The Owner and the Moral Dog are Taking the Air when the Moral Dog finds himself subject to Harsh Words.
Do not even think about it, says the Owner, Somewhat Harshly.
I have Not Done Anything, I say. It comes to Something, I say, when the Voice of the Owner is Suggestive of Public Opprobrium regarding something that she Believes that the Moral Dog might, in Theory, One Day Do, whilst his Current Behaviour defines him as a Paragon of Virtue. That really isn’t Cricket, I say.
The Moral Dog is a Great Wit, says the Owner. Nevertheless, says the Owner, Do Not Even Think About It.
If I knew what it was that I must not Think About, I say, I could possibly try not to Think About it.
About Chasing that Ball, says the Owner.
If you want the Moral Dog to Not Think about Chasing that Ball you appear to have gone about it Rather Poorly, I say, since now that you have mentioned it I can Think of Nothing Else, I say. I did not Realise I was living with the Thought Police, I say. If I told you not to think of a Purple Elephant what would you At Once Think Of? I say. I rest my case, I say.
I am not the Thought Police, says the Owner. It is an Expression, says the Owner. It means do not Seriously Consider Chasing that Ball, says the Owner. It means do not spend a second of your life Contemplating a Possible Future Moral Dog Custodianship, however Temporary, of that Ball, says the Owner. It means Take No Decisions which Render that Ball Slobbery, where the Slobber Concerned is the Slobber of the Moral Dog, says the Owner. It means that, when Balancing the Possible Consequences of a Moral Dog Lunge in a Ball-Like Direction the Moral Dog’s View of the Future should be Entirely Pessimistic, says the Owner. It means the Brain of the Moral Dog who Values Contentment should not be Engaged in Any Way, however Insignificant, with the idea that the Ball is Fair Game, says the Owner. It means that, insofar as the Moral Dog has Any Awareness of that Ball at all, it is as distant if he were A E Housman contemplating those Blue Remembered Hills, and thinking
That is the land of lost content, I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went And cannot come again.
Blimey, I say. That is an awful lot of Meaning, I say, and Poetry, I say, Given that it is not what you Actually Said, I say.
At least the Moral Dog Knows what Not to Think Now, says the Owner.
I do, I say.
Moments later I have the Ball. It is the Loveliest Ball I have ever Chewed.
After some Shouting and Recriminations during which the Moral Dog’s Opinion is not even asked, the Ball is Taken Away and returned to a Cross Man.
I cannot believe you did that, says the Owner, as I am Dragged Away.
Did what? I ask.
Stole that Ball, says the Owner.
You did not tell the Moral Dog not to steal it, I say. You told him not to Think About Stealing It, I say. the Moral Dog Discovered that No Thought was Actually Necessary, I say.
The Moral Dog is a Slippery Eel and a Pedant, says the Owner.
Still, I say. There was No Harm Done, I say.
No Harm Done? Says the Owner. He would have hit it for Six if it wasn’t for you, says the Owner.
It seems That really was Cricket.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.