Where have you been? Asks the Owner.
Nowhere, I say.
You appear to have been in the Woods, says the Owner. And the Park, she says. And the Bluebells, she says.
I might have been, I say. I will have to check my Diary, I say. Then I will Make a Statement, I say. I do not recall any Bluebells, I say.
Were you with Houdini? Asks the Owner.
I might have been, I say. Did you see me with Houdini? I ask.
I certainly did, says the Owner.
I did not entirely recall him, I say. It must have been my Eyesight, I say.
Surely you did not go Exploring without me? Asks the Owner. That would be against the Rules, says the Owner.
It is a matter of established fact that Dogs Explore, I say. We stand by the necessity to Explore at all times when it is Best for our Dog Nature, I say. It is a Moral Imperative, I say. If I had been Exploring that is what I would say, I say. But I am not saying that, I say. I may nevertheless have been in the Woods, I say. But only with a Very Good Reason, I say.
It breaks the Rules, says the Owner.
I think you may find there is a Loophole, I say.
If there is a Loophole the Moral Dog seems to have both Dug It and got Stuck in it, says the Owner.
Nobody told Aragorn he had to Obey the Rules, I say.
This response is a Characteristic not of Aragorn but of a Slippery Eel, says the Owner.
I did not Enjoy It in the Woods, I say. Remember, I do not even recall any Bluebells, I say. Surely that has some bearing on my Slipperiness and Eelness, I say.
It serves only to increase them on a Logarithmic scale, says the Owner. You are not meant to go off Exploring by Yourself, says the Owner. We have an Agreement, says the Owner. It is against the rules for All Dogs, says the Owner. One Dog cannot make an exception for himself, says the Owner.
I did not in fact do any Exploring I say. In fact, I say, I was testing my Eyes to see if they were working, I say.
Were they working? Asks the Owner.
It seems so, I say.
That is fortunate, says the Owner. Going off by yourself in the Park if they were not working might have seemed Somewhat Ridiculous, says the Owner.
The Moral Dog is never unwise, I say. If he appears so then it must have been the Rules that were Ridiculous. How fortunate that there was a Loophole.
Hahahahaha, says the Owner.
Hahahahaha, I say.
Oh for goodness sake. Do you not think you two have Laboured this one enough? asks the Man.
We have Only Just Begun, says the Owner.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.