Bercow says that people are voting today for another Prime Minister.
Caspar says isn’t one enough?
I say the Owner says that in recent times one has been too many, but they are voting for a new one to Replace Him.
Who do you think they will they replace him with? Asks Caspar.
Houdini says he has heard it might be Santa Claus.
I say I hope it is Santa Claus as I have asked for a duck for Christmas.
Later I ask the Owner whether Santa Claus could be Prime Minister.
No, she says, Santa Claus cannot be Prime Minister. You have to get votes to be Prime Minister.
Why not? I say. He would get a lot of votes. Everybody loves Santa Claus.
She says Santa Claus doesn’t have any policies. She says a Politician has to stand for something, something that he will fight for. It is his policies that have to be popular, not him.
You mean things like not oppressing the masses, I say.
Exactly, she says. Policies like that.
I think Santa Claus does have policies, I say. He told me he has some. Like giving people ducks for Christmas.
She sighs. Did Santa Claus promise you a duck? She asks.
Kind of, I say. I mean not exactly. He suggested that if I was a Good Dog I might get what I asked for. And I asked for a duck.
Did you also ask for two dragons, an emotional support animal and a life-size cardboard cut-out of Perdita from 101 Dalmatians? She says.
And a Chewy Cruella de Ville, I say. With a really loud squeaker. He said he’d do his best.
I bet he did, says the Owner. I still don’t know how you got in there in front of all those children. I looked for you everywhere.
I might have wriggled on my stomach under the edge of the tent, I say. But there was a really long queue and I didn’t have a ticket. It shows how popular he is. He was really nice about the duck. Really nice.
She eyes me with her gimlet gaze. It was more than one duck, wasn’t it? She says.
It might have been, I say, remembering how generous Santa was. He suggested half a dozen ducks to start with. And there would be plenty more ducks where those came from.
And who did Santa think would look after these ducks? She asks. Where will they sleep? What will they eat?
I am sure Santa will have thought of those things, I say.
Will he? Will he? Says the Owner. I sense she is troubled.
They could share my bed, I say, although I realise that when I have all forty ducks rather than just the first six this may be quite a squash. And what if they quack all night?
The Owner sighs. Hergest, she says, this is why Santa Claus would not make a good Prime Minister. Santa Claus is only popular because he’s a big jolly man in huge trousers who is forever promising ducks without taking responsibility for them, a man who spends his time flitting around the world in a sleigh saying HO HO HO without ever having to explain how he does it or how he’s going to pay for it. I am not even sure that he is Moral. Does that sound like a Prime Minister to you?
She looks at me. I look back.
Oh dear, she says.
I know, I say. Totally.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.