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You can do this

Nell: Stop pacing around. Your interview with BBC Radio Devon isn’t until 11:10am.

Me: I’m not sure I can do this, Nell.

Nell: Of course you can.

Me: What if I say something stupid?

Nell: It won’t be the first time, or the last.

Me: That’s a bit harsh.

Nell: We all make mistakes.

Me: Even you?

Nell: My mistakes are few and far between but they still happen. Occasionally. Why are you wearing your best dress? It’s a radio interview.

Me: It gives me confidence.

Nell: Well, comfortable is important too, so slippers are fine. Have you eaten your breakfast? I know Poppy prepared something tasty for you.

Me: I just had a banana. I couldn’t face anything cooked.

Nell: Now that’s rather odd because I saw David carrying a tray with scrambled eggs on toast upstairs a while ago.

Me: My darling Big Brave Beautiful Boy. He probably ate it by mistake. It’s the thought that counts.

Nell: No, it isn’t. If someone is hungry and you’ve eaten their breakfast your good intentions won’t mean anything to them at all.

Me: Well, I’m not hungry anyway.

Nell: I suppose two breakfasts won’t harm him. He has a big day today, too.

Me: Why?

Nell: Didn’t you hear? Walter brought back a note from Stephen Seagull to say he would be calling on David this afternoon.

Me: Gosh.

Nell: Benjamin is in quite a state. He’s changed tank tops twice and it’s not even 9am.

Me: Is he going to the meeting then?

Nell: Of course he is. It’s a mediation between Benjamin and Stephen.

Me: I’m afraid Benjamin is going to lose.

Nell: Not necessarily. Don’t count your biscuits until you’ve seen the bowl. Now just try and relax. It will all be fine.

Me: Yes. Sorry.

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Waiting for Walter

Me: Dave is outside staring at the sky.

Nell: I know.

Me: Yes, but Walter isn’t even there so he can’t be playing Cheeky Animals.

Nell: He isn’t.

Me: You never just tell me, do you? I always have to ask.

Nell: It might be confidential. I’m not like the cows you know. I don’t gossip.

Me: So why is Dave gazing at the sky?

Nell: He’s waiting for news.

Me: Now you’re being really annoying. It could be news about anything.

Nell: Yes, I suppose it could.

Me: News about what?

Nell: The intervention. Benjamin Beefy cannot continue in his present role.

Me: As a travelling salesbird?

Nell: As a Beefy. He needs to become Benjamin Seagull.

Me: I completely agree. If the product was a bit nicer he might have continued but Gull No. 5 smells awful.

Nell: That is not the point. Benjamin is not cut out to be a member of an evil gang. He’s too nice.

Me: Yes, he is. Honestly, when he and Malcolm are together they could be twins. All those ‘Excuse me’s’ and ‘Would you mind’s?’

Nell: Malcolm is a flamingo.

Me: I didn’t mean identical twins.

Nell: Never mind. Anyway, David has taken on the role of Mediator. As the Daily Growl’s new agony uncle he is well placed to give advice.

Me: My darling Big Brave Beautiful Boy.

Nell: Walter has kindly agreed to deliver a message to Stephen Seagull asking for a meeting.

Me: A meeting here?

Nell: No. In David’s consulting room.

Me: You mean Kev’s garage.

Nell: Don’t split bears. You know exactly what I mean.

Me: Don’t you mean split hairs?

Nell: Certainly not. What on earth have hares got to do with it? Everyone knows bears like to stay in twos.

Me: I didn’t. Sorry.

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Thinking Big

Me: I can’t believe Poppy won the sock game. Dave is about five times her size.

Nell: Poppy is extraordinarily strong and extremely determined.

Me: You’re right there.

Nell: Although it’s actually all about Attitude.

Me: Attitude?

Nell: Yes. Poppy Thinks Big.

Me: I know she does.

Nell: Do you remember when that Dachshund from Dartmouth was courting her?

Me: Not really.

Nell: Well, she was having none of it. ‘Derek’s a nice enough Dachshund,’ she said. ‘But I have my eyes on that Doberman.’

Me: John the Doberman?

Nell: Exactly. The next thing we knew John was outside the house with a bunch of flowers.

Me: That’s Poppy for you.

Nell: It is. She sees something and she goes out and gets it.

Me: Yes, she certainly does.

Nell: Nobody argues with Poppy.

Me: To be fair, Nell, she does have a sword.

Nell: Yes, but she rarely has to use it.

Me: I’m surprised she lent it to Knitwear Wolf for the Pirate Wars.

Nell: Yes, well Rupert is another force of nature. But in a completely different way.

Me: What do you mean?

Nell: He’s quietly charismatic.

Me: He’s such an admirable wolf.

Nell: Yes. He’s someone you wouldn’t want to disappoint.

Me: Like a noble king.

Nell: In a way. People definitely listen to him.

Me: Talking of listening I enjoyed Laberace’s performance yesterday.

Nell: His playing was excellent but did we need that candelabra?

Me: It set the mood.

Nell: Poppy has invited him to Sunday lunch. Roast beef and all the trimmings.

Me: He’ll need that after Sunday Songs.

Nell: Why? Was he performing?

Me: Yes, with the Welsh corgi choir. Didn’t you hear them singing ‘I’m Always Chasing Rainbows’?

Nell: Just tell me the llamas weren’t dancing?

Me: Yes, waving rainbow scarves. Sorry.