I appear to be in some disgrace. For a long while today, only my partner was really speaking to me, and then it was only to alternately scold or laugh at me. I shall explain.
As my partner lifted me from our bed in the morning, there was a loud rumble of what she terms "thunder". She claims that this is a normal meteorological phenomenon, but I disagree. It can only be a huge, angry, hell-hound, coming to get me from beyond the skies. I was, as always in these situations, petrified. I tried to sneak out to work with my partner, to protect her from The Beast, but she put me back into the garden. And then I was struck with an inspired idea: hiding!
I crept stealthily round to the bit of garden at the side of the house, taking care not to get spotted by the rumbling sky-dog. I then carefully concealed myself under a large rhubarb leaf and tried my hardest to take on the appearance of a stick of rhubarb.
I was able to maintain this cunning facade for some while, until my ears picked up the sound of calling and sobbing. Oh dear. Rhubarb is obviously a sound sleeper, and my impersonation had been too lifelike; my partner's mother and Maisie had been searching for me and calling around the neighbourhood for about twenty minutes. To sum up their terror, my partner's mother was now half an hour late for an appointment because of her search for me. When she had telephoned Maisie to engage her assistance, Maisie's fear for me had been so intense that she had run to my garden in tears and dressed only in her nightdress. They were both soaked from searching in the rain for all that time.
It was Maisie who discovered me. My partner's mother had been on the 'phone, alerting other to my disappearance, when my distinctly un-rhubarb-like tail was spotted by Maisie, protruding from beneath the leaf. Trembling and in tears, I was lifted into the house, where I was dried, soothed and given calming tablets in pieces of cold roast chicken. My partner's mother wasn't very pleased, to say the least. Maisie was still shaken and tearful when she returned home in the evening.
My partner and I have agreed to never speak of the matter again. But she told me I must make a full and sincere apology to the traumatised ladies.
Note to self: next time it is raining and thundering, hide indoors and don't impersonate rhubarb.