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?
Me: Poppy? Who on earth is brave enough to call her that?
Nell: Babycakes Gillespie.
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.