Nell: Have you seen what is going on?
Nell: Seagulls everywhere. Not the usuals. Big beefy ones.
Me: Oh dear.
Nell: Swooping down on innocent people. Stealing food from children. Soiling our streets.
Me: That’s dreadful.
Nell: You haven’t even heard the worst of it.
Nell: They stole Poppy’s scones.
Nell: Oh yes. Freshly baked and still warm from the oven.
Me: What are we going to do?
Nell: Mutley and the Bulldog Boys are determined to go to war.
Me: Will we all be expected to fight, only I’m not really that keen on guns?
Nell: No. I’ve decided that this has all gone too far. I’m taking matters into my own paws.
Nell: I have invited Stephen Seagull to tea here tomorrow. Just the two of us. Mutley doesn’t need to know. He and the Bulldog Boys will be in London so we have the house to ourselves.
Me: How did you contact him?
Nell: Poppy caught a Beefy with her lasso and stuck a note for Mr Seagull in its beak.
Me: I didn’t know she had a lasso.
Nell: Of course, from her days as a cowgirl in Texas.
Nell: She will organise tea. Finger sandwiches, smoked salmon and tuna followed by scones. Harriet will serve them.
Me: What about me?
Nell: You will wait until I give you the signal and will then disturb us.
Me: How exciting? What’s the signal? A whistle?
Nell: Why on earth would I whistle? No, I shall simply sneeze and complain of hay fever.
Me: Nell, there’s a seagull knocking at the door.
Nell: Ah, it’s back already. See if it has a note.
Me: It does.
Nell: Read it to me.
Me: It says: “Thank you for your kind invitation. I would be delighted to accept. Yours in anticipation, Stephen.”
Nell: Stephen, indeed. Ha!
Me: Actually I’m a bit worried about the anticipation part. It sounds like he’s ready to pounce.
Nell: I’m a labrador. Nobody pounces on me. Unless I want them to, of course.
Me: Yes. Sorry.