Me: What’s the matter with Dave?
Nell: He thinks if he keeps his eyes tight shut you might not go. You can’t keep doing this you know.
Me: Doing what?
Nell: Leaving with no warning.
Me: I’m just going to visit my sister Charlotte for a few days.
Nell: Well, David thinks you’re never coming back.
Me: I’ll be back on Sunday.
Nell: Leaving me to cope with a giant Labrador with abandonment issues and a homesick alpaca.
Me: Oh dear. I didn’t know Alejandro was homesick. Can’t Gladys comfort him?
Nell: She’s tried everything. Wearing a poncho, curing fish in lime juice, singing that Lady Baba song.
Me: Don’t you mean Lady Gaga?
Nell: Certainly not. Is Gaga a singing sheep too?
Nell: Well then. Anyway, nothing is working. He just keeps weeping. Have you seen an alpaca cry? Malcolm has run out of handkerchiefs.
Me: Do we know any other Ecuadorians?
Nell: No. I think the chihuahuas are Mexican going by their hats.
Me: This might sound odd but maybe he needs clipping.
Nell: An interesting thought. Poppy is feeling so much better since she was clipped.
Me: I noticed he still had his winter coat so he might be feeling a bit hot.
Nell: Yes, and we could make something from the wool.
Me: Yes, a nice blanket to remind him of home.
Nell: I’m not sure a blanket made from my own fur would remind me of home.
Me: Labradors don’t produce wool, Nell.
Nell: Never mind. So all we need now is an alpaca shearer. I’m sure there are lots of those in Devon.
Me: I’m not.
Nell: It was a joke. I wonder if a sheep shearer would do? I’ll ask Jim the Farm Dog. You’d better start packing.
Me: Yes. Sorry.