Inside the police howling roundlegs Duncan is pressing his snout against the mesh and barking directions.
Turn left Duncan barks.
Turn left. TURN. LEFT.
Duncan is sure PC Andersen’s short-fill intelligence only understands simple paw and bark directions. He leaps to the left side of the mesh and barks Turn Left. Nows
And the howling roundlegs turns left.
Straight ahead. Straight ahead Duncan nows bangs his snout against the mesh.
Yes, to the bridge Duncan breathes wetly behind PC Andersen’s small earflap and turn on that howling
Sometimes, hindlegs snifz happy to see PC Andersen turn up with the blue lights and howling. Other times hindlegs snifz very unhappy and it all turns into a bit of a rumble. Always a gamble with hindlegs, init?
No, don’t turn here he barks at PC Andersen wot yu doin’?
They’re not heading towards the bridge, but turning left down Gorse Road beside the Thameslick.
Not this way!
The blue-sniffy colour of Freddy’s Farm is fading away.
Turn back, we need to cross the Thameslick!
PC Andersen starts scritching into thin air. Probably to Roger – whoever that muttwit is.
And thin air scritches back, “nonsense,nonsense,nonsense”
The police howling roundlegs does a sudden u-turn and heads back towards the bridge.
Good one, boss. Now givvit some howling?
Right then, ladies, follow my cue and stick to the plan
Foxy turns from the huddle of fourlegs to face the cage door.
Ooohoo, Checkers. Ooohoo!
Wot happens happens a small commentary from the corner.
Yu sure this will work? Missy asks.
Why not? Foxy eyeballs her confidently me and this fourlegs got history
Oh my dog, that limbless thing Missy is shocked, and Australian Shepherds ain’t easily shocked That!
Oi darlin’, forget that three-legged poop and ‘ava snifz this ways a male four called Thunder barks from his cage.
Wot, yuz? another male scoffs with those hairless plum bobs?
Trot outside and say that
Wish I could mate-
Fight! Fight! Fight! all the males in the barn start howling.
Enough of this braggadocio ThreeLegs hisses as he enters the barn and lurches down the aisle yuz guests need to alls calm down and think real carefully about plum bobs – yor owns! hegrins coz, chop choppy time’s just ‘round the corners for the lotta yuz
The males fourlegs all go quite at the thought of plumb bobs, chop choppy, and ‘round corners. ThreeLegs drops a squirtz and lurches on until he reaches Foxy and Missy.
Ladies, good afternoon. How may we be of service to our honoured guests? eyeballs only for Foxy, goo trickling down one side of his maw dinner time is only three squirtz away
Not dinner I’m after Checkers, izit? Foxy squeaks, little head down, coyly eyeballing the old wrencher from beneath frizzy earflaps. The orange-sniffy fumes of lust burst from her. ThreeLegs snoutz it all in and totters on his three remaining legs.
Nn– he clears his sticky throat not sure that would be appropriate in the circumstances
Foxy forces her button snout through the bars I don’t mean eightleggers in front of thems other muttwits
Sevenleggers more lyk Missy scoffs, shaking earflaps.
Don’t listen to that jealous muttwit Foxy continues only that… Checkers, if we can be a little bit more private lyk, nobody’s gonna snifz it, know wot I’m sayin’. Specially not that purply-sniffy hindlegs o’ yors she tilts her earflaps at the fourlegs behind her nor this flea-ridden lot, right?
Well, as much as we would lyk to be of service to our gues–
Service is exactly wot I would lyk she presses forward, the tip of her tongue welding a spot of intense pleasure on ThreeLegs’ snout.
Just lyk thems old days, remember? head down, languidly stretching paws before turning to rub her orange-sniffy butt in his face.
ThreeLegs can’t slide the heavy bolt fast enough. He’s not supposed to touch the bolt, not never, but the hot sniffy colours of eightleggers is just too strong. Foxy, his old lady. Foxy, her with the unforgettable history.
Hold on, hold on he rasps, bouncing up on his back paws, his single front paw swiping sideways at the metal bolt.
I can’t hold on forever Foxy gasps hurry, champion, hurry
If he could chew the dog-dam bolt off the door he would. Anything for a sporting moment with Foxy.
Bouncing, bouncing on his back paws, his one front paw slapping the bolt sideways, a fraction at a time.
I am my pet, I am my Foxy! a final bounce and the bolt drops to the tiles, the sudden clatter followed by shocked silence throughout the barn, all the fours holding their breath.
Standing proud on all three corners he knocks the cage door open with his snout, grinning.
Foxy, my little treatlet!
And for the next trick Missy charges at him, a pack of female fourlegs stampeding along close behind.
Run for yor lives girls, run for yor packmates Foxy howls as the rest of the barn erupts in male outrage and colour.
Don’t forget me
Not thems lot, meez, meez, meez!
This way girls Missy hurtles down the aisle towards the big door at the end of the barn. Cold horror grips her as she realizes the big door is shut.
ThreeLegs roars from behind Foxy, me paramours, me petals
Oh scratch it, the door’s shut! Missy yelps out
I can see that Foxy replies, breathlessly, her little legs trying to keep up
I’m coming for yu Foxy, me orange-sniffy honeydripper a scrabbling of claws on concrete, ThreeLegs closing up fast.
Do something Foxy barks before he’s on us!
I will, I am, I– Missy charges the big door.
Door bursts opens before she breaks her snout on it.
“Whatthe–nonsense,nonsense!” Freddy is scritching, aghast.
A mob of fourlegs batter past him, escaping into fresh air, howls of incarcerated males left behind.
Follow me Missy barks, trotting swiftly towards the farm gate, sniffing freedom beyond it.
I’m coming for yuz ThreeLegs roars, lurching along as fast as he can, bowling Freddy out the way Foxy, me luv…
Missy glances back at Threelegs, his maw streaming goo in lines across his back.
Trot faster girls she squeals TRORRRRT!
Slow down Henry
I’m already slowed down
Slow down more, mate
GitOrrf! is trotting as fast as his four paws can carry him, trying to catch up with the English Mastiff, lazily loping into the distance. Suddenly Henry pulls up short, sniffing the air.
Mmm! Catch a snifz of that?
GitOrrf! arrives moments later, snout holes dribbling at the orange air.
Too right. Bacon, sausage rolls, meatballs – coz its lunch nosh in thems Greggs bins ‘round back
Yu can never have too many lunchtimes, Gitorrf! muses. I’ve already had two lunch noshes, how many yu had?
That’s not natural
The two fourlegs head off towards Greggs. Plenty of time to save Missy, but only a little before Greggs stops serving lunch nosh.
A moment later, Henry slows down again oh-oh, there ain’t no bins ‘round back of Greggs. Coz there ain’t no ‘round back of Greggs looking down at GitOrrf! and expecting him to spit up a solution.
Henry is right, there ain’t no ‘round back of Greggs. The bins are kept locked away with a fourlegs-proof peg – right inside the dog-damned place. GitOrrf! stops and scratches at his plum bobs for enlightenment.
Hold on, I’m thinking of solutions, init he keeps scratching.
Scratches a bit more, thinking on it a bit more.
Na mate, there ain’t no solutions
This is getting serious. If they are expected to carry out Duncan’s plan by saving Missy it can only happen on a belly-full of nosh. Honest to dog!
Getting across the bridge of the Thameslick is easy trotting, so long as they stick to the paving. GitOrrf! glances down at the Thameslick in trepidation. He don’t lyk the Thameslick and all thems useless flaplegs floating about on top of it. He don’t see any point in flaplegs, anyways. Not thems wot float on the Thameslick, nor thems wot fly, nor thems wot only sit on a tree and poop. To start with, wotz all that flying about anyways? For a second start, wot a waste of a good tree.
Are we nearly there yet?
Not too far Henry replies, his lazy lope hopelessly outpacing Gitorrf! gotta pass Shell, cross some fields and cut through a bit of woods
Corss, all hungry work wotever way yu snifz at it.
Any noshing shops across the fields and a bit of woods? GitOrrf! pants.
Shell gas station looms up ahead. And the perfect answer to a hungry question – a big yellow arch.
Mackers! they both yelp.
Mackers it is.