It is Very Early when we go to the Park. I rush to Say Hello to a Lady with a Dog.
Hello, I say to the Dog.
You need to Put Your Dog on the Lead, says the Lady to the Owner. My Dog Does Not Like Other Dogs.
I am going to Bite Your Tail Off, says the Dog.
Perhaps, says the Owner with Admirable Restraint, it was Unwise to Bring Him to a Park so Full of Dogs.
And your ears, says the Rude Dog.
It is not Full of Dogs this Early in the Morning, says the Lady. There is Only You and I. Her Tone suggests that this is One Person Too Many. It is also clear Which Person she thinks is Too Many.
I see, says the Owner. Then we will Hurry Along.
Hang on a Minute, says the Lady. Your Dog has Stolen our Ball.
Oy, says the Rude Dog, I was Robbed.
Hergest, says the Owner, did you take the Ball of Another Moral Dog?
I shake my head to indicate, in Dog Fashion, that it is Beneath my Dignity to Respond to a Dog of such Deplorable Manners.
You jolly well did, says the Rude Dog. Wait till you see what else I Bite Off.
I id ot, I say, I ee o Goral Gog ere.
The Owner’s Understanding of Dog Language is Sometimes Imperfect. Apparently she was not Taught It In School. Hergest, she says, is there Something in your Mouth?
I should Invoke the Right to Remain Silent if I were You, says the Rude Dog.
I offer him a Disdainful Look, to Indicate that the Moral Dog can Argue his Own Case. Geeth, I say, accurately.
The Rude Dog sniggers. Bang to Rights, Mate, he says.
The Owner puts her hands on her hips in the way she does when the Prime Minister appears on the TV screen. Open Wide Hergest, she says.
On ot Grounds? I ask, secure in the Knowledge of my Rights under Stop and Search.
On the grounds that you have a complete absence of labial and linguolabial stop consonants, says the Owner.
Owig to a groglem gith gy geeth, I say.
Indeed you do have a Problem with your Teeth, says the Owner. It is that the Ball of this Unfortunate Dog is Lodged Between Them. And then and there I am Taken Into Custody as she Performs the Morally Dubious Extraction Manoeuvre.
Unaccountably, a Ball Falls Out.
It’s a Fair Cop, says the Rude Dog. Blame the Home Secretary, and he Trots off with the Ball, cackling.
How did you know I had his Ball? I ask the Owner as we Head Home.
You are a GSP, says the Owner. And his Ball had been Stolen. I merely Rounded up the Usual Suspects.
That was Inadmissible Evidence obtained through Illegal Stop and Search I say. Stop and Search breaches Equality Legislation if Racial Profiling Plays a Part in deciding Who to Search, I say.
It was not Racial Profiling, says the Owner, it was Common Sense. You are a Moral Dog and he was an Idiot. I would have taken his Ball too.
Sometimes the Owner and I really Understand One Another.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.