Rocket went missing the other day. Eventually we found him under the decking of the Pink Tower. No one knows how he got there and he didn't either as he was well and truly stuck. I had to crawl underneath feet first and scope out the gravel so that he could slide under the thick wooden strut that was holding it all up. I can't remember him thanking me.
Rocket going missing has nothing to do with the title of the story I have at last finished. Admittedly the story is based on a very naughty puppy called Stanley Ruff - (just like Rocket,) an imperious cat called Bentley (based on none other than Pocket (quarter Bengal) and a large dog called Mrs Melvyn Andrews - naturally inspired by Pixie. Write what you know about they say. So of course there is also a crow in the story.
Below is one of my writing companions from last year before she flew away.
In the story, Stanley Ruff - the extremely naughty puppy (no surprises there) is stolen and his companions go on a journey to find him. Apart from the adventures they have on the way it's about love, friendship and bravery.Well yes - there's also a mention of hedgehogs.
I told Pixie as she had appeared in the new story as Mrs Melvyn Andrews that she didn't have to give a fact this time if she didn't want to. She said that apart from the fact I'd finished my story she thought listening to Pocket that he had possibly swallowed a fortune cookie that had got stuck in his throat and did Shakespeare write fortune cookies ever?
Instead of a poem this month I am putting up the first chapter of The Missing of Stanley Ruff.
The Missing of Stanley Ruff
Bentley had started going to the pub at an early age.
He’d saunter down the street when he felt like it, often waiting by the door for it to open and would slide in like a regular. Sometimes he’d sit at the bar on a stool and stare at the jar of pickled eggs that gazed back at him like a dozen eyes. Sometimes he’d hoover up the pork scratchings that lay on the carpet but mostly he’d just patrol up and down as if he owned it. Mr and Mrs Half-a-Pint-of-Shandy encouraged his visits by slipping him the odd sausage.
It’s not like he didn’t have his own home. He lived at the big house at the end of the street with the overgrown garden and the creaky gate. Of course he didn’t have an owner as such – after all he was a cat – and nobody ever owned a cat.
When he felt like it he’d obligingly sit on the lap of the woman who lived in the house and allow her to feed him top quality cat food from little expensive pouches . Sometimes – and only sometimes – he’d let her stroke him and would purr to let her know that he was tolerating the touch of her hand.
He was – as you’ve guessed – the master of the house and bossed –again when he felt like it- the servants that shared the space with him.
Considering that one of them was the size of a bear you might wonder how he got away with it. But he had an array of sharp claws like a canteen of knives that he would flash around and a set of little pointed teeth that could puncture an inflatable boat. He also looked like a very small tiger.
The bear - who wasn’t really a bear but a large dog of noble breeding knew her place. Her place was second in the food chain after Bentley.
Bred as a hunter of wolves she showed great restraint in obeying the imperious Bentley. After all there weren’t any wolves around – well certainly not in the garden – and Bentley had made it perfectly clear to her that if she chased him she might lose an eye. She spent a lot of her time watching television channels that Bentley would obligingly change for her by walking across the remote. Her favourites were nature programmes and more recently cookery shows.
So all in all it was a well run and ordered household until the day that Stanley Ruff arrived.
The bear – known as Mrs Melvyn Andrews- had been told of the imminent arrival of a new puppy and was excited. Her old friend of many years had died a few months back and she had become morose and lonely.
“Get over it!” Bentley muttered from the top of the curtains he’d scaled to examine a spider’s web which had a fly trapped in it.
“ You need closure! Move on!”
And he’d shake his stripy head and give her a look of feline disappointment.
“Dogs!” he said. “ Cats are so much smarter than dogs. You’d never catch eight cats pulling a sledge through snow.”
And Mrs Melvyn Andrews would continue her quiet and no trouble whatsoever life in a house which was mainly neat and tidy in spite of the overgrown garden which was a haven for hedgehogs- and all seemed well.
“A new friend!” she’d think to herself. “This will be marvellous. We can cosy up together and play. I can hardly wait.”