The Dog Tales # 5 - New Things
by Lillow M. Gladstar
New things appear like donuts and donkeys,
new things all gather wherever they may.
It's a tall tale but listen, I don't really do this,
it's just that these new things have got in my way.
“And that's another one!” Spike growled, walking down the path.
“Huh? Whazzat?” Alley asked, looking back.
“That new thing! Didn't you see it?”
Alley stopped and peered back, “No, I don't see anything unusual. Is it those flowers? They're new.”
“Yeah,” Spike barked. “We hadda walk around them!” He stopped and turned, glaring at the flowers. “See there? Last week we came this way and walked right on through. This week we gotta walk around!”
“Didn't bother me none,” Rover murmured from where he stood a few paces beyond Spike looking back.
“Gosh, those flowers are pretty,” Alley purred, walking toward them. Then he bent over and ate one. “Mmmm, pretty and tasty too!”
“Bah!” Spike growled as he turned and resumed walking.
Just then Fido came bounding over from wherever he comes from. “Hey guys!” he called out. “Wassup?”
Spike looked at him, “Oh hey Fido. Not much. We're just going to visit Sweet Loretta.”
“She got her hair done,” Alley said, rejoining the group.
“That so?” Fido said with a smile. “Mind if I join you?”
“Whatever,” Spike growled.
“Yeah, c'mon,” Rover said, grinning. “She serves the best Dog biscuits in town.”
“Thanks, I will!” Fido said, joining them.
“That's what broke us up, you know,” Alley said quietly, slipping up beside Fido.
“Huh? Broke what up?” Fido asked.
“Our group, the Doggone Three that's what. Best howling quartet in the county. And it was them Dog biscuits that done it,” he answered. “Those infernal Dog biscuits were everywhere! Wait'll you see sweet Loretta's spread, you'll see what I mean.” Then he took off across the meadow chasing what looked like a Fæirie flittering around in a teasing manner.
Spike grunted watching him go, Rover continued ambling in his usual lethargic manor and Fido fell in behind, wearing a thoughtful expression.
Alley rejoined them as they passed through the front gate and into the mythical world. They knew to be very careful in the mythical world as there were catchers that grab people and imprison them for no other reason than walking without a Human. The mythical realms were frightening. Fortunately Sweet Loretta's place was near and they made the journey with no mishaps.
Sweet Loretta was sitting in front of a small cabin her Humans had made for her in a small meadow. Spike liked the small meadow even though it was completely contained by wooden fences, except for the crack where his group slipped through of course. Spike felt safe there, perhaps because of the fences. It was behind a Human home and Sweet Loretta was kept well provisioned by the Humans who otherwise pretty much left her alone. Left to her own devices you could say. Anyway Sweet Loretta had a sweet set-up and Spike usually enjoyed visiting.
There were several leafy trees and a few mad Squirrels that Alley liked to chase in the small meadow. He said he'd never actually catch one, it was just the thrill of the chase, so to speak. Rover plopped down in some grassy shade with Fido nearby while Spike and Sweet Loretta sniffed each other's . . . well, you know how Dog's do. They were both tail wagging happy to see each other. Alley snorted disdainfully at the full bowl of Dog biscuits then strolled off to the meadow's far side where he knew the Squirrels hung out.
“Hey, gooda see you guys!” Sweet Loretta said, grinning wide. “Help yourselves to the biscuits!” Alley looked at her with disbelief while finding his hiding spot by the fence but Spike grinned as he grabbed a couple.
“Mmm, good,” he mumbled through his crunching.
“So whadya think of my new do?” Sweet Loretta asked, strutting around. She was a Poodle and there were large balls of fur left on her head, her feet and tail.
“That's all done?” Spike asked incredulously.
Fido's eyes got round and Rover sat up, both watching with concerned looks. Alley snickered but said nothing.
“Well, yes!” Sweet Loretta said with a scowl. “It's the newest craze, pretty sure.” Now she had a dreamy smile, “Anyway I feel sexy.” She looked at Spike with lowered, fluttering eyes.
Spike reared his head back with eyes wide, “Uh sure, yeah, that's a real nice haircut, uh huh, real nice.”
“Real nice,” Rover echoed.
“Uh-huh, nice,” Fido repeated, eyeing the Dog biscuits.
“Thanks!” Sweet Loretta said with her dreamy smile. “I do feel pretty.”
“Real purty,” Rover echoed. Spike gave him a questioning look, but Rover didn't look back. Instead he ambled over to the bowl and began munching. Eating was his superpower after all. Fido, realizing the Dog biscuit options were dwindling, quickly joined him.
Alley jumped out of hiding at a Squirrel who chattered and squeaked, not really saying anything, while running furiously across the grass and up a tree. Curiously most of the fauna in the mythical world cannot speak, including Dogs and Cats. That's why Spike and Rover like Sweet Loretta so much, because she can talk, and howl, plus the Dog biscuits of course.
Sweet Loretta smiled at Spike. Now he could smell the sickly-sweet scents that the barber had sprinkled on her. He backed up, looking over at Rover and Fido who were munching contentedly.
“Well gosh, Sweet Loretta,” Spike said, looking at her then backing up some more. “We just wanted to invite you to the howl tonight. Waxing moon you know, gettin' big,” he looked over at Rover, “So, uh, com'on you guys, we got business to attend to. Thanks Sweet Loretta. See ya tonight!” He began walking toward the fence opening.
Rover grabbed another mouthful of biscuits and followed, “Thags for da bithcuts, you look good!” Fido smiled and nodded agreement, unable to speak with his mouth full, as he trailed Rover.
“Yeah real pretty,” Spike said looking back, “really. Pretty.” Then looking forward and continuing on he muttered quietly, “And new.”
“Thanks, honey,” Alley called to Sweet Loretta, who was watching their departure wryly. “You look gorgeous!” The Squirrel chattered angrily from high in a tree.