Hen-ree, Hen-ree Mayumi pleads as Henry raises both front paws to begin some solid hammering dead center of Tuffy’s snout holes. Her voice puts him off balance and he lands down with a stumble. More than enough time for Tuffy to scrabble away.
Wot? he growls down at her.
Fearlessly she walks right up and bumps snoutz with him.
It don’t matter, Hen-ree. Really it don’t
Why’s that then? he snarls.
Uh-huh, why’s that then? adds GitOrrf!.
Good point adds Drizzle, acting extremely diplomatic in the circumstances why is that?
Shuddup boys Mayumi trots ‘round back of Henry and snifz at his large pink diaper. She waits for him to swivel ‘round and face her.
And..? he repeats, the need for some heavy submitting action still coursing through stout limbs.
Coz, that’s better than being called small knickers, neh?
Westley Piddle’s town center is dead quiet ‘cept for the fast breathing of a load of fours at the bins ‘round back of Tesco Extra.
Henry’s big face creases in concentration ..wot?
Or better’an no knickers suggests Tuffy, wanting to contribute.
Or better’an sexy knickers agrees Drizzle, still being diplomatic.
Or, furry knickers adds Sausage.
Furry knickers?? the fours all look at Sausage.
Sausage’s eyeballs bounce from one to the other and back to Henry, way up there wot happens happens…and furry knickers can happen. Don’t yu knows that, Big Knickers ‘enry?
All the fours wait for some mighty hammering. They keep waiting. It don’t happen.
S’pose so Henry slowly admits, slobbering a bit over Sausage’s earflaps. He suddenly stops his slobbering, a painful knot passing between both his own earflaps in the shape of a brand new thought.
Big Knickers ‘enry…I lyk the sound of that he muses to himself Big Knickers ‘enry he tries it on again for size.
Right minty adds Tuffy, shaking his one remaining earflap.
Big Knickers ‘enry it is Henry announces, plodding over to Tuffy who automatically rolls over on his back thrusting all four toes high in the air, submissive, lyk.
Sorry about that earflap Tuffy Henry spits out the bit still stuck between his teeth.
Nah, don’t worry about it mate, I got a spare, init? Tuffy wheedles, peaking up between his raised toes, thanking all the dogs above that the other earflap wasn’t chewed, the one wotz got the streetlegs council tag.
Henry rotates his head, taking in all the fours.
They hold their collective breath, eyeballs wide open.
Royt then and he turns away, slowly plodding into the night, repeating his new name until he’s sure he can remember it big knickers ‘enry…
Scratch watch it all happen from on high. Unblinking and cold-bloodedly waiting their chance to reclaim thems bins ‘round back of Tesco Extra.
Ayaa, now wot? Mayumi asks, suddenly missing her cozy houseden, infested with vegans or not.
Wot now indeed, young lady? steps in Drizzle, stubby tail up and wagging in expectation of a sweet bit of eightleggers action hows now yu and me trot out into some woods?
Yeah, some woods. Me pied-à-terre, lyk, ‘round back of Herdwick pooping park
Dream on mutt-weet, I lyk my boys beeg
I am big says Drizzle, and he is.
I mean really beeg. Lyk in Beeg Knickers ‘en-ree… B.E.E.G.
Wot happens happens adds Sausage for no better reason than to jaw.
Well then Drizzle concludes if fast to the finish quantities is wot yuz afters, and not thems slow dancing qualities – well then, yuz comes to the wrong bins, luv!
Drizzle turns away dismissing the Spitz, earflaps perking up as he remembers his cheese and pepperoni nosh lying beneath his paws.
He’s right, Mayumi sez GitOrrf!
About fast to the fin-eesh, Char-lee?
Nah, about going home. Yu don’t belong out here with this rough sort
I heard that sez Sausage.
Ayaa, no way, no more vee-gans
Then yu better come back with me to the hospice and join the homeless. Coz I gotta plan!
Off they trot. Then stop. Remembering they’re still at Tesco Extra five bins – and proper fourlegs don’t leave no bin behind.
“stopallthatyapping” Revlegs barks from behind the big front door of Saint Michaels.
Op-een up, pleeese sir, op-een up
Oh, pleeese sir, op-een up, op-een up!
“Lord,passeththiscup” and the big front door swings open, emitting sniffy light and heat “Itoldyoubef – Oh,hello!”
Mayumi, doing her cutest Spitz bit, sits on the front door mat. She rolls over and paddles her little paws, all vulnerable-lyk, and sugar-coated in snow.
Oh, pleeese sir she whines in her best hindlegs-love-me voice pleeese!
Revlegs stretches out his handpaws and picks her up.
That same moment GitOrrf! slinks into Saint Michaels, unseen in the shadows.
Hindlegs, pff he shakes earflaps, keeping out of sight and snifz of Revlegs. Soon he’s trotting off to find Halfleg.
“elloCharlie,whereyoubeenthenboy?” Halfleg ruffles his earflaps “anyBullmersOriginalwithyers?” Gitorrf! leaps up onto the bed, stretching out across Halfleg’s half legs.
Saint Michaels is very red purply-sniffy with packhomeless, making Mayumi sneeze into Revlegs’ earflap.
“nonsense,nonsense,nonsense” he softly scritches, carrying her into the main dormitory where a whole load of hindlegs are sitting or sleeping on their beds.
All is going to plan until Revlegs eyeballs Halfleg with GitOrrf! stretched out on his bed, lyk he owns the dog-damn hospice.
“gitorrfcharly,hisHolinessishere” Halfleg shoves him off with his stump. “underthebedmate,beforeheseesyers!”
Gitorrf! hides under the bed, snout buried between paws.
“mrStevens,isthatdogback,again?” Revlegs scritches, disturbing other packhomeless ‘round abouts. They scritch at him before sinking back under covers.
Revlegs reaches Halfleg’s camp bed, a big scowl on his snout.
“no,yerHoliness,heain’t” Halfleg scritches innocently.
Yu got a muvver, Halfleg? Gitorrf! barks in surprise from under the bed.
Oh Char-lee Mayumi adds.
“Iknewit” Revlegs shakes his head. “here,holdthis” dumping Mayumi on Halfleg’s lap “outyoucome” grabbing GitOrrf! before he can squirm any deeper under the bed “andoutyougo!”
Laters, Halfleg GitOrrf! yelps, carried towards the front door laters, Mayumi
See yu, Char-lee
Door opens. GitOrrf! dumped outside. Door shuts.
Okaay then Gitorrf! immediately trots his way ‘round back to the sniffy end of Saint Michaels hospice. Confident he’ll be back on Halfleg’s bed and scratching hairy plumbs in no time at all, lyk.
Halfleg stares at the fluffy little mutt sitting on his lap. Mayumi stares back.
“ello” says Halfleg.
Hello half-leeg replies Mayumi, curling up, warm and comfortable. And she decides in the heres and nows that this new street life – without vee-gans – is gonna be the life for her.
Big Knickers ‘enry steps out of the The Greyhound, leading his hindlegs companions back to their houseden.
“nonsense,nonsense,nonsense” Franks slurs scritchily.
“nonsense, nonsense” scritches Cheryl, clinging onto him as her hindlegs footpaws slip and slide in the snowlick.
The Guinness wot does that the English Mastiff knows. Always the same story. The sniffy brew making both thems hindlegs scritch more nonsense than usual.
Reaching the front door of the houseden, Franks fumbles about in his clothfurs before slapping his handpaw at the door, over and over.
“can’tgetitin” he slurs, making Cheryl giggle.
Bit more handpaw slapping until, finally, there’s a clicking sound and the door swings open.
As the hindlegs stumble about in the hallway, the English Mastiff makes his way directly to Cheryl’s special chair.
The very chair he’s not supposed to sit in, sleep on, or eyeball. By the time Franks and Cheryl appear, hanging onto the doorframe and each other, he’s up there squishing the cushions, with Farty the Hippo, and Squeaky the plastic bell bar that squeaks.
“what’redoingHenry?” Franks scritches, woozy eyeballs all over the place.
Royt then the English Mastiff eyeballs thems with dull intensity gonna be some changes ‘round abouts this houseden! Starting with me new name yuz both gotta remember, Big Knickers ‘enry
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