggist. Bercow suggests we discuss it further. Everyone agrees this is democracy in action, although Houdini points out that we had better discuss it quickly since he is almost underwater and Caspar is at risk of wetting his fluff.
We look at one another, Houdini with some difficulty since he is holding the stick. The ducks circle menacingly. We know we need to resolve this somehow but we seem to have reached an impasse.
Just as we are in despair Brave Sir Keir, a German shepherd who has a way with ducks, comes galloping to the rescue. He tells us there is a better way, a way in which Houdini can have both his stick and his pond and yet still leave the pond, and we can all carry on with our day.
Houdini says he’s listening. Bercow says he’s heard it all before and you can’t have your cake and eat it. Caspar says if he had known there was cake he would definitely have voted. Brave Sir Keir says we can vote for a leader who will tell us what to do.
I am not sure how a new leader is going to help by telling us what to do. We know what to do. The problem is that we all know it differently. I point out that our last leader told Houdini he could have the pond and the stick, thus creating the current stick pond difficulty. Houdini says the last leader was oppressing the masses.
Brave Sir Keir says this is because we did not vote for our last leader, who had clearly already eaten all the cake. It’s time for a new start he says. We can choose between a leader who will pull Houdini out of the pond whether he likes it or not, promising him a new stick of uncertain quality to replace the known and trusted stick whilst keeping the cake, a leader who will leave Houdini in the pond thus sacrificing democracy yesterday for democracy today, and a leader who hasn’t decided what to do but who quite likes sticks and will think about the pond in the morning. Only one of those choices, says Brave Sir Keir, truly reflects the Will of the Vote, the one Caspar missed due to his fluff and I missed owing to not having been born yet and Houdini voted for without understanding bout the stick. Vote for Having Another Think, says Brave Sir Keir. Vote for a leader who has not eaten the cake.
Bercow says that’s not Democracy, that’s a Republic.
I ask Brave Sir Keir who put him in charge and he says we all did, in another vote, also before I was born. I say I wonder if perhaps the real problem here is not the stick but the votes themselves. Brave Sir Keir says he couldn’t have put it better himself and leaves to Save the World. As he disappears over the horizon Houdini sinks beneath the surface pulling Caspar into the mud, almost certainly requiring planet-affecting quantities of shampoo to fix him and potentially bankrupting his Owner for years ahead. Houdini grips his stick and starts to swim. The ducks squawk in outraged fury. Bercow finally decides to act and throws himself in on top of them.
Fortunately at this point I wake up.
As we share our cheese scone I tell the Owner about my dream. What can it all mean? I ask.
She says it’s all a metaphor.
I can’t imagine what for.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.