I really am inexpressibly cross.
I had another wonderful walk this evening. I have, of late, been trying to catch a hippopotamus in the woods. I believe I am close to success. My partner tells me that I am highly unlikely to find a hippopotamus in the English countryside woodlands, but this just goes to show that she is of the "glass-half-empty" personality type. I am confident of victory.
Anyway - I was hot on the scent, but managed to lose my quarry. I cooled myself down post-chase by going puddle-diving (my second-favourite hobby) in the deepest, muckiest path-pool I could find. It was terrific fun, but did not garner quite the response I was hoping for in my partner. I was deliriously happy - right up to the point where I was taken to the river and forced into cleanliness. Grrrowl. And I slipped on some river-weed and twisted my leg. My only comfort was that my partner dropped her car keys into the water, so I had the satisfaction of seeing her run, panic-stricken, back to the river and grovel about in the weir until she retrieved them. Happily, I was able to control my wry laughter as she returned, dripping, to the car.
So that was my walk ruined. I was able to cheer myself with the continuing friendship of my new chum, the water-rat. Some people (you know who you are) have seen fit to warn me off this new ally, citing past false friends such as the Buzzard. I am grateful for their concern - but I also pity them for their thinly-veiled jealousy. Why can't people just be happy when two kindred souls find succour in each others' company?
My new little mate stopped by last night - AND he brought me a gift! I smelt him coming as I did my last rounds of the garden for the night. I hailed him: "Is that you?"
"Mmmnf." came the reply. He appeared, and tossed down a couple of items at my paws. "Those are for you." he said, grinning his yellow-toothed grin at me. "It's rabbit." Before me lay a small cube of meat and a little kidney. I hastened to enjoy the meat - it was fresh and delicious. I offered my hearty thanks. "'s alright." replied my friend, "Perhaps you can do me a favour some time. What you been up to today?" I explained about my hippopotamus hunting. "Any joy?" he asked. I shook my head.
"My partner says they're very big, anyway." I said, as my friend expressed his sympathy for my lack of success.
"Humpf. I just go for small game, me." he grunted, "Rabbits, mice, whatever. Never chase after stuff that can stomp on you when you catch it." We shared a philosophical silence. "Good luck with the hippypottawotsit, anyway."
"A little bird tells me there's a young puppy three doors down from here." said the water-rat, abruptly changing the subject.
"Yep." I replied. "A Jack Russell. Eleven weeks old."
"Big lad, is he?"
"Well..." I hesitated, wondering where this was leading. "Smaller than me. But bigger than you."
"Ah. Best leave it then."
My friend then said that it was getting late, and he had to be going back to his friends and the rest of their rabbit supper. I thanked him again for his generous gift of the meat and watched him slink back through the hedge towards the river.
Returning into my house, I thought that my chum was probably right: the little Jack Russell pup IS a bit too young to hang around with us at present.