The udder dimension
NIGHTS without frost are welcome, particularly for the MAN OF THE house.
At 10pm sharp every evening Coosh leaps to her feet and looks at him expectantly.
Everything about Coosh is expectant at the moment. A few weeks into her pregnancy she grew some very impressive teats, which she liked to show off to any other dog around, and rub up and down the carpet in long sensuous stretches.
She stopped doing this when she expanded to accommodate the puppies within, and her teats became attached to equally impressive udders. The Moth remarked that she looked as though she was ready to feed a mob of poddy calves, not puppies.
Never mind impending motherhood, Coosh wanted her evening walk in the park. The Moth has turned out all winter in frost, rain and howling winds. Even peering from balaclava and parka he felt the cold but had to do a full circuit before Coosh was satisfied.
He was particularly annoyed when, in an attempt to prolong the joy of sniffing out possum smells, retrieving stale buns from garbage bins and squatting on every other dogs’ calling card, Coosh would vanish as he approached the front door.
While Coosh wanted to prolong the walk, Myffy wanted it shorter. A quick stagger up to the grass behind the phone box was enough for her. That’s if she could be woken up at all. Why bother waking up such an old dog? Because if the Moth doesn’t, she decides she needs to go out at somewhere between two and three am.
Sometimes, after bellowing in her ear for some minutes, and not even managing to get her to open her eyes, the Moth sets out with Coosh. From my bed upstairs I hear the front door close. Then, a minute or two later, there is a thump as Myffy slides off her cushion and the sound of her footsteps scraping over the boards to the door.
There she waits until the Moth returns, shuts Coosh in and goes out into the cold once more, to take Myffy as far as the phone box.
“Sometimes, I would just like to go upstairs to bed without all this carry-on,” he said.
I feel a little guilty. My bedtime is 9.30pm sharp, and the dogs don’t want to go out then. The Moth stays up watching television, so the burden falls on him.
“Think of all that stargazing you can do,” I console him. “And Coosh has stopped running away now she’s so fat.”
Those frosty nights did make for brilliant star displays and the Moth is quite partial to seeing which constellations he can recognise. Even so, he welcomed nights that were a little less biting to nose, fingers and toes.
Despite her size, Coosh leapt to her feet on the dot of 10. The Moth sighed, rose, put his ugh boots on, looked at Myffy, so deeply asleep her head had fallen off the cushion, and decided it wasn’t even worth trying to wake her. I heard the front door slam.
Almost as it slammed I heard Myffy’s feet – the Moth must almost have shut the door in her face.
“She must really need to go out,” I thought. I got out of bed quickly, not even stopping to put a dressing gown on, and padded down the stairs in bare feet.
Myffy did indeed need to go out urgently. I walked with her as far as the phone box, and she availed herself of the grass. In honour of the warmer weather I was wearing a pair of satin pyjamas given to me as a gift. The temperature might have gone up a notch or two, but there was still a nip in the air.
“Come on, Myff,” I hurried her, clapping my hands to get her attention. “I’m freezing.” She seemed reluctant to return to the house, but hobbled back obediently enough. As we reached the doorstep Coosh waddled over the road out of the darkness. There was no sign of the Moth. I let her in, shut the door on both dogs and went back to bed, snuggling down and falling asleep immediately.
I don’t know how much later it was that the Moth returned. He was very cold, and although only partially awake I could sense that he was puzzled.
“The oddest thing happened when I was walking Coosh,” he said, to my back.
“I was watching these shooting stars – there was a really spectacular display – so I was a bit longer than I normally was getting back to the house.
“When I reached the door there was no sign of Coosh at all. I thought she’d done her disappearing act, and looked everywhere for her.
“After a while I reasoned she couldn’t have gone that far. She’s so fat and her udders are almost scraping the ground. She’d just vanished from the park. I started to think maybe the shooting stars had something to do with it. Perhaps aliens had come to Earth and made off with Coosh.
“I thought I’d better come in and tell you I’d lost her. I opened the door and there she was, wagging her tail at me as if to ask me where I’d been. Myffy was just inside the door, too, and the pair of them headed straight out. Coosh acted like she’d never been outside at all, and we had to do the whole circuit again. I started to wonder if it was me that had been abducted by aliens.”
“Sorry,” I said, through the blankets. “It’s my fault. I did a sprint to the phone box because Myffy was in a hurry and Coosh met us on the doorstep so I let her in. I figured you couldn’t be far behind.”
“That’s a relief,” said the Moth. He thought about it for a minute or two. “Next time, wait long enough for Myffy to have more than half a widdle. Coosh must have seen you both out there and come racing over to see what you were up to.”
“Never mind,” I said. “At least you weren’t all spirited away to another dimension.”
“Or in Coosh’s case,” said the Moth, having the last word, “an udder dimension”.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.