Keeping a safe distance

Me: Why are the twins hiding at the top of the stairs?

Nell: It is called Keeping a Safe Distance and is part of a Labrador’s skills.

Me: What’s happened?

Nell: Poppy can’t find her boots and she is furious.

Me: You mean the long ones?

Nell: Exactly. Her favourites.

Me: My money is on The Cat. You know what a puss is like about boots.

Nell: Good grief.

Me: Do you see what I did there?

Nell: This is no joking matter. Tomorrow is “der Nikolaustag”, or St. Nicholas Day. In Germany, and many other countries, children carefully clean their shoes, or boots and put them outside the door the evening before. If they have been good there will be chocolate and presents inside them in the morning.

Me: And if they’ve been bad?

Nell: There will be coal. David is a little worried about that. This year we have Jonathan and Alice here so we are all joining in.

Me: Wonderful. I hope I get chocolate.

Nell: Yes. Obviously there will be no chocolate for dogs but there will be other treats such as a fresh scone, or flapjack, or even a sausage.

Me: So everyone has been busy cleaning their boots?

Nell: Yes. Except for Poppy as her boots have gone missing.

Me: I think I might know where they are.

Nell: Where?

Me: Gladys walked past me this morning in a pair of long boots. I didn’t think anything of it at the time.

Nell: You didn’t think anything of it? A black Pomeranian in thigh length boots walks past you and you don’t think anything of it?

Me: Well, it is Pantomime season.

Nell: Go and tell Poppy now. We need to find Gladys.

Me: Yes. Sorry.

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