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A Twist in the Tail... - Living Between the Lines
Flossie here. I have to say I am feeling a little embarrassed today. I’d really rather not tell you about my latest escapade at all but if I don’t, the Boss will and she is bound to make far more of it than she needs. I suppose I should start with the current state of play, since the days of my cunning plan. For the past few weeks, my freedom has been curtailed. Having blocked up as many holes as she supposed I could escape from, and in between bouts of pulling her hair out, The Boss has ordered new fencing and my outings into the garden have been limited. I am either accompanied by the Boss (give her her due, she is out there in all weathers with her wellies and raincoat) and allowed to have a romp with young Charlie or, should it be dark, taken out on my lead (the indignity of it) to have a wee. This is not so bad as it sounds as the Boss is quite good company. She doesn’t seem to mind if I forget I am on the lead and suddenly lurch off in the direction of a new smell. She seems to follow quite quickly though she does curse a little. The lead is abandoned during daylight hours for some reason. The Boss is under the delusion that she can keep an eye on me and pre-empt any escape attempts. On some occasions, the front gate is closed and we are shooed out there though it is not half as interesting as the back garden. Having seen that I have attempted to squeeze through the main hedge in the front garden more than once, the Boss has had the Boss Man strategically place a couple of heavy pallets to thwart my attempts. This makeshift arrangement has worked for a while without mishap. It has worked too well for my liking. Every time I venture close to the hotchpotch of fencing in the lower garden, she yells at me to stop. I do of course. I am trained you know. However, the other day, I spotted a new hole in the hedge, higher up the garden, and the Boss, evidently not suspecting its existence, was busy elsewhere. Seizing the opportunity, I wriggled through—oh the joy—the freedom—the sudden panic when I heard the Boss yell. I knew I shouldn’t have done it but try as I might I could not quite make myself go back just yet, just have a sniff here, a snuffle there… I returned unscathed some few minutes later through the same hole and the Boss let me in the house with a frosty look. I knew I had done wrong. Charlie of course, goody two shoes as ever, bounced around her ankles and preened under her praise for being a good boy. That dog will get his comeuppance one day, I thought to myself, he will slip up and she’ll see him in his true colours. So, back to the present. I think my misdemeanour in the back garden the other day, influences the Boss’s decision to let me run round the front garden this morning. Charlie, ever ready to join in the fun, grabs his yellow ball and tears ahead of me. The Boss decides not to accompany us. She can see us from her desk and it is a bit chilly. After a while, I think she has actually forgotten about us because otherwise, how am I able to find the time to inspect that pallet arrangement properly? If she was out there, I might never have known that yesterday’s gale force winds have apparently dislodged one. As it is, there is a gap through which I am sure I can squeeze, just give me a few moments to gather my strength. The front hedge is particularly dense, I should explain. Had I known just how dense, I might never have embarked on this mode of escape. As things are, I think I can squeeze between those branches and I know the road is on the other side. Charlie, abandoning his ball, has come to investigate. Thinking to follow me, he begins burrowing further down in the hedgerow and to my chagrin, gets to the other side in record time. I make a concerted effort. My head breaks through a tangle of branches only to encounter more of the same. My body strains against the wood and briar that seem to be pinning it to the spot. This is not so easy as I first supposed. I am about to give up and retreat when I realise — I am stuck. Oh the indignity of it. I wriggle my shoulders. I attempt to shuffle backwards. My efforts are all to no avail. I am well and truly jammed. To make matters worse, I can hear the Boss calling me. At this point, I realise the full scale of my predicament. Not only am I wedged firmly deep inside this prickly hedge, but neither can I be seen. Well, this isn’t so bad, I suppose, who wants to be seen in such an embarrassing situation? I keep quiet and concentrate on wriggling forward again. It is then that the Boss begins staring at the hedge and calling, “Charlie, is that you?” No, of course it isn’t Charlie … old goody two shoes has legged it hasn’t he? I realise I am making a bit of noise with all this scrabbling around. The trouble is, all the boss can apparently see of me is a flash of tail. She soon realises that it does not belong to Charlie of course but when she realises it is little ol’ me encased by all that shrubbery, she doesn’t know whether to laugh or shout at me. Despite her hastily smothered chuckle, I sense she is a little concerned, “What are you doing in there?” she asks. Well, what does she think I am doing? Isn’t it obvious? I hope one of her cohorts won’t saunter down the road in a minute, and bear witness to this travesty. I can see The Boss but she plainly cannot see me very well. She goes round the hedge to the roadside and peers through the branches. There really is not much to see, except a tangle of wood and briar and if she looks very carefully, a rather sorry-looking golden retriever who has by now given up. The Boss mutters something about there being no way I’ll be able to get out on the road side of the hedge. It is far too dense. (Tell me something I don’t know?) She stands back and surveys the problem for a second before marching round to the garden side. I cannot see her now of course. She is at my rear end. She calls me. I suppose that is just in case I am pretending to be stuck. I try to get a foothold so I can push myself backwards but it is no use. I am doomed. I envisage being trapped here forever. Oh, woe is me. The Boss has other ideas. She pulls back a couple of the thickest and thorniest branches so that I can at least twist round a bit. She frees my head and shoulders. However, even half turned round I am still trapped. This hedge is a jail. The thick wooden stems are its bars. The Boss assesses the situation for a short while before she grabs the nearest branches and tugs them back a little. With a satisfying crack, the one that was caught round my leg is gone. That’s all I need. As The Boss huffs and puffs and encourages me, I take a deep breath and manage to turn all the way round. She is almost in the hedge herself now. I push myself over the final hurdle. Only the pallet stands in my way now. With an almighty effort, the Boss wrenches it aside and I hurl myself out of the abyss and into daylight. Thank you Boss! I am overcome with emotion. The Boss is laughing until she sees the little yellow ball on the driveway. Where is Charlie? It makes a change for Charlie to be the one who is missing. I trot into the house and begin cleaning the brambles from my coat. The Boss spends the next half an hour, hunting for Charlie, no longer a goody two shoes. He comes home eventually of course. What a twist in the tail indeed! Related