And lots of things start happening all of a sudden, lyk.
A male hindlegs is standing there with a hindlegs pup, Shepherdman sticking out his snout between their legs.
“Oi!” scritches the male in the doorway.
“nonsense, nonsense” scritches the boy.
Snifz yu barks Shepherdman.
“Itoldyou,getoutofit” scritches the sharp-sniffy hindlegs raising both handpaws.
Yu gotta escape, mate, or Freddy’s gonna get y–arhh! Giblets gets wacked by a stick on his butt. Without further ado he turns on his stub and scrabbles back down the hallway, jumps over the bucket holding the fire door open, clickity-clicks up the stairs and – bangs his snout against the closed fire door on his floor. Wot is shut, being a proper working fire door.
Were open, beforenows
The complete muttwit!
Earflaps pick up a lot of scritching from downstairs, bucket being scrapped over floor, fire door closing with a bang. Turning his head, he snifz his butt, wotz stinking all sharp-sniffy where the stick wacked him.
He sits and waits patiently for AndyLegs to wake up from his snooze, figure it out, and come get him.
“thereyouare,yerdaftbugga” the fire door opens and out trots Giblets, not aware in the least how long he’s been behind it, waiting. Time being a sniffless thing wot fourlegs don’t appreciate or care about much.
“fromnowon,youronthelead” scritches AndyLegs, kicking him out onto the balcony, retractable lead duly attached to his harness.
Shepherdman sits on his haunches, chewing on a bit of toast and baked beans.
Not sure about the toast, but thems bake beans work!
Aaron and his dad are standing above him and eyeballing him with a snifz that is distinctly worrisome.
“nonsense,nonsense,Freddy’sFarm,nonsense” dad scritches.
Aaron starts tearlicking it with such a distressed snifz that Shepherdman stops enjoying the baked beans.
Wotz the matter, Aaron? he yaps.
“nonsense,nonsense,Freddy’sFarm,nonsense,today” dad scritches again and Aaron is nodding his head in a kind of deflated way. Shepherdman knows this coz his snifz turns into another kind of purply-red deflated and nervous snifz.
Don’t fret, Aaron, I’m here for yu – always and because he – all of a sudden – loves his hindlegs packfamily and feels protective over thems he begins understanding all the scritching going on. Funnily enough.
“notworking,isit,son?” dad scritches a bit more softly.
Got no pains in my butt, honest
“no,corrsnot,he’stooyoung” dad puts his handpaws ‘round Aaron pulling them together “butdon’tworry,IknowFreddy,he’lltakehim”
“okaydad” and Aaron’s sniffy colour brightens a bit towards yellow happiness “Freddysoundsgood”
“yeah,he’snice – him,andCheckers,histhreelegsdog”
“andItellyouwhat” dad continues “we’llgoget – ZboxOne,instead,howsthat?”
“really?” Aaron is now sniffing a very bright yellow.
Oi, Treacle, yu blind tit
Snifz yu Giblets, yu butt-lickin’ waster
Giblets leaps at the railings, paws failing to catch hold thanks to the short lead.
Oi, AndyLegs, givvus some slack, mate, can’t get me snout over
AndyLegs wobbles onto the balcony and his handpaw clicks something, allowing the extendable lead to extend out all eight meters if it wants.
Giblets sticks his snout over the railings and eyeballs Treacle, wotz trotting along, leading Sixlegs at the only pace they know – slow to backwards.
Know yor blind and all that, but I needs yor help
Him behind wotz blind, init Treacle barks cocking his head at Sixlegs and tired of the same old story.
“lookhere,Treacle,stopthatyapping” scritches Sixlegs.
Yeah, right, but – anyways, I need y–
Thought I woz blind, remember? Yu butt-lickin’ waster
Ha, ha, waster is wot yu is barks Giblets, help forgotten, suddenly all hot under the collar and – and, a butt-licker is wot yu is
Nah, mate, I gotta proper job. Service fourlegs is wot I is. Being a butt-lickin’ worker is wot it is. As defined in the language of the technicals. Not a domestic butt-lickin’ mutt lyk wo–
With that over, Treacle plods on down the street towing Sixlegs fast as a glacier towards the number two pub. Giblets shuts up. Truth quietly be known, he quite enjoys licking butt, anyone’s butt – especially his own.
Oi, thick paws!
Giblets stretches his earflaps over the railing need yor help with a plan
Can yu nosh it sez Tuffy, stopping in his perambulations, suddenly interested.
Corrs. The plan is… and with a lot of barking and slobbering and hopping ‘round abouts on his back toes, Giblets instructs the streetlegs in all the complications of wot he needs him to do. That being: to hang ‘round the apartments, all innocent lyk, awaiting the signal; the signal being Shepherdman appearing with his hindlegs companion; then, to top it the aggressive muttwit and scare the hindlegs right off; then, to grab Shepherdman by the scruff; oh, and then to trot off with Shepherdman, hell for leather, lyk he’s never trotted before – lyk.
Tuffy eyeballs his mate up on the balcony. Takes a languid squirtz on a lamppost nearby and contemplates the plan. After wot seems lyk an awful lot of contemplations he finally nods his earflaps.
Okay. But not so sure about that second bit
Wot bit’s that then?
That second bit, wotz after ‘the plan is…’
As it happens, there’s not a lot of time to refine the plan coz growling down the road is that growling roundlegs from Freddy’s Farm. It stops outside the apartment block and don’t do nothing ‘cept growl to itself. Inside it Freddy is scritching into his handpaw. There’s a bit of thumping from the back of the roundlegs. All of a sudden, ThreeLegs is eyeballing Tuffy from out the backdoor windows.
Oh-uh! Tuffy scarpers away, hiding behind the lamppost which is only wide enough to cover his one ear – the only one that’s left, that is.
Hello, matey! ThreeLegs greets him with a muffled bark wot a nice surprise
Giblets strains even further over the balcony, all big eyeballs, ribcage outlined against his flanks with the effort.
Get ready – and stick to the plan! he barks at Tuffy.
The plan, right Tuffy looks lyk he’s eaten something wot don’t agree with him.
Doors to the apartment block opens and out wobbles Aaron with his dad, carrying Shepherdman. Out of the roundlegs wobbles Freddy – wotz a right big blue purply-sniffing wrencher.
“ello,misterDonovan” he scritches, opening the back doors and letting out ThreeLegs.
ThreeLegs lurches straight up to Tuffy snifz yu, Tuffy, me old shaft mate – don’t be shy as Tuffy does his best to squeeze himself behind the lamppost.
And wotever’s the excuse for that nibblet of intellectuals under yor one earflap growls ThreeLegs softly, standing three-square on his three pins don’t let it do anything stupid. Alright?
Me? Stupid? Tuffy’s definitely swallowed something that don’t agree with him.
Don’t do it barks Giblets hopping about above thems don’t do it!
“hereheis,then” Aaron’s dad handpaws over the German Shepherd puppy to Freddy “you’lltakecareofhim,right?”
“corrswewill,MisterDonovan” blue purply-sniffing handpaws closing ‘round Shepherdman. “he’ssafewithus,initCheckers?”
Oh it is, my luvlies, it really is ThreeLegs in a deep and gurgling hiss, whose real name is Checkers but that’s another matter.
Wotz happening, Aaron? Shepherdman bleats, eyeballs straining wildly to catch Aaron, trembling all over. But Aaron’s not looking at him, all very yellow green-sniffy downcast, and wot could even be interpreted as sniffing guilty of sorts.
No! barks Giblets from up on high nows Tuffy
Nows? gulps Tuffy.
Don’t do anything un-sensible ThreeLegs vibrates in a low growl hard eyeballing the streetlegs.
Yes, nows, yer scabrush muttwit Giblets is beside himself NOWS!
“there’sanicecage,intheback” scritches Freddy, baring all his stinky teeth “comeon,littlefella”
Real nice cage agrees ThreeLegs, pinning Tuffy to the spot with his eyeballs very comfortable, lyk
Freddy starts carrying the puppy towards the open door at the back of the roundlegs.
Nooooo! and Giblets does the only thing wot any sensible fourlegs would do in the moment to save a mate – he leaps over the balcony.
Giblets, yor flying! yelps Tuffy. ThreeLegs spins ‘round, a chopper full of fangs bared for unexpected trouble.
And Giblets is trouble.
In his excitement to save Shepherdman the big Brindle Boxer leaps cleanly over the balcony and plummets towards Freddy – and the pavement. All eight meters of retractable lead zipping out fast.
Weeee! barks Giblets, earflaps flapping upwards.
Whaaa’? yelps ThreeLegs not knowing wot ways to turn or lurch.
“arhh” scritches Freddy, wobbling out the way of a dog crushing calamity and dropping Shepherdman in the process.
Tuffy seizes the moment. Racing out from behind the lamppost, he makes straight for Shepherdman, grabs him by the scruff in his strong chops and scarpers down Drakefield Road. Right to the ends of it, past Polskie Delikatesy, The Greyhound pub, and the vape shop, and disappears.
“Oi,whatthefff–Giblets!“ the loud panicky scritching of AndyLegs above, grabbing hold of the retractable lead, Giblets dangling from the end of it, swinging ‘round and ‘round.
The fall – more of a bungee jump – leaves Giblets hanging a fourlegs’ height from the pavement. Paws paddling thin air he watches as the whole world spin ‘round abouts him.
“Igotcha,mate” AndyLegs starts reeling him up in jerky stops and starts.
“Checkers!” scritches a visibly shaken Freddy “getafterthatmoney-erh,thatpuppy”
But all ThreeLegs can do is eyeball Giblets being winched safely aboard.
Butt-lick me gently with a big stick he mutters, shocked and awed.
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