I know you can get up there, says the Owner, you are a Tall Dog. Jump up and put your paws on the side of the Boot, Then I will lift your legs.
I cannot, I say. It is Too High. I am a Moral Dog. I cannot be expected to behave like a Wallaby.
You are Covered in Mud, says the Owner. I do not want to Lift you In.
Then let us stay here, I say.
We cannot stay, says the Owner, as you full well know. Soon it will be Dark and Large Predatory Ducks will appear and Pursue the remaining Dogs.
You must think I was Born Yesterday, I say. May I remind you I have just passed my Eight Months birthday?
Indeed this is no Surprise, says the Owner, because look how Long your Legs are. Moreover, you have Vast Numbers of them. Given that I have only Two Legs and can get into the Car unaided, do you not think that with as many Legs as that a Moral Dog who has just passed his Eight Months birthday and is Taller than a Wallaby should have no trouble at all?
Numbers of Legs do not equate with ease of Getting into the Car Boot, I say. If it did your boot would be full of Octopusses.
I think it should be Octopodi, says the Owner, it has a Greek Root.
There are none of those in the Boot either, I say. You are attempting to Divert me from my Impeccable Logic with your talk about the Etymology of Octopodauruses but the Moral Dog is Not So Easily Distracted.
The Owner sighs. I will tell you what Impeccable Logic says, she says. It says that you are becoming Too Big to be lifted and you are Tall Enough and Sufficiently Endowed with Legs to get in By Yourself.
You have no evidence of that, I say, any more than you have Evidence of Large Predatory Ducks.
It is Intuitive Common Sense, says the Owner, on Both Counts. Can you not hear the Distinctive Quacking?
The Trouble with Intuition, I say, as you endlessly claim, is that Intuitive Judgements invariably rely on Assumptions that are Open to Objective Challenge. The Quacking may be that of Ordinary Ducks. The Legs are only a Day Longer than they were Yesterday, and Yesterday I could not get into the Boot.
The Owner sighs, and there is some muttering around my Rear Legs. I hear the words Circular and Argument. Now I am in the Boot, which is Very Satisfactory as there is a Cushion and a Squeaky Cockroach. It is not Exactly Squeaky Cat, but it can manage a conversation to sustain me on the way home whilst the Owner listens to Radio 4.
There, she says. Now I am Filthy, she adds.
You are no Filthier than I was, I observe.
That, says the Owner, does not help.
Later, we are in the Kitchen playing with Squeaky Cat. We have a wonderful time. Squeaky Cat is under the table. Then he is in the Laundry Bin. Then he is under the Owner’s Coat. Now he is on the worktop, now in the kitchen bin, now behind the pot plant. I am amazed at Squeaky Cat’s Ingenuity. And at his Agility, given that I accidentally chewed off one of his legs and he has therefore had stitches. I launch myself with Enthusiasm every time he is hidden.
The Owner seems unusually Cooperative with Our Game, and there is a hint of the Smug about her, but I think nothing of it. She has, after all, got a particularly Moral Dog.
It is only the Next Day when we are leaving the Park again that I realise the Enormity of the Entrapment.
I cannot Get into the Boot, I say. We have been through this before. You have to lift me up.
I cannot, says the Owner, I am too Old.
You are Only a Day Older than yesterday, I say.
And You are only a Day Taller than Yesterday, says the Owner, but it is Amazing what a Difference a Day Makes. Do you like my new iPhone picture?
I stare at the Picture of the Moral Dog retrieving the Betraying Squeaky Cat from the back of the Kitchen Counter. I look undoubtedly Tall. Two of my many feet are High Up on the Work Top. Squeaky Cat looks Decidedly Sheepish, even though he is a Cat.
I think you will find, says the Owner, that is the Evidence you require. Hurry Up.
I jump. The Moral Dog, betrayed, entrapped and blackmailed, jumps into the Boot. It is an outrage to Dignity, but it is also a Fair Cop and at least we have escaped the Predatory Ducks. I can hear them Quacking.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.