Me: Nell, can I have a word?

Nell: I’m wearing my ears up.

Me: I know.

Nell: When I’m wearing my ears up I am resting and don’t want to be disturbed.

Me: But there’s an awful lot of crashing going on in the kitchen and Malcolm has a colander on his head.

Nell: I suggest you take a look at the Daily Growl. It explains everything

Me: What did it say?

Nell: ‘Come back, Sweetie Pie. All is forgiven.’

Me: Well, that’s nice. Who is Sweetie Pie?

Nell: Poppy.

Me: Poppy? Who on earth is brave enough to call her that?

Nell: Babycakes Gillespie.

Me: Really?

Nell: Yes. He’s completely besotted with her.

Me: Oh dear.

Nell: Didn’t you notice all the red roses downstairs?

Me: I did wonder. But kidnapping her wasn’t exactly the right way to go about it. ‘If you love someone, set them free.’

Nell: Don’t start singing Sting songs, please. This is serious.

Me: I couldn’t help it. Doesn’t he know Poppy is engaged to John the Doberman?

Nell: Babycakes doesn’t care about that.

Me: But why did he take Malcolm, too?

Nell: He thought Poppy would be especially delighted to be made head chef of a prestigious hotel if Malcom was by her side.

Me: But you can’t just whisk someone away from their family.

Nell: Of course you can’t. It’s a ridiculous thing to do. And having a monosyllabic crow drive them there. Nobody needs that.

Me: Poppy definitely doesn’t. She’s an independent animal.

Nell: Did a black Mercedes just pull up outside?

Me: Yes. It’s Babycakes Gillespie.

Nell: Has Poppy seen him?

Me: Yes. She’s wearing full armour and carrying her sword.

Nell: Please tell me he’s taking the hint and leaving.

Me: No. I’m afraid he’s standing his ground. Sorry.

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