The Owner and I go to buy a Coffee for the Owner and to allow the Moral Dog the opportunity to Gaze without Hope at Cakes he will Never be Given before being Tied to a Chair Leg.
The Coffee Shop man greets the Owner like a long-lost friend. Hello, he says to the Owner, I see you have brought the Lovely Hergest. To the Moral Dog’s Astonishment he presents the Moral Dog with a Biscuit.
Who is the Lovely Hergest? I ask the Owner.
I think he means the Moral Dog, says the Owner.
That is Surprising, I say. Given the Episode with the Poisonous Spider, I say. I seem to remember being called Several Things after the Episode with the Poisonous Spider, I say. Lovely was not One of Them, I say.
Although there was no Actual Poisonous Spider, says the Owner.
It was a Perfectly Understandable Mistake to Make, I say. Given its Menacing Appearance, I say. I did not expect the Ladies to react like that, I say. The Screaming Vibrated the Spider off the Ceiling, I say.
The Fire Brigade were inadvertently called, says the Owner.
One imagines they Must have been Passing Anyway, I say. Nobody was Evacuated for Long, I say. I was nevertheless Tied to a Chair Leg, I say. It was Most Undignified, I say.
Bercow appears from behind a Seat. I too was called the Lovely Bercow, he says, and have been allowed custody of the Daily Mail, despite having Previously Rendered Several Right-Wing Publications Slobbery beyond Use.
Where is it now? I say.
I have eaten it, says the Apparently Lovely Bercow. Obviously.
That too is Perfectly Understandable, I say.
I too have been welcomed with Open Arms, says Caspar, who is round the corner Airing his Fluff, despite the Unfortunate Incident with the Birthday Cake which I thought had been Abandoned. It was a Perfectly Understandable Mistake to Make, given that they were in the process of Setting it on Fire. I was Tied to a Chair Leg for Some Time, yet today I am Feted with Biscuits and Flattery.
Do you think the Coffee Shop Man has lost his Memory? Asks Caspar.
Do you think the Biscuits are Drugged as part of a Cunning Plan? Asks Bercow.
What if he is no longer the Coffee Shop Man, but a Zombie? I say.
Why are you Dogs all Hiding under the Sofa? Asks the Owner.
We are concerned that the Coffee Shop Man may have lost his Memory, we say. Or Become a Zombie, we say. Or developed a Cunning Plan, we say. Will you warn us if he starts making Zombie Noises, we say. We may not notice now that we have eaten Drugged Biscuits, we say. He will not even remember he has Done It, we say.
There is another Possible Explanation for the Welcome received by the Moral Dogs, says the Owner.
What is that? We say. We have enough to deal with, with a Cunning Amnesiac Zombie giving us Drugged Biscuits, we say. Could things Get any Worse? We say.
Perhaps Coffee Shop Man has Forgiven you, says the Owner. Forgiveness is a Wonderful Thing, says the Owner. Forgiveness, says the Owner, allows victims of wrongdoing to acknowledge yet move past a moral transgression, says the Owner.
What is the Point of that? We ask. We will only do it again, we say. Is it not more likely that he is an Amnesiac Plotting Zombie? We ask.
The Coffee Shop Man is a Good Person, says the Owner. Aristotle said that a Person of Virtue is angry at the right things and the right people, only as he ought, when he ought, and for as long as he ought. The Philosopher Thomas Hobbes said that we should pardon the offences past of them that are sorry for them and desire it. Even Nietzsche, who was mostly a Bit of a Misery, saw resentment as a manifestation of Vice rather than Virtue. Clearly he therefore cannot be a Zombie.
Even if the Coffee Shop Man is not a Zombie he may still be an Amnesiac, we say. He may not remember what we did, we say.
Forgiveness is not only offered for conduct, says the Owner, One may also be forgiven for the kind of Moral Being one is. The Coffee Shop Man knows that you are Dogs. It is impossible to Forget that you are Dogs. One only has to Look at You. You are far too Hairy and Socially Inappropriate to be Anything else.
Thank you, we say modestly. We will still Only Do It Again, we say. Would it not be Simpler to offer us Drugged Biscuits than to Forgive us? We ask.
It is widely thought that Forgiveness is fundamentally a matter of how One feels about another, says the Owner. I do not think that the Coffee Shop Man who is a Good Person who recognises a Moral Dog when he sees one, would offer Drugged Biscuits to his Friends, says the Owner.
Are you trying to say that the Coffee Shop Man has Forgiven us because he is our friend? We ask.
Exactly, says the Owner. Finish your Biscuits, then you will know for sure.
We look over at the Coffee Shop Man. He waves cheerfully. He does not look at all Cunning or Zombie like and certainly remembers having seen us before.
We do not need to finish the Biscuits to know for sure. Instead we rush over to the Coffee Shop Man to thank him for being our Friend in the way that Moral Dogs do. Sadly he and the Coffee do not seem to be Expecting It.
Forgiveness is Indeed Wonderful but, it seems, is also brief. We seem to be Tied to Chair Legs again.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.