Βία awakes to the tap-tap-tap of Freddy’s stick against her cage. The stick continues past, tap-tap-tapping towards Scroggy’s and stops.
“roytthen” Freddy open the cage door “out!”
Scroggy pushes himself right into the back of the cage, trembling not the take-away, oh please no sir, not the take away!
Stay strong Scroggy Βία tries comforting the Redbone Coonhound who refuses to budge from his corner spot.
They says being chopped’n’diced is quicker than being boiled wholes observes Thunder, helpfully.
None o’ that writhing in agony, lyk adds another, equally helpful.
Shut it yu fruitless muttwits warns Βία sure as sure, they’ll be humane about it
Diced, boiled, fried or sautéed, same difference, init? ponders Thunder
Oh, no, no, no squeals Scroggy, trembling all overs anything but the Chinese!
“shutyeryapping,loadofyers” roars Freddy “royt,that’sit” and he fills the cage with his red-sniffy malevolence, grabbing Scroggy by the scruff and yanking him out the cage. “allthatracket,anyone’llthinkyergoingtothebutchers!”
THE BUTCHERS! all the fours exclaim, including Scroggy.
As Scroggy is dragged from the barn never to be seen again the fourlegs are left pondering the fate of one of their very owns.
He’s not going to the butchers states Βία that’s Freddy barking rhetorical, know wot I’m sayin’?
A pause throughout barn as all the fours imagine Scroggy’s rhetorical butchering.
Nah Thunder disagrees after a few moments scratching going to the Chinese, init? Dead cert, init?
Grunts of approval greet this. No one’s gonna contradict Thunder – wot with him being a bigger bone-headed wrencher than most and who don’t take contradictions lightly – wotz more, a bigger bone-headed wrencher who definitely knows wot he’s barking about.
Any o’ yuz muttwits got the takeaway number? he asks ‘round abouts the cages.
Nah, but yu can order online a voice replies.
Βία is up to her six teets in this muttwit madhouse. Soon as that cage door opens she ain’t gonna go to the Chinese take-away nor any other dog-damned take-away.
She’s gonna race right out the barn and keep on racing.
The depressing sounds of barking hindlegs and protesting fourlegs reaches Duncan well before he turns the corner of Nelson Avenue into Westley Piddle High Street. Snout twitching at the sight of two muttwits trotting fast down the middle of the street upsetting growling roundlegs in both directions. They skid to a stop in front of him, one with a sausage roll in its jaws.
I wanna lodge a serious complaint, officer pants ThreeLegs a completely unwarranted attack by vicious hindlegs.
Wishous, wery wishous nods Drizzle, chewing sausage roll.
Disturbing the peace? states Duncan.
Totally nods ThreeLegs.
Also, under the influence of sausage rolls? adds Duncan.
Pork, actuwally munches Drizzle.
And, upsetting hindlegs all overs the place? concludes Duncan.
Absolu – wot? ThreeLegs stops, staring at Duncan in shock. Drizzle staring at ThreeLegs, still chewing sausage roll.
Nah mate, nah, nah ThreeLegs raises his front paw to protest and almost falls flat on his snout.
Thought I told yu to wait me outside? Duncan bumps snoutz with ThreeLegs, furry toe to furry toe
Erh? ThreeLegs tries his best to look all innocent.
Coz I was gonna bring yu some brekkers, lyk wot I said
Aw, more brekkers? Drizzle blurts out the sausage roll wot, with yuz, right nows?
Duncan ignores Drizzle, continuing to bump snoutz with ThreeLegs.
Must’ve misheard yu Duncan, matey ThreeLegs minces, doing his little triangular dance but – but I’m here nows!
True. He’s here nows exclaims Drizzle, sensing that another brekkers is close at paw.
“comeonDuncan,saygoodbyetoyourmates,wegotcommunitypolicingtodo” PC Andersen strains at his chain.
Duncan holds him fast.
Hold on a tic Duncan barks back I ain’t finished with this muttwit yet. He then proceeds to berate ThreeLegs that the Thames Valley Town of Westley Piddle, although unassuming, is in actual fact, a civilized sort of place, stuffed full of fourlegs, furrylegs, longlegs and other assorted meat-legs, including hindlegs. Hindlegs being the least civilized, corss.
Drizzle nods approvingly, considering himself described thus as a civilized fourlegs wot lives in this big houseden called Westley Piddle. He drops a little squirt to underline said approval, accidentally soaking his half-chewed sausage roll.
..wot I’m barking about continues Duncan, thumping snout to snout is yor sort ain’t welcome ‘round here
Dog-damn straight! Drizzle nods his head in complete agreement, earflaps slapping him in the eyes.
So pack yor bags and hop it back to Freddy’s Farm before I slap yu up with some, umm, sausage roll theft
ThreeLegs sits down, at a loss. At a total pitiful loss.
But Freddy don’t wants me. He’s got that pernishosh bitch Bee-yah nows. Wotz he wants with an old three legs lyk me he licks at his stump oh…Oh he begins to whimper wotz been cruelly de-fener-strated! Oh
Freddy don’t wants him, it’s the dogs honest truth Drizzle summarises, eyeballs roving all over for that promised brekkers.
Duncan licks a thick tongue over his long canines in a big smiley snarl. ThreeLegs sits on his haunches, morose.
What’s Freddy gonna do without yuz, erh? Duncan persists, tilting his head sideways, one earflap hanging who else do yu think’s gonna control all thems stolen doggies–
Guests whispers ThreeLegs, swallowing his grief.
Stolen doggies Duncan repeats in all thems cages for that red-sniffy hindlegs?
Bee-yah? suggests Drizzle, always helpful that’s who
Nah. Yu mate. Yu! Checkers Duncan bangs his snout on ThreeLegs head.
Me? asks Threelegs, astounded at this truth. Coz truth it must be if the law sez so.
The very same. Yu!
Could that be true? Corss that could be true.
Yes, oh dearest bowl mate, me. Me, wotz called Threelegs. Me, wotz always and forever Freddy’s right hand four!
That’s right nods Duncan somberly so wot yu waiting for? Jog on then
And all of a sudden Threelegs is off his butt and lurching up High Street and out of town in the general direction of Freddy’s Farm. As fast as his three legs can lurch him.
Drizzle turns to Duncan obviously, that muttwit don’t want his brekkers stepping forward eagerly, treading on the sausage roll so I’ll have it
Listen up the load of yuz repeats Βία for the third time I’ve got that flakey three-legged muttwit off yor haunches, ain’t I?
Off to the Chinese agrees Thunder.
Nah, even the Chinese won’t take-away that mammal interrupts a second muttwit maybe the Turkish, they ain’t so particulars, or even the Indian–
Or the KFC! interrupts a third muttwit
Don’t be a pillock, ThreeLegs ain’t a chicken snorts Thunder.
True, coz chickens don’t have three legs replies a fourth muttwit umm, do they?
They got wings wotz sorta lyk legs, yu know, without toes, yu know adds a fifth.
Before all the great minds can further debate chickens, legs, and numbers ad nauseum,Βία steers thems back to the heres and nows forget it with thems chickens!
She sticks her long pointy nose through the cage bars for emphasis wot I’m saying is that without his matriculations who knows how many muttwits are here, d’yu know wot I’m sayin’?
Nah sez a muttwit.
Shut it growls Thunder, then to Βία wot d’yu mean?
Wot I mean is, Threelegs ain’t here to count us. So we can escape and who’s gonna know the difference!
Yor barking numericals yaps a second muttwit.
Coz no one can count as good as ThreeLegs, init? agrees a third muttwit
I miss ThreeLegs whines a fourth muttwit wot counts me on his third toe, lyk
Shut it and let her finish barkin’ growls Thunder again.
Coz wot I’m saying is she continues we can all escape and no one’s the wiser, coz no one’s doing a proper count! Βία is very impressed with her own plan.
Yeah, that’ll work Thunder squints his eyeballs together in deep thinkings.
Really? all the fours bark in wonder coz if Thunder thinks it’s a great plan then wotz to say it ain’t?
‘scuse me points out some sixth muttwit no countings a great plan, but, wot about the technicals he bangs a furry snout against his cage door of escaping, lyk, yu know wot I’m sayin’?
Aw, shut it growls Thunder a third time it’s a sic plan, wot more d’yuz right muttwits want?
“what’sallthisbloodyracket,then?” Freddy wobbles through the barn door, his sniffy-red ferocity silencing all the fours. Terry, the orange-sniffy hindlegs, meekly following behind him.
“gottit,boss” the orange-sniffy hindlegs opens Βία’s cage and hauls her out.
See yuz ‘round fellas – not! Βία shouts to the others as she is lead away.
Well, butt lick me gently with a big stick Thunder exclaims admiringly the plan works!
Are we going racing now? Βία barks, overwhelmed by the sniffy wide open outdoors.
Terry is pulling her towards the growling roundlegs.
I need my high protein feed Βία lets off at the orange-sniffy hindlegs for my muscles before I race
“it’salrightdarling” scritches Terry soothingly, hand paw tight on her collar “Freddygonnamakesomegoodcashonyou”
As it happens, orange-sniffing Terry – sniffing orange coz of all the alcohol he boozes – releases her collar for the split second it requires both handpaws to open the back door of the roundlegs. Thing is, Βία is used to split seconds. Tenths of a second. Hundredths of a second, in fact. And in that split second – fast for a simple hindlegs but oozingly slow for her – she shifts weight onto back legs, twisting body in coiled energy, and launches herself away from Terry’s preoccupied handpaws.
And she’s off.
“effsakes!” Terry scritches.
Βία, the racing greyhound, named after the goddess of force and raw energy, Βία the goddess of winning, trots flat out. Right past Freddy and Terry, wobbling abouts and flapping handpaws. Right out Freddy’s Farm gate and into the road.
And because she is Βία she races to win, to her freedom. Because running is all she knows.
And who knows how many squirts later another fourlegs comes hobbling the opposite way through the gate of Freddy’s Farm. Drawn back by the heady orange-sniff of boiling chicken livers. Wotz his most favorite nosh in the whole world.
Hmmm, me favorite nosh in the whole world!
He hobbles right up to the door of Freddy houseden and bangs it hard with his solid, lumpy snout. And he bangs it again.
The door opens and Freddy is standing there looking down at him all red-sniffy and blazing eyeballs.
“whereyoubeenCheckers,yeruselessmutt?” giving the Johnston Bull Terrier a right solid kicking up his big butt as he trots inside.
I’m home! ThreeLegs contentedly follows his snout straight to his bowl.
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