Me: Are you and Dave waiting for someone?
Nell: There has been a worrying development so David and I are monitoring all deliveries.
Me: You’re not going to see much from back there on the sofa.
Nell: I am being guided by David. If he gives a Warning Bark I will join him immediately.
Me: Immediately is a bit of an exaggeration, Nell. Nowadays it takes you quite a time to get off the sofa.
Nell: I will join in him in my own good time then. Arthritis isn’t much good for spontaneity.
Me: Tell me about it.
Nell: I just did.
Me: Never mind.
Nell: Have you eaten your morning cereal yet?
Me: Yes, although I was hoping for a bacon sandwich as it’s Saturday.
Nell: Poppy has other priorities today. The troops are gathering and picnics need to be made. Armies march on their stomachs.
Me: What troops?
Nell: The general kind. Knitwear Wolf and Sally say we have to be prepared.
Me: For war? What on earth happened?
Nell: Beauregard received a very upsetting parcel.
Me: In the post?
Nell: No. Hanging on a lobster’s claw. Somebody tied it to the treehouse.
Me: Was it alive?
Nell: No. It was just the claw.
Me: How shocking.
Nell: Oliver says Beauregard turned white when he saw what was inside.
Me: Can tigers turn white?
Nell: You know what I mean. His stripes faded.
Me: What happened then?
Nell: Beauregard was absolutely furious and his stripes came back with a vengeance.
Me: Good for him. Go tiger!
Nell: He sprang out of the treehouse and shouted up at the sky, ‘This is war!’
Me: Well, I’m signing up.
Nell: Don’t be ridiculous. You don’t even know what’s happened and besides, you’re a writer not a fighter.
Me: Yes. Sorry.