Me: Look at Dave. He’s wearing your old boy’s collar.
Nell: Yes. It is a family heirloom and he has behaved well enough on the lead to wear it.
Me: What a Big Brave Beautiful Boy.
Nell: He has demonstrated Caring Ways and Loving Loyalty.
Me: Has Mutley recovered from yesterday?
Nell: He is having a lie-in. Malcolm said Alejandro is refusing to leave his hammock and Gladys is wearing dark glasses.
Me: Knitwear Wolf seemed quite chirpy when he delivered the papers.
Nell: Rupert is excessively optimistic. He actually suggested a breakfast meeting with The Cat to discuss the autumn line.
Me: The Cat doesn’t do breakfast.
Nell: I know. It’s rarely seen before ten and then only in a sequinned kimono with a cup of strong coffee.
Me: Any sign of the good Beefy?
Nell: There was a flyer attached to a mackerel this morning. Fresh from the sea on a bed of sea salt so perfectly usable.
Me: What did it say?
Nell: The usual. ‘Don’t judge a Beefy by its feathers’ but as far as I am concerned a Beefy cannot change its beak. If you know what I mean?
Me: Not really. Talking of feathers I saw a really unusual Beefy with black wings yesterday.
Nell: A black winged Beefy?
Nell: Oh dear. Did it have a black back too?
Me: A black backed black winged Beefy?
Me: I think it did. Why?
Nell: Because a black backed black winged Beefy means trouble.
Me: Is there any way of shortening its name, Nell? Only this could take all day.
Nell: Don’t mock. Was there only one?
Nell: Did you bow?
Me: Of course not.
Nell: Very worrying. Always bow. They are worse than magpies.
Me: Oh dear. Sorry.