Me: Why are you and Poppy staring at me like that?
Nell: Poppy reported at Morning Thoughts that you’ve been behaving rather strangely. The word she used was ‘jumpy’.
Me: Was it?
Nell: Yes, and she says you’ve been particularly awkward around her since yesterday.
Me: Have I?
Nell: Stop doing that.
Me: Doing what?
Nell: Questioning everything I say.
Me: Am I?
Nell: Good grief. What’s the matter with you?
Me: I don’t like the cutlass.
Nell: Why are you whispering?
Me: Is she wearing it?
Nell: Of course she is. I told you she was exploring her piratey side.
Me: I know but it’s making me ever so nervous.
Nell: Why? You never worried about the sword.
Me: I wouldn’t say that.
Nell: I just did.
Me: I mean I never particularly liked the sword but I was used to it.
Nell: So, what is your problem with the cutlass then?
Me: The cutlass is on her belt. She could whip it out at any moment.
Nell: She could and she does. Malcolm and Manuel are witnesses to that.
Me: Was anyone hurt?
Nell: Only a banana. She chopped its head off.
Me: Oh dear.
Nell: It didn’t feel anything.
Me: Very funny.
Nell: Is there something you would like to tell Poppy while she’s here?
Nell: Are you sure? No health and safety regulations?
Me: Well, I would ask her to use her cutlass wisely.
Me: And well.
Nell: Wisely and well? This is 2022 not Shakespearean times.
Me: I just want her to be careful.
Nell: Why not say so at the beginning? Poppy is always careful. You have nothing to fear.
Me: That’s a relief.
Nell: Unless you misbehave or provoke her.
Nell: Just joking.
Me: Of course. Sorry.