The Case of the Recalcitrant Sprout

An unnerving calm had descended over Spindle Towers. Several days of merriment, poultry based gluttony and general alcoholic inappropriateness had left in its wake, a vacuum. A void where digestive systems can recover, heartfelt apologies can be made to one and all, and the pilfered flimsies discretely returned to Mrs Peterson from down the road. Who, incidentally remained non plussed at losing the said undergarments, more so the unexpected reappearance of them, the missing washing line and the demise of her prize winter flowering clematis.

I must of course, being quite a conscientious hound, hold my paws up to my part in this. My defence is that I was unaccustomed to the potent nature of advocat. It is after all, liquidised custard creams is it not and therefore its discovery in the back of the cupboard was an opportunity not to be missed. It was this discovery that triggered an unexpected chain of events that spiralled out of control, involving Mrs Peterson’s knickers and a recalcitrant sprout.

It was to be my first Christmas at Spindle Towers as so I was keen to impress with my seasonal planning skills. Christmas morning, a little after tea o’clock and the crows observed me, fresh as a daisy, sporting my freshly pressed Laura Ashley housecoat, neck tufts in curlers ready to make a fabulous impression on the day. I sipped at my tea and eyed the gargantuan pile of vegetables that needed disrobing ready for the forthcoming feast. I sprung into action, vegetable peeler in one paw, liquid custard creams in the other. To further enhance the festive mood I had tuned in the wireless, then, momentarily distressed and sad that it wasn’t the great Terry Wogan*, sighed and retuned to a horribly jolly aural assault on another channel.

*As a side note, my short human had a series of dreams not long after Sir T travelled to the ‘ever after’ and thus believed that he was chanelling himself into her dubious slumbered thoughts, primed with fond messages and the odd instruction to renew memberships etc. She seemed rather touched by this, herself a great fan and told anyone who would listen (her dad) so I did not correct her delusions. Sigh.

So, it was just as Bob Dylan teetered on the precipice of a thundering crescendo of ‘Must be Santa…’ when my vulcan like grip evaded me and the sprout shot through my paws like a buttered torpedo, rocketed out of the kitchen window, straight into the reinforced gusset of Mrs P’s best winter warmers on the washing line next door. The offending sprout, obviously uncertain about its new hammock environment, was then catapulted from the pant based slingshot (taking the entire washing line with it) and careered off into the tendrilled path of her treasured clematis. The clematis, unaccustomed to such an assault, collapsed and then withered in a true Victorian faint. There then ensued a considerable amount of knicker based chaos during which the sprout disentangled itself from the foliage and gently rolled down the lawn, coming to a dignified rest by the bird bath.

It all happened in an instant, but this all happened just as Mrs P peered out of her window to greet the morning black birds who were sitting happily on her fat balls. She screamed, a high pitched shriek and ran off to rescue her beloved plant. Who knew what carnage could be caused by a misplaced vegetable? I arrived quickly on scene with emergency gin and a spatula which seemed to help somewhat and eventually everything was disentangled and returned to its natural place in the world.

This seemingly was a sign of how the day would progress however it all seemed to work well in a haphazard way. There have been no great repercussions, Mrs Peterson is now fully encased in some new spangly undercrackers – always a hopeful soul – and she is in the possession of a resuscitated clematis.  The stains from the ricocheting sprout has been cleaned from the paint work, and my dreadful headache is slowly dissipating. Yes, I am a very happy hound. Christmas has indeed been a triumph!

My one regret? I have not been allowed within a two metre radius of the offending green wind inducing spheres of love again…I think you will agree, a tragedy. It is now time to rest my weary paws, but until the next time – and I am very much afraid there will be a next time – pip pip!




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