Trixie Belden and the Mystery of the Toy Box

Oooh, photos! Everyone loves photos. This is the back of my house, next to the back door. These are the dog beds. The little sofa is for the Brown Dog and the standard low dog bed is for the Black Dog (who is old and can’t get up on the sofa). (You may be interested to know that the sofa was once a futon-thing left outside in a hard rubbish collection, until it was hoisted onto the shoulders of Mr. T, brought home, given a solid wooden back and a bar across the front, then stained. I then made it a cushion from a single foam mattress sawn in half-ish by Clark Rubber, some polarfleece and copious swear words). And yes, their mats have matching polarfleece covers. I think this project was the beginning of the end for my tiny little sewing machine. I’m sorry, sewing machine. Death by polarfleece can’t have been a good way to go.

Anyway. This wasn’t my point. Did I have a point? Indeed I did. (Rare, but it happens sometimes.) I took this photo to illustrate the box of dog toys which sits between the beds. But your attention has probably been distracted by that weird thing sticking out from under the sofa. What is that? That is the cat’s tail. I swear that was the first time I had ever seen him go under that bed. What the hell?

There he is, curled up with a plastic bag of … something? (mental note: check that out) and a red Santa dog toy. And POP … there go all your illusions about the cleanliness of my floor. What? Like you clean under the dog beds? Whatever.

Anyway. Back to the box of toys. The dogs don’t play with the toys very much, unless we are playing with them. They like tug of war (hence all the various parts and pieces of soft toys everywhere) and the Black Dog likes plucking all the stuffing out of any toy with a hole in it. Oh, and they like bringing the squeaky ones into the lounge and squeaking them mournfully when we’re trying to watch TV. But they don’t really play with them when they’re alone. Which was why I couldn’t understand why the toys had been strewn around every day for the last couple of days. Why? Were they bored? Were poltergeists loose in the house? Was the cat playing with the giant squeaky pork chop? This really was puzzling me. I like to think I have the dogs all figured out. I mean, they’re dogs, after all. If they were playing with the toys all day, then why were they showing no interest in them when we were at home?

Then, the other morning as usual, I gave the dogs their guilt biscuit. This is the morning ritual where they wait on their beds, drooling slightly, and I give them a biscuit right before I leave, feeling bad about leaving them. I mean, they are at home all day, sleeping and eating and … hey, wait a minute. That is like my dream day. But this particular morning, I was a bit slow, and so I saw the Brown Dog settle down on his bed, bite the biscuit in half and … the other half fell into the toy box.


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"Make a remark," said the Red Queen: "Its ridiculous to leave all conversation to the pudding!"




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