Nell: You are not going to believe this.
Me: I just might.
Nell: There’s a small hairy animal eating muesli in the kitchen with Malcolm.
Me: I didn’t know flamingos ate muesli.
Nell: It isn’t a flamingo.
Me: I meant Malcolm.
Nell: It’s small and scruffy with a bare tail.
Me: It’s not a rat, is it?
Nell: No. But it hisses if you try and talk to it, then plays dead.
Me: I shan’t be able to have much of a conversation with it if it keeps doing that.
Nell: Malcolm says it’s from the United States.
Me: It’s come an awfully long way.
Nell: It’s on a gap year. Wants to travel around Europe before continuing with its studies.
Me: It hasn’t picked a very good time.
Nell: That’s what I said.
Me: How did it get here?
Nell: Knitwear Wolf found it by the roadside. It was Trying to be Brave.
Me: Oh dear.
Nell: And when an animal is Trying to be Brave one can’t possibly ignore it.
Me: No, I suppose not.
Nell: So he brought it back here.
Me: That was kind of him.
Nell: Yes. It’s very disappointed in the weather.
Me: It is dreadful.
Nell: I know. One doesn’t expect to be wearing galoshes in May.
Me: I don’t expect to be wearing them at all.
Nell: Anyway, we have to decide what to do with it.
Me: Do you think it might like to talk to Babycakes Gillespie? He’s from the United States too.
Nell: No. Pugs are too rumbustious. This is a job for someone with tact and diplomacy.
Me: My darling Big Brave Beautiful Boy would be just the animal.
Nell: No. Not David. Harriet is perfect for the job. Gentle but practically minded.
Me: Yes, of course. Sorry.