Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Dogs Delight 15 Takeaway


   I also try to avoid the hearty and matronly trio who play long games at the tennis club in season and any other sports they can find for miles around, pedalling with sturdy legs between venue and village.  There is a constant danger that they will appear around any bend, escapees from a Beryl Cook canvas, and dismount to vigorously massage Bailey and vigorously quiz me.  I have no idea why they ask so many questions because I can tell they are not really interested in my replies.  I expect it is social conditioning.
Two days after visiting the showroom I abandon the fields for the relative peace of Laxley and happen to see the vicar entering the off-licence, wearing his new panama.  He very rarely strolls around the village, for which I cannot blame him.  After all, he has a choice of five parishes to honour with a visitation.  He is the Reverend Newsome and he is exceptionally tall and bony, like a memento mori; but when he speaks and writes he is sadly prosaic and, like most clergy, not at all spiritual.  I did not like to accost him as I had Bailey with me, gasping and pulling hard on a stout lead. 

I was taking him to see the vet because after drinking in the Lone Gelding the night before he stole some chicken carcasses from the teeming bins in the inn yard and swallowed some of the bones.  Richard called it a ‘takeaway.’  

The vet, who lives with seven Alsatians, dislikes human beings.  He intimidates me almost as much as Saracen, so that when I am in the waiting room I have to breathe slowly and hug my knees and tell myself that his bitter sarcasm is just the corollary of his devotion to animals.  I suppose it is lucky that he does not direct his contempt at dogs.  He is especially scathing today, because of the chicken bones.
We have run out of dog biscuits so we return via the crossroads, where there is a convenience store run by the Chatterjees.  They are a silent couple, said to be running the shop down, and the goods are arranged sparsely along mainly empty shelves; but there is a lone box of Bailey’s favourites left with a very noble Labrador on the front.  Mr Chatterjee lumbers out of the back room when the shop bell rings and sadly takes my money.  He tells me they are hoping to move out before winter because they find the village depressing.

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