Betty returned home shortly after the events described in the previous entry - but not before she had exhorted a solemn promise from Gisèle that she would not seek out the company of the buzzard and her chicks again. Little 'Sèle was more than happy to accede and faithfully swore that she would not venture even close to the raptors' nest.
It goes without barking that, the instant she had returned to the location, she immediately bent her steps to the buzzards' nest and greeted her feathered "friend" heartily. The third egg had hatched, which was the cue for more squeals of delight from Giz. I won't insult you with a repetition of the "conversations" that ensued.
Back on safer ground, at home, Gisèle was enjoying the sun in the garden when the sound of earnest voices drew her out into the street and up to the hedge at the side of the pavement, where a group of her friends were congregated and chattering animatedly about something unseen.
"Stick your paw in it, Thunder!" miaowed Kittenjasper to his feline brother, "Go on! It'll be fun!"
"Yeah, go on Thunder!" echoed Archie, the little Jack Russell from the end house. "I dare you!"
"Honey, do YOU dare me?" mewed the hesitant Kittenjasper to the ginger cat who made up the feline trio in his house.
"I wouldn't do it," replied Honey coolly, "But you should do it, Jas!"
Her interest piqued, Gisèle took a closer glance at the focus of their attention. This is what she saw:
Intrigued, she joined the group.
"Gizzle!" yapped Archie excitedly, "Here are brains and beauty in one lovely package!" Archie was smitten with Gisèle the moment he'd first set eyes on her and had never given up hope of being successful in tempting her to his basket, despite her lack of encouragement. Sweet 'Sèle almost never considered any dog smaller than a spaniel to be worthy of her attention. "Come and get Thunder to stick his paw in this!"
She padded over. As well as Archie, Oliver (the three-legged cat who lived with Archie) Kittenjasper, Thunder and Honey at the hedge, Peaches and his tabby friend were watching from a short distance away, grinning. (Yes - you may well be surprised on learning this if you are a regular reader of this blog - Peaches does indeed have a friend. The unfortunate fallout from Gisèle's ill-starred "I Love Peaches Party", described here and concluded here, seemed to have ultimately benefited everyone in the street and taught Peaches himself the value of behaving nicely. Very cheering. More of this development to follow...).
"Come on, Thunder!" goaded Archie again, "Stick your paw in it, just for a minute, it'll be really funny!" The members of the little group giggled and continued to encourage Thunder.
"Don't TOUCH it Thunder!" yipped Gisèle, "You idiots! That is a wasps' nest!"
"No!" mewed Kittenjasper to his brother, "Honestly, stick your paw in, it'll be fun!"
"Yeah!" agreed Archie.
"You stick YOUR paw in, Arch!" miaowed Thunder.
"I'm not putting my paw in that!" barked Archie with a grin, "It's a bl**dy wasps' nest! I'm not stupid..."
They all laughed, including Thunder, and began to disperse. Though of quite how hearty their laughter would have been had one of the buffoons ACTUALLY shoved a paw into the wasps' nest I remain unconvinced (I do not forget the occasion when my pea-brained friend Ewan challenged the occupants of such a nest to a game of football - see here).
Shaking her little furry head, Gizzy ignored Archie's clumsy attempts to flirt further with her and returned to the house. She had some work to do - for Betty returns on the morrow!
P.S. Betty, Gisèle and I (along with my partner) are supporting Pupaid - you might want to head on over and add your voice of support: Pupaid website. Thank you. JHS