Me: Isn’t Harriet doing well with our guest?
Nell: I knew she was the dog for the job. She has such gentle ways.
Me: I must say I never expected an opossum to have such a strong voice. When it started singing ‘Don’t let me be Misunderstood’ at Sunday Songs I was amazed.
Nell: He sings in a band back home. Please don’t call him O. Possum. It’s so unfriendly. You don’t call me, N. Martin, or Rupert, K. Wolf.
Me: But it’s his name, Nell.
Nell: It is not. His name is Oliver.
Me: I didn’t know.
Nell: Well, now you do, so less of the O. Possum please.
Me: Of course.
Nell: Now, Oliver is very shy around strangers and will play dead at the slightest provocation so we all need to tread carefully around him.
Me: I don’t think Dave can on those giant paws.
Nell: David has been practising Soft Paws.
Me: What does that mean?
Nell: Being quiet and discreet. Cats are particularly good at it.
Me: Except for The Cat.
Nell: It could be, if it ever got out of high heels and stopped wearing sequins.
Me: That’s never going to happen.
Nell: No. Where was I?
Me: Dave was being quiet.
Nell: Yes. Poppy is being particularly noisy today I’m afraid and has been banging pots around all morning. She says there might not be enough roast beef to go around.
Me: Oh no.
Nell: Fortunately Manuel has whisked up some extra Yorkshire puddings and Malcolm was hit on the head with a mackerel by a passing Beefy.
Me: What’s fortunate about that?
Nell: The mackerel was fresh so it can be served as an alternative for the pescatarians amongst us. Do keep up.
Me: Oh, I see. Sorry.