What are you Doing? Asks the Owner.
I am Singing, I say.
Please Stop, says the Owner.
Was I not In Tune? I say.
No, says the Owner.
That is why I need to Practise, I say.
It is 3am, says the Owner.
When the Melody takes you, I say, the Time is irrelevant.
I would not call it Melody, says the Owner.
You Would Not say that to Abba, I say.
Abba do not Howl in the Night, says the Owner.
It is Not Howling, I say. I am Harmonising the Second Verse, I say.
Harmonise Silently, says the Owner. You will wake the Headless Zombies in the Cemetery, says the Owner.
You said there were no Headless Zombies, I say.
I Lied, says the Owner.
You said if there were Headless Zombies we would have Seen Them By Now, I say.
I had reckoned without the Unearthly Wailing of the Moral Dog, says the Owner. Headless Zombies are Very Susceptible to Unearthly Wailing, says the Owner.
You said there was No Reason for Headless Zombies to hang around in Cemeteries All Night with Nothing To Do whilst there are Parties going All Over London, I say. You said Any Decent Headless Zombie would be in Dalston on a Friday Night, I say. You said that, Once Inebriate, They would Never Find their way Back Here, I say. Owing to Having no Heads, I say. And being Zombies, I say. What are we going to Do? I ask. They May Eat the Moral Dog, I say. Feet First, I say. Then when they have Finished I will be a Zombie Dog, I say. I will need Zombie Cheese, I say. Do they have it at Ocado? I say.
Go to Sleep, says the Owner.
I can Hear them Coming, I say.
I am Not Listening, says the Owner.
I can smell them coming, I say.
What do Headless Zombies Smell Of? Asks the Owner in a Slightly Trembly Voice.
You would not Want to Know, I say.
What do you Mean? Asks the Owner in a slightly more Trembly Voice.
Nothing, I say. I will Await my Fate, I say.
The Moral Dog stops Singing Abba and waits for the Headless Zombies. He hopes they will be Reasonable. The Owner Settles down to Bed. A Gentle Breeze blows a Leaf against the Window. An Owl Hoots. There is a Faint Sound of Scratching as a Small Nocturnal Animal Explores the Rubbish Bins.
What was that? Says the Owner.
Nothing, I say.
The Wind Whistles through the Trees and the Moral Fox Barks.
Do you Smell Anything? Asks the Owner.
Not yet, I say. You can Only Smell them When they are Close, I say.
The Moral Dog’s Cage Opens and the Owner gets in.
What are you doing? I ask the Owner.
I thought, says the Owner, that I could do the Alto Line. It may make them Go Away.
I knew it.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.