I am not getting off the Rock, I say.
Come on Hergest, says the Owner. We have to swim back. I am getting cold.
You can swim back, I say. I am staying here on this Rock.
Dogs cannot live on Rocks, says the Owner.
I am starting a Precedent, I say.
It was only a Crab, says the Owner. It does not represent a threat to the Moral Dog.
It was only a Crab in the same way that the Alien in Alien was only an Alien, I say. It was clearly preparing to eat me.
You are being ridiculous, says the Owner. The Crab was only six inches wide.
I have seen the film, I say. Size is not everything.
Sigourney Weaver would not have been afraid of a Crab, she says.
That is because she was In Space, I say.
The Crab Ran Away, says the Owner.
It may have crept back through the Weed, I say.
The Owner looks at the Weed. There is a lot of Weed. It is very Frondy. Crabs do not eat Moral Dogs, she says. There is no Precedent for Such a Thing.
The Point about Precedents, I say, is that they are Always Being Set. Lady Hale sets them All The Time.
Lady Hale is not a Crab, says the Owner. She jumps up and down and splashes me. Come on, I am Getting Cold, she says.
I look at the water. When the SS Schiller went down on those Rocks just over there, I say, one of the Drowned Victims was found wrapped in a Giant Cuttlefish with Tentacles Twelve Feet Long.
That is Nonsense, says the Owner, looking at the Fronds.
I imagine it was attracted to all the Thrashing About, I add.
That is Also Nonsense, says the Owner, when she has climbed onto my Rock. There are no Giant Cuttlefish on Scilly.
It is Hard to be Sure, I say, given that the Precedent has Already Been Set. Even Lady Hale cannot reverse a Precedent once it is Set.
The Owner looks at the water. The Frondy seaweed surrounds our Rock. The Shore is receding. The Water laps at our feet. It appears to be full of Precedents.
The Man appears at the edge of the water. What are you doing? He asks.
We are on a Rock, says the Owner.
I can see that, says the Man. You need to Swim back.
We are worried about Precedents, says the Owner, owing to the Thrashing.
This is Nonsense, says the Man. How do you think you will get back to Shore if you will not swim? The Tide is Coming In.
You could carry us, says the Owner.
But then I will have to wade through the Seaweed, says the Man.
I don’t see what the problem is with that, says the Owner.
The Man looks uncomfortable. I do not want to wade through Seaweed, he says.
And why is that? Asks the Owner.
There may be Crabs in it, says the Man.
I knew it. It is only a Matter of Time before he also Admits to the Cuttlefish.
Later the Man brings a Small Plastic Boat and Ferries us to Shore. Do not imagine, he says, that this sets Any Kind of Precedent.
The Owner and I exchange glances. We say Nothing.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.