A Little Bit of Me

Jottings and Writing, miscellanous misgivings

Horatio’s Big Adventure


Big Adventure

Horatio wolfed down the last of his vet approved chicken pieces. His fawn, brindle and white coat shone with good health that came from the nightly baths in milk that his grown-up gave him.

That bloody obedience whistle. One day he would ‘lose’ it when his grown-up was out to work. Sometimes it seemed that she blew it for hours on end. Yelling – H-o-r-a-t-i-oooooo, in her shrill scream, and he was supposed to roll, beg, fetch. And worse. She sometimes really hurt him with that wrapped up ‘Marie Claire’.

He didn’t like men. His grown-up uttered a little shriek every time one stopped to touch or admire Horatio when they were out for walkies. She lectured him when they got home.

“Don’t jump on men. Dirty. Bark when they came close.”

She rewarded him with very tasty morsels, venison, fresh mountain trout, liquorice, when he growled as one glided past.

The last ten days had flashed past in a blur. There was the fight with the big Spaniel, chasing that bloody cat and the hurt to his foot, the embarrassment of the possum, and finally the ignominy of nearly hanging himself from that piece of barbed wire. And being cut down by those men in black hats and the red truck, laughing as they pulled and poked him. And what did all those signs with Scotties dogs with big red arrows through them mean?

But it hadn’t been all bad. A palatial residence called Felines Retreat where big cats worshipped the sun on gracious loungers. A curious castle-like residence with a large sign out front showing a dogs head adorned with a golden crown and the words BarkRoyal Dog Lodge. His most intriguing find was a building called the K9 Bath House where he could hear the excited yaps of his brothers cavorting in water. The world was a wondrous place.

He stopped outside the shop that served as butchery, grocery and betting shop. Sometimes, the kind lady gave him food. To his horror there was a picture of himself pasted over the front door. He knew what he looked like because his grown-up had posed with him in front of the mirror many times gently cooing

‘”who’s a lovely boy then, who’s soooo gorgeous then, who’s my little baby then?” before she squeezed his nose or neck and then planted a big sloppy kiss, scented with lily-of-the-valley. He kind of liked it but sometimes her big round glasses hurt his head or her dangly earrings brushed his eye. If he could have read, Horatio would have noted that beneath the picture, in bold, 46 point, Times Roman font, were the words ‘Reward Reward Reward. Anyone reporting the whereabouts of my fawn, brindle and white 7 years old Whippet will receive $1000. He answers to the name Horatio and is kind and affectionate. Contact 8762319 anytime night and day.’

It was dark. All Horatio could make out was the glow of the light that illuminated the small house at the bottom of the hill. But oh! – the smells. It was like the tinned salmon that his grown-up sometimes gave him. But it had a sharpness, a tanginess, an out-of -this world flavour noise that he had never experienced before. He edged forward. Had Horatio knows his gourmet cooking he would have realised that a dish of mountain oysters, or sheep’s testicles, were being gently soused in a white wine sauce. Horatio edged nearer the door. Finally his gastronomic conditioning overcame caution and he leapt up and yelped. Inside, the lady owner looked up from her newspaper and spotted the funny looking dog at her back door window, She looked at the newspaper, the dog, and back to the newspaper.


Horatio was finishing the last of the mountain oysters in white wine sauce when he heard the unmistakable sounds of his grown-ups Peugeot pulling up outside. Should he run or should he hide? He really had had enough of this running stuff. What he wanted was a nice long sleep on his favourite chair.

He turned his tired old head from the depths of the velvet cushioning and spat out the pip from the olive. Bliss. His grown-up looked over at him and whispered

“Hey little guy, get with the plot, concentrate on the nuts”.


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