Did you see who took my Dog’s Ball and threw it in the Pond? Asks the Other Person.
I did not, says my Owner.
I did not ask you, says the Other Person, I asked your Dog.
I do not think my Dog should be asked a potentially Political Question, says the Owner.
I can speak for myself, I say.
Whether you can and whether you should and whether I am going to allow it are three completely separate issues, says the Owner. They are Entirely Orthogonal.
Excuse me, says the Other Person, what about our Ball? The Guidance on Ball Stealing is very clear. And Swimming is not allowed in Ponds.
It is allowed if Life is at Risk, or thought to be at Risk, says my Owner.
The Only Life at risk in that Pond was those Ducks when your Dog was in there, says the Other Person.
Too right, say the Ducks.
Nobody takes any notice of the Ducks.
It might have been at risk, says the Owner, if a Small Human had fallen into the Pond whilst my Dog was Not In There.
You are stretching the Concept of Life at Risk to Protect Your Dog, says the Other Person.
Nobody has admitted to any Ball Stealing, says the Owner, and it is for my Dog to assess the Risk to Life. If you had fallen into the Pond you would be singing a Different Tune.
I am not Singing Anything, says the Other Person. I am making a point about your Dog’s Guilt with Respect to Balls and Ponds that is relevant to the General Situation of Walks and Parks.
I think it is time to draw a line under your Ball, says the Owner. I think everyone is more interested in the General Situation of Walks and Parks than the issue of Guilt and Balls.
I am not, says the Other Dog. I want to talk about the issue of Guilt and Balls. It will give flavour and pleasure to my Day.
Why may I not talk to your Dog? Asks the Other Person.
My Dog has expertise only in Being a Dog, says the Owner. He does not have expertise in Giving Evidence, Answering Questions or Confessing. It is my role to defend him from questions that he may not be fully equipped to answer.
On the Matter of Balls, Ponds and Throwing I have considerable Expertise, I say.
I knew it, says the Other Dog.
On the Matter of Balls, Ponds and Throwing, he would appear to be Fully Equipped, says the Other Person. Suspiciously well equipped, in fact, adds the Other Person, given that he is Dripping.
Thankyou, I say Modestly, as for Superdog being Suspiciously Well Equipped is a Moral Imperative.
I know it was you, says the Other Dog.
It was him, say the Ducks. Luckily nobody understands them.
The Purpose of your question did not appear to be to find out how the Ball got into the Pond in order to learn how to Avoid Future Ball-Pond incidents, says the Owner. On such a question my Dog might have indeed have been equipped with an answer. However the purpose of your question appeared to be to persuade my Dog to Incriminate himself, when he has not been Formally Cautioned.
Your answer seems to Incriminate your Dog, says the Other Person. Indeed, the Absence of any Other Dogs within a Five Mile Radius also seems to Incriminate your Dog.
I refer you to my Previous Answer, says the Owner.
That only answers my Previous Question, says the Other Person.
I think we are all ready to avoid any Further Questions, says the Owner. Including That One, says the Owner.
I am beginning to get a Sense that we are having this conversation in Some Kind of a Political Metaphor, says the Other Person. This is not about the Prime Minister, is it?
I cannot believe it took him this long.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.