Me: What on earth is going on here? I heard lots of barking and thought something had happened.

Nell: Keep your distance, please. We’re in the middle of an important game.

Me: You just bit Dave in the bottom.

Nell: I did nothing of the sort. It was a little nip.

Me: You were like a wild animal.

Nell: Nonsense.

Me: And then Poppy picked on Dave too.

Nell: Of course she did. We’re playing Shenanigans and David is ‘It’.

Me: Harriet looks scared.

Nell: That’s just a cover. She’s very good at looking innocent and then ‘woof’ she’s got you.

Me: How do you play?

Nell: Someone is ‘It’ and they have to catch you before you catch them.

Me: I don’t understand.

Nell: That’s because you’ve never played. Well, not knowingly, anyway.

Me: What do you mean?

Nell: Sometimes we involve you in the game without you realising.

Me: How?

Nell: Only with the odd lick, or an occasional gentle bounce, but not recently.

Me: I see.

Nell: Kev is an excellent player.

Me: He is?

Nell: Oh yes. Just when you think you’re safe he strikes.

Me: It sounds awfully violent.

Nell: It’s just play fighting.

Me: Why can’t I play then?

Nell: You don’t like rough and tumble and you can’t be jumped on at the moment.

Me: That’s true. I don’t expect The Cat likes it either.

Nell: The Cat is an amazing player. It comes out of nowhere and boxes your ears.

Me: Gosh.

Nell; The llamas are dreadfully dramatic. At the slightest growl they fall over.

Me: I don’t blame them.

Nell: Henry and Horst are unbeaten. We never see them coming.

Me: I’m quite glad you don’t let me play.

Nell: I knew you would be. Best just watching

Me: Yes. Sorry.

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