The Owner is lying on the Sofa. She says she has a cough, but it is not clear to me that this means that she needs all of the Sofa. It is positively Unreasonable.
Hergest, she says in a faint voice reminiscent of heroines in Jane Austen novels whenever they Get Wet, you could perhaps lie on the Other Sofa.
I don’t want to lie on the Other Sofa, I say. You are on the Best Sofa.
Why is it the Best Sofa? Asks the Owner, coughing piteously.
You tell me, I say, you are the one who is On It.
The Owner sighs. Very well, she says, Never let it be said that the Owner denies the Moral Dog the Very Best. Coughing and wheezing she clambers off the sofa she is on, and onto the Other Sofa. She Falls Back upon it Theatrically. There, she says. It is Yours.
I look at the Sofa she has just vacated. It looks Somewhat Bleaker than it did.
Are you not now going to get onto the sofa, Hergest? Asks the Owner.
I fear I misjudged the sofa, I say. I think in fact the Sofa you are now on is the Better Sofa.
I’m not moving again, says the Owner in her Jane Austen voice. I am not well enough to move again. Look. I am sucking a Cough Sweet.
I do not feel that Sucking a Cough Sweet has Sufficient Moral Force to be the Deciding Factor in this debate. I put my front feet onto her sofa. It seems to me that there is plenty of room for both of them beside the Owner.
Hello, I say. It is your Moral Dog come to offer Comfort in your Time of Sickness.
I thought you had come to remove me from my Sofa, says the Owner.
Certainly not, I say. Not when you are Sucking a Cough Sweet.
Very well, the Moral Dog can come onto my Sofa to Offer Comfort, says the Owner, only if you can find places on it upon which to place yourself that I am not currently lying on myself.
I climb carefully and delicately onto the Sofa which she is on, utilising only areas on which she is not herself lying. The Moral Dog knows how to keep his word. I stretch out, offering Comfort in Large Quantities. This is an Excellent Sofa, I say. We have chosen wisely. Companionship is a Wonderful Thing.
The Man enters the room with a cup of tea for the Owner. Why is That Dog lying on top of you? He asks.
Don’t ask, says the Owner. I fell right into it.
I can’t imagine what she means.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.