Oh, for goodness' sake... I turn away for a few brief moments - and return to find witless and inane drivel such as the previous post polluting my carefully-honed blog.
I blame Betty. It can only be her fault that Gisèle's standards of grammar and language have plummeted so far. If our heroine had spent less time messing around outdoors and giggling about boys with Betty, then this would not have happened. I endeavoured to represent the seriousness of the matter to 'Sèle, but I lost her attention after about three minutes. She did start to listen, but I knew I'd lost her when I saw her eyes following the progress of a robin on the bird-table in the garden. I gave up.
One thing, at least, was achieved from Betty's most recent week-long visit; the circumstances under which she got her "modicum of revenge" as alluded to in the 9 November 2014 post. It transpired on a hot summer's afternoon, when my partner attempted to procure the girls some relief from the heat by taking them down the lane to the ford (this being the ford where my partner has previously endeavoured to rebuild Gisèle confidence in the water - there has been some progress; last summer Giz voluntarily paddled in the sea at Lepe and enjoyed herself greatly - but this was after the events I am describing). On sighting the water, Betty plunged delightedly into the water and immersed herself in the deepest part of the river, in the middle. Gisèle carefully skulked at the water's edge and only went so far as allowing the water to lap over her paws. Her face bore an expression of wistful longing as she watched her friend swimming around happily in the cool clear water.
Finally deciding that she wasn't brave enough to venture deeper, Gisèle turned and trotted to the little bridge across the ford. As she began to cross, Betty doggy-paddled alongside and tried to persuade her little friend to join her in the water. I watched as Gisèle stopped to watch Betty enjoying her aquatic escapades with a slight hint of regret in her brown eyes.
All of a sudden, there was the briefest scream and a good deal of splashing. Once my eyes had adjusted due to the sparkles reflecting off the water, the bridge was empty.
Gisèle quickly surfaced, spluttering and splashing, followed by a wickedly-grinning Betty.
"-glub- You did that DELIBERATELY Betty!" squealed an irate 'Sèle, paddling around to face Betty.
"It was an accident!" grinned Betty, swimming out of range of the furious terrier towards the centre of the ford. Gisèle splashed off in hot pursuit. Every time she got nearer to Betty, the large dog would paddle further away, much to Gisèle increasing frustration.
Suddenly, Gisèle seemed to realise that she was actually swimming and tried to set down a paw on the bottom of the ford. Finding that she could not, she began to panic. Splashing and fretting, she got herself to the edge of the ford and staggered out, trembling and whimpering.
"Gis!" cried Betty, "What did you do that for?! You were doing really well and swimming all by yourself!" As annoyed as I was with Betty, I appreciated that she had been trying (in her own way) to encourage Gisèle to be more confident in the water by demonstrating to her that she was an able swimmer, despite her (reasonable) fears. Betty struck out and swam to join her friend as quickly as she could. "I'm sorry Gizzy; I didn't mean to frighten you." Poor Betty was mortified.
"That's ok Betts." replied Gisèle in a small voice and the two friends cuddled and nuzzled each other. "At least I'm nice and cool now..."
Gisèle fared somewhat better where her supercilious buzzard "friend" was concerned. Despite Betty's advice, cajoling, persuasion (even threats at times) and irritation, sweet 'Sèle continued to visit the nest of buzzards, more often than not bringing them some sort of gift or "advice". She persisted in her cheerful and hearty banter, even though she was never met with more than nods or stares.
Inevitably, alas, came the day that Gisèle had been convincing herself would never come. She was trotting happily along the path, enjoying her walk, when a large buzzard loomed and circled a little too close for comfort above her. A cursory guess suggested to me that this was a male buzzard; possibly the patriarch of the nest upon which she had been calling. Further and lower swooped the buzzard, encompassing tiny Giz in his menacing shadow. I saw concern beginning to register in young 'Sèle's brown eyes. At length, one of the big raptor's outstretched talons came close enough to graze the terrier's head and she screamed. She tried to run, but she was on open ground and the nearest cover was too far away. As the buzzard dived for a more concerted attempt to snatch little Giz, there was a sudden violent clash of feathers and much noisy screeching.
"You leave her alone! She's alright, that one! You're NOT to take her! Leave her!" The female buzzard, mother of the chicks Gisèle had so assiduously visited, battered her fellow-raptor with enough force to put him off and Giz was able to make her escape. I would like to think that Gisèle has learned a salutory lesson from this experience. As much as I would like to think that - I know that she will, as ever, have learned nothing.
I did, out of interest, ask Gisèle how things were progressing with her new boyfriend Bracken. She cannot remember who Bracken is. There's no hope...