I do not see why I cannot come, I say.
It is our Wedding Anniversary, says the Owner. The Man and I are Taking a Moment to remember the day we got Married.
I want to take a Moment to remember it too, I say.
You Cannot Remember it Too, says the Owner, you were not there.
Whose Fault is that? I say.
It is Nobody’s Fault, says the Owner. You were not Born, says the Owner.
I might have taken the trouble to be Born if I had been Invited, I say. I am like Cinderella at the Ball, I say. Left out, I say. Left to Pine with Nobody for Company but a Couple of Mice and an Old Pumpkin, I say.
You could not have been Born just because we had invited you, says the Owner. You did not Exist, says the Owner.
That is All Very Well for You to Say, I say. You had the Opportunity to be Born Before your Wedding, I say. And what did you use it for? I ask. Condemning your Moral Dog to Non Existence, I say.
Look, says the Owner, you will have a Lovely Evening.
That hardly Compensates for Failing to give the Moral Dog Sufficient Notice to Allow him to be Born, I say.
You are Here Now, says the Owner.
Indeed, I say. All Alone, I say. Without the Memories I might have Made had I been Born in time to Make them, I say.
Here is Squeaky Octopus to share your Cushion, says the Owner. And there is Ice and Lemon in your Water, the Way you Like It, says the Owner.
Do not Worry about Me, I say. You have a Nice Time, I say. Remembering Life without the Moral Dog, I say.
Look, says the Owner, if the Moral Dog feels that Bad than we Will not Go, says the Owner.
Really? Asks the Man.
Really? I say.
Of course we will not, says the Owner, we would not Abandon the Moral Dog to an Evening of Misery just to Celebrate the Anniversary of a Wedding from which he was Heartlessly Excluded by Not Being Born.
Excuse me, says the Man.
How does that Sound? Says the Owner. Is the Moral Dog not Filled with Joy at the thought of his Evening with the Owner? Asks the Owner.
Of course I am, I say, I am Filled to Bursting, I say. With Joy, I say. Such Joy, I say.
Wonderful, says the Owner, I shall Phone the Restaraunt.
Although, I say, it is sufficient for the Moral Dog to know that you Would Have Stayed, I say. Do not Trouble Yourself, I say. The Moral Dog could Probably Manage a Few Hours of Suffering, I say. Fortified by the Happy Memories of the Owner and the Man regarding the Times before he was Born, I say. Noble Sacrifice is the essence of the Moral Dog, I say.
I would not want the Moral Dog to Suffer So Terribly, says the Owner.
All Suffering can be Borne in the Knowledge that it will End, I say. Given a little Cheese, I say.
The Owner could not live with herself if the Moral Dog’s evening was one Long Episode of Suffering, says the Owner.
Do not Feel Bad, I say, I am sure I could cope, I say.
There is No Need to Cope, says the Owner.
Really there is, I say. The Moral Dog could not Bear to Spoil the Wonderful Anniversary of the Day he so Unfortunately Failed to be Born For through No Fault of the Owner, I say.
Goodness, says the Owner, if I did not know better I would think the Moral Dog had gone through this Palaver in order to Ensure not that the Owner stays home but that she Goes Out and Leaves Him with Cheese.
Hahahahaha, I say. What a Hilarious Thought, I say. That is Hilarious, I say. The thought of it will Offer Me Comfort alongside my Cheese, I say. I am feeling Better Now, I say. I can Manage the Pining, I say. Just, I say.
That is a relief, says the Owner. I am so glad the Moral Dog sees it that Way, says the Owner.
I do, I say.
Later, when the Owner and the Man have left in their Finery, the Moral Dog sits on the Balcony with his Cheese and Gloats at the Moral Fox.
You can Gloat all you like, says the Moral Fox, but you nearly Blew It. I was Listening.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.