A Little Restraint

Me: Why is Harriet sitting alone outside on the yellow chair?

Nell: She needs to do some thinking.

Me: But it’s raining.

Nell: The chair is under your gazebo. She won’t get wet.

Me: Can’t she think inside?

Nell: No. David is thinking inside.

Me: Why can’t they think together?

Nell: They have been asked to consider The Error of Their Ways and as you know that is done best alone.

Me: What have they done?

Nell: They’ve been crowding the children.

Me: They don’t mind.

Nell: That’s not the point. A Labrador waits quietly and patiently. There can be eye contact but from a polite distance.

Me: I see.

Nell: A Labrador does not push its face into people or, dog forbid, climb on top of them.

Me: That’ll be Dave. He thinks he’s smaller than he is. Darling Big Brave Beautiful Boy.

Nell: It was Harriet too.

Me: The thing is though, Nell, the children actually love it.

Nell: David is the Mayor of Kingsbridge. He can’t go around climbing onto people’s laps.

Me: He is a bit heavy.

Nell: Anyway, we’ll see how their presentation goes at Morning Thoughts.

Me: Presentation?

Nell: Both David and Harriet have been asked to present a short talk to the committee on How to Behave Discreetly.

Me: What committee?

Nell: Never you mind.

Me: The committee is you, isn’t it?

Nell: Poppy might be joining me if she has time after breakfast service.

Me: Poppy couldn’t care less about behaving.

Nell: The puppies need to learn. Visitors cannot be crowded.

Me: But they aren’t visitors, Nell. They’re family.

Nell: So, you won’t complain anymore when David sits on you when you’re writing?

Me: Well, that can be rather annoying.

Nell: All I’m asking for is A Little Restraint.

Me; Yes. Sorry.

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