Edward And The Leopard
Yet another steamy evening was setting up camp outside the cottage windows, unpacking its fetid array of clamminess, swelter and heat. Edward stood on his furry hind legs and stared out into the oncoming night, his almond eyes watching as the last light of day turned to orange, casting an unearthly phosphorescence on the whole of the garden. He thought it looked rather worrying, but as Edward never takes time for worry, he merely hopped down and sauntered away.
What sort of night would it be, he wondered. Are the man and the lady going out? He stopped to observe them with a quizzical gaze. No, the lady has her yarn in her lap. Good sign. He trotted over to stand in front of her. He sat down. He stared. After a minute, she looked up and smiled at him, patting the cushion beside her enthusiastically. He hopped up and snuggled down in the pillows. He knew he was always welcome, still he felt it only polite to ask first. The lady began absentmindedly scratching him behind the ears.
This was shaping up to be his kind of night.
The man switched on the big picture box, but Edward hardly noticed. There was rarely anything in that thing to interest him. Sometimes he saw other dogs, but by the time he made it across the room, they were usually gone. He settled in for a nap.
Faintly he heard the lady say, “Oh good! Bringing Up Baby, I love that movie. Let’s watch that!”. Lazily, he opened one eye to see.
Both brown eyes immediately flew open wide and his head jerked up with a snap. There, right in front of him, right in his own home, inside that funny box, was the biggest cat he had ever seen in his life. Paws the size of saucers! A head as big as a pie plate! The cat was covered in spots and walking along on a leash!
The horror of it flew over Edward like a fever. With a growl that began in the depths of his soul and exploded into the room like a cannon, he leapt up from his spot and sprang into the air, covering the ground betwixt himself and the cat in one blazing blur of white fur. Barking ferociously, he stared down the intruder.
Apple, who prefers to go to bed early, had, as usual, already retired to the bedroom windowseat, but now came hurtling into the room, slipping and sliding round corners like a drunken man, ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with Edward in protection of her household.
Knitting flew to the floor, yarn rolled across the room. Somewhere in the background, Edward heard the lady saying.. “Turn it off! Turn it off! Change the channel! Quick!” And suddenly, just like that, the big cat was gone. The picture box was blank, and empty.
Ha! He had done his job once again.
Shaking off furiously, he gave the cat once last look over his shoulder, one last growl for good measure, and then, head high, he trotted back to his comfortable spot on the sofa.
The lady fished her yarn out from under a chair, the man held his head in his hands and sighed.
Apple yawned and headed back to bed, slightly disgruntled.
But Edward smiled to himself and thought, once again... “Whatever would they all do without me?”