For - at around 23.20 last evening, her potential interested male party uttered those few words that make a lady's heart quicken. "So soon?" you cry. Oh yes. As unexpected as they were, they rendered my normally articulate partner totally wordless - hardly able to formulate even the most basic of responses. She stared, open-mouthed, at me, as the full impact of the gentleman's words hit her with all the subtlety of a speeding locomotive.
"He's only a dog."
Now, I am not deluded. I am well aware that one member of our partnership is often regarded as somewhat less socially superior than the other. But I cannot change that. After all, it is not her fault that she is a human...
What a pity. And things looked so promising as well. "He's only a dog." indeed. For goodness' sake.
And now - because I cannot bear to leave you - or, indeed, myself - with the image of a shattered and frightened young dog in your mind, here is:
I am not sure for how long I was asleep in the back of the van but, when I awoke, I didn't feel any better for my nap. In fact, I felt sore all over and terribly, terribly sick. Despite this, I also felt rather peckish. My belly told me that it was lunchtime, but I waited and the man did not come back to the van as usual. I decided that an investigation might be necessary.
Rather unsteadily and painfully, I forced myself to stand up. My legs were shaking and kept buckling beneath me, but I managed to force myself to the back of the seats and had a moment of victory! At the base of the gearstick, I espied a discarded crisp! Fortified with the prospect of a whole crisp - and possibly more in the passenger footwell, I decided to get into the front of the van. After brief consideration, I surmised that my pain and increasing weakness were too great to successfully make the jump over the seats into the front - so I decided to squeeze my way through between the driver's and passenger's seats. My head and my mighty shoulders proved no problem. However, as I eased my chest through, there was a sickening grinding sound from the left side of my ribcage and sharp stabs of blinding pain shot through me. I suppressed my squeals into a squeak and temporarily paused. By now, I was more than halfway through the gap and so, taking a deep breath, I pushed the rest of the way through and stumbled gratefully into my usual front seat. After another moment to recover myself, I snaffled up the crisp.
Alas - even this proved unfairly difficult. I could not crunch the crisp properly. My jaw was strangely slack and made a bizarre clicking noise whenever I tried to chew. In the end, I gave up and waited for the crisp (salt and vinegar flavour) to dissolve on my tongue before I swallowed it. I looked about me. There were no more traces of crisp, pie or sandwich. Dammit. I decided to look out of the window instead. I liked looking out of the window - there was always something interesting to see.
I regarded my surroundings. The van was parked on a bustling high street. To my left, out of the window, was the entrance to a large shopping arcade (mall). Just in front of that, slightly forward of the van, stood a group of around eight to ten young girls, aged around fourteen years. I watched, transfixed. Two of the girls had very, very dark brown - almost black - skin. I didn't know humans came in different colours. They were exquisitely beautiful.
I liked (and still like today) looking at females just generally, of any human race (or mammalian species). I have always preferred ladies to men (perhaps understandably, given my history), and each one is perfectly formed and exquisite in her own way. I watched, as they compared clothing purchases from gaudily-coloured carrier bags and showed each other pictures on their mobile telephones, happily giggling and smiling.
I suppose one of them must have felt my steadfast gaze - for she turned and met my eyes. On seeing me, she let out a horrified scream. Her friends whipped around to see what had startled her, and screamed too. They ran to the van's window and peered at me, with a variety of shocked whispers and gasps. I attempted to give my most winning smile, and wondered what frightened them so. Two of the young ladies started to cry.
After an hurried conference between the friends, two of them sped off together down the street. The others continued to peer in at me, with profound looks of horror and concern upon their pretty faces.
I wondered - what sight could possibly have been so awful that it frightened these girls so much...?