Eyes wide open with dark pupils glaring into my soul, his mouth remained clamped over his latest hostage. My pleas and persuasion had fallen on deaf ears and now my voice held an angry bite, ready to do battle.
“Put the doll down, Henry,” I growled.
His head cocked to one side, contemplation stealing across his chiselled facade. Sad, pathetic dolly arms flumped as he swung his head to check for attackers from behind. He was safe for now. He only had to face me. But he and I both knew that back-up was on its way. The heavy footfalls of the Hubble were unmistakeable.
“Drop it, now!” My hissing voice reminded me of a stand-off in a spaghetti western. I should have worn my poncho for this!
Big mistake. As my thoughts trailed away, he took the opportunity to run past my outstretched hands and scuttle out of the kitchen door into the garden, said hostage still trapped between his jaws. I screamed and pursued him, darting this way and that as he pranced before me. Slight head turns gave him an advantageous view to predicting my next move. Without much effort he ducked and ran just far enough for me to be within touching distance of his wagging bushy tail.
A deep voice made us both jump.
“Henry! What are you doing?” demanded the Hubble. His hands-on-hips stance used for the naughty sprogs did nothing to deter our little terrorist. With a spring in his paws he pranced past the kitchen door, parading his latest victim with delight.
“Down!” I shouted.
“Drop!” bellowed the Hubble.
A skip and a hop was the terror’s response. His victim slipped slightly and was flicked into the air only to be champed down on again. In my mind I was weighing up the collateral damage. Could we lose this one? Was she a favourite toy? I shook my head. She was one of too many stuffed toy victims that had seen an ugly end thanks to this four legged brute. He had to be stopped. Sally, the sweet patchwork doll had to be saved.
With a new directive in mind, I ran into the kitchen. Ah yes! Leftovers from the day before. Sausages!
I quickly ran out again, my new negotiating tactic in hand.
“Henry, come!” My voice oozed sweetness and trust.
I edged closer to the perpetrator, his piercing gaze fixed on my outstretched hand. His wet nosed quivered. I could see his jaw slacking. This was it. We had a deal. Two tentative steps brought us closer. The air was heavy with suspense – and the smell of sausage.
Drop. The hostage was free. I threw the tasty morsel to the right as I made a dive to rescue Sally. Yuck! She was safe, albeit covered in slimy saliva. Her hands waved in victory as I shoved her up in the air above my head for all to see. The Hubble just shook his head and walked back into the house.
What? No victory parade? No pat on the back in appreciation for rescuing Sally from the little terror?
Loud chewing noises formed the background music to my victory walk indoors where I demanded an explanation from the Hubble.
He frowned. “Don’t you know you never negotiate with terrorists?”
“What do you mean? It was only as treat!”
“Yes, but now you’ve set a precedent.”
Urgh! No appreciation for my efforts. I decided it wasn’t worth the effort to argue my point, so I took Sally to the washing machine for a quick spruce before returning her home to my female sprog’s bedroom.
A scream forced me to abandon my post and run to assist the aforementioned sprog.
“Henry just stole Miss Giggles and he won’t give her back!” Tears and burbles of how much she loved Miss Giggles ensued.
Oh dear. The Hubble gave his dark know-it-all smile. Grr! I hate it when he’s right.