Me: Devon is a beautiful place to live, isn’t it?
Nell: It would be a lot nicer without those wretched rabbits.
Me: What wretched rabbits?
Nell: You must have seen them. Hiding in the bushes.
Me: A pheasant just flew past the window.
Nell: It’s probably Phineas visiting Walter.
Me: I expect to see seagulls and small birds but not pheasants.
Nell: We were discussing rabbits.
Me: I know, it just surprised me.
Nell: Phineas is perfectly pleasant for a pheasant, if a little dim. I’ll ask Walter to introduce you the next time he’s visiting.
Me: Thank you. Personally I don’t mind rabbits. What have you got against them?
Nell: They either pop up unexpectedly and run away as soon as you talk to them or they stare at you vacantly.
Me: Like a rabbit caught in the headlights?
Nell: I don’t have headlights. I’m a Labrador.
Me: Never mind.
Nell: Well, I’ve never had a decent conversation with any of them.
Me: Never say never.
Nell: I just did.
Me: Is there something wrong with Poppy?
Me: I noticed her hiding between Dave’s legs when we were out on our walk.
Nell: She wasn’t hiding. She was keeping a low profile.
Me: That’s not like Poppy.
Nell: You should have let her take her cutlass.
Me: Weapons are not allowed on the beach.
Nell: Do you know that?
Me: Everyone does.
Nell: Are cutlasses mentioned?
Me: Not specifically.
Nell: Well then.
Me: Dave seemed awfully protective and extremely alert.
Nell: He’s Poppy’s bodyguard.
Me: You wouldn’t think she needed one.
Nell: Well, she does, especially when she’s unarmed.
Me: Is there something I don’t know?
Nell: Where do I begin?
Me: I meant about Poppy.
Nell: Let’s just say, forearmed is forewarned.
Me: I see. Sorry.