Pinky's Book Link

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

When Your Inheritance is at Stake

Now that I’m on holidays I have some free time to visit my parents who live down the road.

I called in to their place yesterday at morning tea time in anticipation of a happy reunion and some of Dad’s home cooking.

I knocked plaintively at the door because the curtains were drawn and there were funeral dirges playing on the stereo; the air was sombre.

Mum greeted me at the door with a deep, tragic sigh and informed me that their beloved cocker spaniel, Albert, was in his  final stage of life and they were about to call in a priest for the extreme unction ceremony and anointing of oils.

Fat Albert was lying in his bed and wagged his tail and leaped up to greet me when I sauntered in to the subdued ambiance of the kitchen .

“He looks all right to me!” I scoffed in an attempt to lighten the melancholy atmosphere.

“No,” my mother exhaled heavily, a tear sliding down her cheek. “He’s gone off his food. We’re taking him to the vet. Not the horrible vet that can’t speak English, but to a proper vet. The poor animal probably won’t see out the end of this week.”

I pitied the poor non English speaking vet for a moment then went about by unprofessional examination.

I felt the spoiled creature’s ribs which still seemed to be adequately encased in a layer of fat (as far as my probing fingers were able to determine anyway). This is a dog who will most probably inherit my inheritance. I secretly wanted to pinch it to tell the truth. I wanted to pinch it hard.

When the cups of tea came out, Dad brought out a plate of shortbread biscuits.

“Here, Albert!” I called. “Come and have a biccy.” I whispered under my breath, “You little fudging faker”.
The dog approached me with bright eyes and wagging tail and snatched the shortbread from my hand, gobbling it up like a dog ready for a good old, rambunctious fox chase across the moors... or like Lassie finally coming home to Timmy... or like Rin Tin Tin alerting the WW1 soldiers about the approach of an enemy tank.

I gave the little fraud another biscuit… and another. Each biscuit was voraciously seized from my hand with a zealous, hungry ferocity which left distinct and painful fang marks in my knuckles.

“Well! He seems to have picked up a bit…” commented my mother.

Hmmm. Inheritance safe for another day.