Me: What are you and Harriet smiling about?
Nell: Chris arrives tomorrow.
Me: Yes. That’s an excellent reason.
Nell: We’ve also been playing Hide and Bark.
Me: I don’t think I’ve ever played that.
Nell: Of course you haven’t. When was the last time you barked?
Me: I can bark if someone really annoys me but I never bite.
Nell: You can’t play, anyway, because it involves Zoomies and you certainly can’t do those.
Me: I’ve never tried.
Nell: Well, don’t. Harriet is the Mistress of the Zoomies. Her tucked in tail and astonishing speed is the talk of Kingsbridge.
Nell: Oh yes. And it’s so surprising in such a quiet Labrador.
Me: How do you play?
Nell: The Initiator gives a warning bark and then performs opening Zoomies around the garden to gather together all the Catchers.
Nell: The Initiator then disappears.
Me: Gosh. By magic?
Nell: No, by hiding behind Kev’s shed.
Me: I see.
Nell: I am always aware of this trick and look behind it but David continues to be thoroughly bemused and spends ages walking around the garden.
Me: What happens then?
Nell: The Initiator zooms out from behind the shed at top speed right around the garden and the shed again and again until caught.
Me: Gosh. How exciting.
Nell: I must say I do enjoy it. Harriet is always the Initiator. David simply doesn’t have it in him and his turning radius is not tight.
Me: It sounds a little too wild for me. I might just chill out with a book in the hammock.
Nell: Certainly not. You have Chris’s room to get ready and Poppy wants to go through next week’s menu. Sunday roast has been delayed until Monday. Hammocks are for much later.
Me: Yes. Sorry.