Friday, 7 March 2008

Ziggy's Story (Part One)

Now, it has to be said that Ziggy is really a bit of a nutter. Maybe that’s a bit harsh but he does have this habit of…..

Hang on a minute though. First, I should tell you about how he came to be here at “Xerika”.

About a year ago, the humes were going off on some trip or other for a couple of weeks and they’d taken Sammy and Rory (my and Poppy’s dads) to be looked after by some hume friends. Our dads really liked going there as these other humes had a dog called Rosy, who was apparently a good laugh and fancied Rory like crazy. Rory felt the same way about her and I’ve heard the humes say he used to write love poems to her. Personally, I think that’s daft and also too soppy for words.

Anyway, the night before the humes set off on their trip -.

ZIGGY: Not writing about me by any chance, are you?

BUSTER: Er, yes, I am as it happens.

ZIGGY: Perhaps it would be appropriate if I took up the story myself at this juncture.

BUSTER: Eh? Oh yes, right. Whatever you say, Zig. It’s your story after all.

ZIGGY: My thoughts precisely, old chap.

Hello, readers. Ziggy here. Now what’s the young ragamuffin been saying? Hmm… Bit of a nutter, eh. I shall return to this point later.

In the meantime, it was the night before the humes set off on their trip and it was absolutely lashing down with rain. How I came to be roaming the hills on my own at that time of night is quite another story but suffice it to say for now, my previous humes had taken me up there a few days earlier and had just left me to fend for myself.

I’d been managing to find bits and pieces of food and wasn’t in too bad a shape. But when the rain started, I knew I had to find somewhere dry to shelter. I’m really not at all keen on getting wet and it looked like a serious storm was on its way. There was a hume-house I’d seen the day before and although I’d been avoiding such places, this was an emergency and I made straight for it as fast as I could.

Now I hadn’t had a lot of luck recently what with being abandoned and so on, but that night the Dogs seemed to be smiling on me. Firstly, the farm gate was open so I didn’t have to mess about trying to find a hole in the fence and getting wetter and muddier in the process. Secondly, there was a nice dry shed with no door next to the hume-house and, thirdly, there was even a basket with a couple of blankets inside it.

I was cold, wet and tired so I quickly got in and settled down for a good sleep.

The next thing I know, I’m aware of some kind of presence - the way you can be sometimes even when you’re fast asleep. As soon as I woke up, I got the scent of another dog and it wasn’t a pleasant scent either. My eyes focused, and I saw this very wet mangey old mongrel standing looking at me from the shed doorway.

“What the bloody hell do you want?” I barked, jumping to my feet.

“I just thought I’d -.”

“Well, you can just think again, hume-breath!”

“Listen, there’s plenty of room in here for both of us.”

“No there isn’t. So just bugger off.”

“Yeah? You gonna make me, shorty?”

I puffed out my chest and did my best snarl, trying to look as mean as I possibly could. He did exactly the same and we stood eyeballing each other for a few moments, snarling and growling, both wondering who was going to lunge first. To be honest, I don’t really do violence and it’s very rare for another dog to be taken in by my pretence at aggressive posturing but on this occasion, and much to my amazement, the other dog suddenly stopped snarling, muttered something I couldn’t make out and promptly disappeared.

I breathed a huge sigh of relief and went to the doorway to make sure the mutt really had gone, edging forward carefully in case this was some kind of trick and he was going to pounce on me when my guard was down. But, sure enough, there was no sign of him and once again I settled back down in the basket feeling a little ashamed that I’d driven off the other dog. He’d been right. There really was more than enough room for both us but I’m always a bit grumpy when I get woken suddenly and -.

Just then, I heard a door opening nearby and an outside light came on. The commotion must have woken the humes. Now I’ll be for it. I lay as low as I could in the basket, trying to make myself invisible, and held my breath. I strained my ears, listening to the sound of footsteps going first one way and then another and then, slowly but surely, coming towards the shed itself….

Oops. Sorry folks, but they’ve just shouted us for supper. I’ll carry on with the story another time.

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