Nell: That’s Hattie Button playing Cheeky Animal.
Me: Yes, and there she is with my sister Alex. It’s her birthday today, you know.
Nell: Yes. Hattie and I have been texting on WoofsApp.
Me: Have you?
Nell: Yes, she’s in my Young Animal Group.
Me: You have a Young Animal Group?
Nell: Yes. Marvin is in it and Tony the Postman’s Ollie, and Hattie Button, of course, and Frankie.
Me: Frankie the visiting Dachshund?
Nell: Yes. Sweet boy.
Me: Do you give them advice?
Nell: I do. They like to call me Auntie Nell.
Me: How lovely.
Nell: And no, you cannot join the group. You’re not an animal, and you’re most definitely not young.
Me: But I’m ever so good at giving advice. I helped Dave choose his breakfast this morning.
Nell: David always chooses a bacon sandwich.
Me: Yes, but he couldn’t decide between red, or brown sauce.
Nell: I hope you chose brown.
Me: Of course.
Nell: Anyway, Hattie asked me to write Alex a poem from her. Would you like to hear it?
Me: Very much.
Nell: ‘Little Hattie Button would like me to say
Happy Birthday to you, Alex, on your special day.
She loves you much more
Than biscuits, she said.
Or any of her dog toys
And even her soft bed.
Her most wonderful memory,
And this is quite true,
Is the day you chose her
And the day she chose you.
Some things in life
Are just meant to be
And those things are you
And your darling Hattie.
Have a marvellous day
Full of laughter and cheer
And huge love from Hattie
And all of us here.’
Me: Perfect. Happy Birthday dear sister. Next year we will celebrate properly together.
Nell: No tears. This is a happy day.
Me: Yes. Sorry.