Saturday, 23 July 2011

The Cat Food Crisis ::: Chapter Two

PREVIOUSLY: Click here for chapter one... Jack, Ben and Pip's dinners are not what they should be - cat food! But who could be behind this dastardly deed?

~~~


It was the strangest thing, the town. Full of strange sounds, smells and those big, shiny things that humans used for legs. No place for a country dog. Let alone two.

But Ben and Pip had no choice. If the Great Dane was going to be anywhere, it was here.

They jumped off the pick-up that they had hitched a ride in, and had a look around.

Fifi had been very precise with her instructions. Dane was last spotted at the community centre, heading east to the joke shop on Medley Road. Fifi described him as tall (at least that was obvious), big and black with a white chest and paws. Every dog knew of the Great Dane. He was a bit of a trouble-maker, using his size and strength to make humans to do what he wanted.

“Sounds like a nice guy,” Pip said, as she looked at a car whoosh past. “I can’t see him. We’ll have to ask around.”

She looked to Ben, who had found a discarded shoe and was now chewing on it. He looked up. “Tastes like chicken.”

“Everything tastes like chicken to you. Can we concentrate?”

He was chewing on the shoe again, this time talking as he chewed. “If we want to know what’s going on, we’ll have to blend in. Come and chew this shoe with me.”

Pip sighed. “I don’t see how chewing on a shoe is going to help.”

“That’s what town dogs do. They chew on stuff in the street, I’m sure of it. Unless you know better?”

Pip had to admit; she knew nothing about being in a town, so she bent down and chewed on the shoe with Ben.

***

The Great Dane had watched Ben and Pip arrive. He knew at once that they must have been from the country. Who on earth eats shoes?

***

As the shoe tore into two pieces, a small, white Bichon Frise trotted up. Ben and Pip had never seen such a fashionable-looking dog before. “Hello, I’m Sue.”

Pip spoke up before Ben had a chance. “Hi. I’m Pip, and this is Ben. We’re looking for someone. I don’t suppose you know a dog called the Great Dane?”

“Dane? Oh yeah, I know ‘im. He’s famous around here.” Sue looked puzzled. “What’s the shoe for?”

Ben and Pip looked at each other sheepishly. “Oh, you know, just trying to blend in,” said Ben. “It’s what you town dogs do, isn’t it?”

“No.”

Sue then went on to give the two brown dogs directions to the joke shop, and they went on their way.

***

The joke shop was open at that time of day, just about to close for the evening. Ben and Pip looked at each other as the shop keeper shut the door and locked it. They were stuck for the night. Ben and Pip decided that it would be better if they spilt up. Ben went upstairs to the store, and Pip the shop floor itself.

***

Ben had never been so scared of a shop before. His normal visits to shops were to the pet shop for a new bone or packet of dog food. Chicken, of course. The whole room was dark, with only a few beams of moonlight shining through a window. There was an old cactus plant on the window sill, and a spider’s web in the corner. There were shelves here too, only these ones were full of items in boxes. Ben sniffed around, his Sprollie senses tingling. And that’s when the Great Dane came out of the shadows.

***

Pip had finished searching through the toy section of the shop, and was now walking towards the area with the masks. Tony Blair, John Cleese and even the Queen were on the wall. Pip didn’t like it here. It smelled like Ben’s KONG. And that wasn’t a good thing. Who knows where that thing has been? It was dark, and Pip’s eyes were still adjusting to the darkness. Suddenly, all of the lights in the shop came on. She ducked for cover underneath a pile of comedy masks, this time with the face of Prince Charles. Pip watched as Sue walked into the room and started looking for something.

Pip really hoped it wasn’t her.

***

The Great Dane looked at Ben. The lights came on just fast enough for him not to run away, and from behind him, a small terrier clipped a lead onto Ben’s collar.

“I want to know what you’re doing on my patch,” said Dane. He smirked a little. “You do realise I will pay handsomely for any information you wish to give.”

Ben was defiant. “I’m here to ask you about the delicious tastes in our dog food. A friend of mine said that it tasted like Kitty Nibbles, chicken flavour.”

The smirk on Dane’s face disappeared. “What are you on about?”

“You know full well what I’m on about. I want to have to wake up every morning and have Kitty Nibbles for breakfast!”

“I have no idea what you’re on about.”

“No! He doesn’t!” Ben looked around to see Pip being lead in by Sue. “We’ve been tricked!”

“By who?” Ben asked. Boy, he would love a KONG now.

“Sue. It has to be. She wanted us here so she could catch us.” Pip turned to Sue. “Who do you work for?”

“Miss Snuggly-Squeak Fifi III.”

“That dog!” shouted Dane, “She must have sent you two to catch me. I swear, I haven’t done anything. You need to find Fifi again. She’s even worse than me.”

Ben decided now was as good a time as any to make their escape. “Pip, do you remember all of those times I’ve played tug-or-war with you and Jack?”

“Yes...”

“And do you notice how the villains always put us on short leads?”

“Uh-huh...”

“Then lets
Let’s go catch that dog!”

And with that, Pip and Ben jerked forward, taking their small captors by surprise, so they lost their grip on the leads. The two brown dogs ran as fast as they could out the back door. All of those times playing chaises on the lawn were coming to the fore, and they ran faster than they ever did before. They knew that Dane wouldn’t come after them, just after Fifi.

For one night only, Ben and Pip were the dog catchers.

To be continued...

~~~

WRITTEN BY RUTH ::: EDITED BY JAMES ::: ILLUSTRATED BY RUTH

4 comments:

  1. This is great! You should make it into a real book, can't wait for the next installment!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh dear, this is really interesting!!!

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  3. How exciting, go Ben and Pip!

    ReplyDelete