Me: What’s wrong?
Nell: We received another petition from the smaller animals this morning.
Me: Oh no. What about this time?
Nell: Unnecessary Barging. Poppy was the victim.
Me: Unnecessary Barging?
Nell: Yes. David is very prone to this, of course. Jonathan has been barged on a number of occasions. Unfortunately in this particular case Harriet was the ringleader.
Me: Oh dear. I don’t see Harriet as a natural barger. I know my Big Brave Beautiful Boy can be over keen at times.
Nell: It also took place in an extremely dangerous location which makes matters much worse.
Me: Are you sure? Mightn’t there have been some exaggeration?
Nell: I’m afraid not. There’s photographic evidence. Our Penguin caught it all on camera.
Me: Was Our Penguin filming a new documentary?
Nell: That’s not the point. Poppy was at the top of the stairs when the puppies heard a delivery van and barged past her.
Me: They get awfully excited about deliveries.
Nell: Fortunately you had left a bag of washing at the top of the stairs which cushioned Poppy’s sideways fall.
Me: What can we do about it?
Nell: Both Harriet and David were questioned by the small animals’ representative at Morning Thoughts.
Me: Are we talking about Poppy now?
Nell: No. Gladys. Poppy is Chief Executive but she was involved in the incident so could only be called as a witness.
Me: I see.
Nell: Anyway, the upshot of it all is that both puppies are Extremely Sorry and showed Great Remorse.
Nell: They have promised to try and be more careful in future and to look before leaping.
Me: Maybe the smaller animals should shout ‘Small Animal Passing Through’ in future?
Nell: There is no time to shout when you are being barged.
Me: No. Sorry.