Me: What are those three waiting for?
Nell: Tony and treats.
Me: Surely a visit from Tony is treat enough.
Nell: No dog refuses a treat, unless they are sick, or suspicious.
Nell: Beware of the Beefy bearing gifts.
Nell: I have been known to refuse a stale scone if thrown in anger.
Me: Or a wet mackerel.
Nell: Exactly. David struggles to refuse food, however, even from Beefies.
Me: I know. He’s in the kitchen now with three Beefies and a stack of Malcolm’s pancakes.
Nell: I beg your pardon. Did you say three Beefies are in our kitchen eating pancakes?
Me: Yes. They had an early morning rehearsal with Knitwear Wolf and are about to go for a fitting with The Cat.
Nell: This is outrageous.
Me: You knew they were auditioning to be part of the Sheriff of Nottingham’s Band of Baddies.
Nell: Band of Baddies? You’ll be telling me they sing next.
Me: They do. It’s not very tuneful. In fact it’s a bit screechy but they are putting their all into it.
Nell: I think I need a lie down.
Me: Gull is one of them and you know he is a good Beefy.
Nell: Yes, but what about the other two?
Me: You mean the two in the kitchen?
Nell: Are there others then?
Me: There might be. But there’s only one big one.
Nell: Excuse me?
Me: Rupert says it’s Christmas and a time for giving and forgiving.
Nell: Has he been on the mulled wine? Who is the big Beefy?
Me: Stephen Seagull.
Nell: Our arch enemy?
Me: What you don’t know, Nell, is that Stephen has always dreamt of being on stage. This is literally a dream come true.
Nell: Or my worst nightmare.
Me: Yes. Sorry.