It Was A Dark And Stormy Night
I had been hard at work all day, curled up on my bed , watching over Tiggy and making sure she kept her nose to the grindstone. Now I needed to stretch my legs.
We checked the weather. Not good.
“We need waterproofs,” Tiggy said. I watched her put on extra layers. “Now we’re ready for anything,” she told me. I was ready anyway, even without the layers.
Human eyes aren’t up to much in the dark, so Tiggy used a torch to show her the path. I don’t need light to see at night, so I went ahead to check for lumps and bumps.
Wind was playing with the trees and making strange noises, so I ran round of the garden to check for intruders. You never know who you might find out at night; badgers, deer, foxes – they all come out in the velvety blackness. I like to remind them that I live here too.
“Hoover! This way!” I heard Tiggy calling from the gate. With Jay away I was on guardian duty and hurried to join her. I spotted something she had left out last time we were gardening.
The rain came down like stair rods. “Here, Hoover, come and shelter under this tree,” suggested Tiggy. Light shone out from the window of the house across the lane. Everything dripped, even me. I sat close and caught the scent of something interesting.
No biscuits came out of those pockets, despite me being friendly. I have been training Tiggy, but she’s a slow learner. I got bored. Then I heard a scuffle in the hedge. Someone was rumbling about. I went to check.
“You’re right, Hoover,” agreed Tiggy. “We’re wet already. We might as well carry on.” On either side of the road new wet rivers of rain gurgled by, looking for a stream to join. I didn’t want to be washed away, so I walked down the middle of the road. Tiggy kept close.
At the bus stop Tiggy went inside to check the books in the Book Swap. I stayed outside. There was a new supply of tasty drinking water, by the verge. Lovely muddy flavour with a hint of dropped sweet!
When I finished my drink Tiggy came out. I took her over to the village green so that I could leave a message for other dogs who might pass by. Tiggy examined some pebbles while I was busy. “Hurry up, Hoover,” she muttered, and then scooped my message into a bag and put it in the bin.
“Hang on a minute, Hoover,” Tiggy called. “There’s something funny going on in my boot.” She hopped about on one foot while she tried to catch her sock, which wanted a swim in the rain. I decided to join the dance.
“That’s better,” Tiggy told me once she had sorted out her feet and picked up the torch. Too right! I had just picked up an interesting trail where someone had crossed the lane.
Suddenly I caught sight of the smell’s owner; a fluffy white tail, bobbing in the darkness. ‘Hello! it’s me,’ I yipped happily. ‘I can join you!’ I called. But the rabbit was strangely shy and didn’t want to play.
Then I heard the grumbling sound of an engine. I hurried back to look after Tiggy as the bright lights came closer. Whoosh! Water everywhere. Tiggy did another strange dance, her torch startling a hungry bat above us who was looking for bugs foolish enough to be out in the rain.
Once we had shaken ourselves to get rid of the worst of thesplash Tiggy took the boot off her other foot. While she hunted for her sock in its depths, I dried her toes. “Argh! Hoover!” she exclaimed, not as grateful as I had expected.
At the post box we stopped to check for letters. I wondered if maybe someone had left a biscuit inside it for me. I could definitely smell something edible somewhere. “Oops!” exclaimed Tiggy. “The shopping is still in the car.” Maybe that ‘s where the good smells were coming from.
I checked out the bags as we walked back towards the house. They were full of yummy smells. “Ge’ or ‘ose ow o’ air.” said Tiggy. But I didn’t understand her. The torch in her mouth shone sideways so I had to nudge her round a bump to stop her tripping.
There was my ball! I brought it back to show Tiggy. Maybe she would like to throw it for me? Who cares if it’s a bit wet? I don’t.
Inside the house Shadow was sitting by her milk bowl, polishing her paws and preparing for a busy night. “Hoover’s not the only hungry one here!” laughed Tiggy as she took off her coat.
First things first, I thought. Tiggy found my towel. I gave her my paws for drying. Then she rubbed my face. Shadow rubbed against my legs. I prefer being dry.
“What a good dog!” said Tiggy, handing me a treat. All that training is beginning to pay off – she remembered what she was supposed to do. Better late than never.
“Night, night Hoover. And you, Shadow. I’m off to my bed, too.” Tiggy closed the door and I heard her footsteps fade away.
But she had left her hat on the peg, where it dripped the last few drops of water onto the floor. She wasn’t far away, and tomorrow there’d be another walk together.