"Betty!" ventured the tiny Jack Russell, "Betty! Betty! Betty!" When this produced no effect, a little claw entered the fray. "Betty! Betty! Betty! Betty! Betty! Betty! Betty!" repeated Giz, each "Betty!" being reinforced with a prod from the claw, "Betty!Betty!Betty!Betty!Betty!Betty!Betty!Betty!Betty!"
"Go'way, 'm'sleep." grunted the unfortunate Betty.
"No! Betty!Betty!Betty!Betty!" persisted Giz, somewhat unwisely in my view, "Betty! It's urgent! Betty!"
"If it's anything other than the house being on fire, I'm going to kill you Giz."
"What? No, you have to get up now! Betty!"
"I'll bark it again. IS the house on fire?"
"Ummm... I don't think so..."
"Is there even any smoke?"
"No, but I know where Mistress keeps matches. I can put the curtains on fire if you want."
"In that case, Giz, kindly lie down on your back, tilt your head up and expose your throat."
"Oh! OK - but..." chattered Giz, doing as she was told.
"Now I'm going to tear your throat out, you little sleep-thieving parasite."
"What? Oh! Hihihihihiiiii - but no. I need to ask you a really big favour."
"Is there any chance of me getting to go back to sleep this morning?" sighed Betty.
"What d'you want then?"
"I've decided. After we were barking about fur-styles the other night, I decided it HAS to go. You have to pull it out."
"Not your bl**dy tuft again?!"
"Yes. It's GOT to go. Ever since you tore- I mean, when you bit me- ages ago, when my face was sore and open and all the fur came off... when it all grew back the tuft grew back even bigger and fluffier. I HATE it - Look!"
With that, Gisèle shook her head and rubbed it on the edge of Betty's pillow. The unfortunate fluffy tuft that perched comically atop the little terrier's cranium stood erect. Betty was unable to stop herself.
"Pfffftht...! Hur hur hur - snort - hur hur hur!" chuckled the Giant Schnauzer, "Hur - snort - hur hur, I'm not nipping off that little beauty! Hur hur hur...!"
"Oh PLEASE Bettz" implored Giz, "I hate it! It makes me look SO stupid. I won't squeal or anything - I will just lie here, good and quiet, and you pull it out. Go on - do it NOW!" Giz positioned herself carefully below Betty's jaws, squeezed her eyes tightly closed and braced herself. "Nip it Betty! Nip it! Pull it out!"
"No! Stop it, you nut! I'm not pulling out your hair!"
"Because it will hurt! And if I pull it out again, it will only be even thicker when it grows back again! No!"
"I want mistress to shave it, but she won't." Giz whined petulantly.
"I should jolly well think not!" barked Betty, "The itchiness would drive you mad when it started to grow back! It's not that bad..."
"I hate it..." grumbled Giz moodily. I hoped that she wasn't going to go into one of her 'difficult sulks'. Betty looked down at her and I could tell that she was thinking along the same lines...
(not all of it - plenty more at the back of the curl)
"It is a bit funny-looking," admitted Betty carefully, "I mean, when you twiddle it with a claw and it stands up straight by itself..." She stretched out a stubby claw and twizzled Giz's tuft into a sturdy upright peak, "You might even be able to pick up short-wave radio, hur hur hur - snort - hur hur." And with a wink at her tiny friend, Betty made a noise like the interference one encounters when attempting to tune a radio.
Gisèle simply couldn't remain in a sulk at this - she sat up and beamed at Betty, the twinkle returning to her dark brown eyes.
"Bsssszzzzzzt!" joined in Gisèle with a giggle "...here is the news on Giz-FM: Everyone afraid as Betty's ar*e continues to get bigger - hihihihihihihiiiiiii - dangers of tidal waves if she sits down suddenly - hihiihiiii - public warned to stay away - army called out to monitor Betty's massive ar*e..."
"Oh, shut up, Tufty..." grinned Betty and, with that, Giz collapsed with her high-pitched giggles as Betty pretended to be cross and gently swiped at her.
With much relief I watched as the two friends snuggled close together and went back to sleep. Well, I mused to myself, it may be a mad life they lead - but it is a happy one...