[Millie Blackhouse, part-time dog trainer and wife of a judge stands with a large dog outside the door of her 18th century country house. She is bundled up in a headscarf, Barbour jacket and gloves. It is a fine crisp Boxing Day morning.]
You’ve really done it now dear Julius… Couldn’t have been more successful. Jolly good show.. Bloody tyrant.
And don’t give me that look!
You’ll soon have all the time in the world you want with me. All alone. In that one moment my humiliation was made complete. Human company will be a distant memory. Just what you wanted.
[Millie stoops to squeeze dog by the jowls, and stares closely into its eyes]
How is it that you become so cruel my baby Pikaninny? You had to wait until I’d spent half a day dressing it, cooking it, garnishing it with the Waitrose cranberries, laying it out on the silver platter…. It wasn’t there a moment on the sideboard, will all Harry’s illustrious guests in attendance, then you choose to make your move. My sweetkins.
What a fine dog trainer I look now! Oh yes, you’re so clever. And funny. The irony is not lost on me Pookiboo. What a droll little story they’ll be sharing in Lincoln’s Inn Fields next month. See how Harry didn’t exactly leap to his dearest wife’s defence! Yes, it’s silly wife-y’s fault…. Ha-de-ha-de-ha.
[Millie and dog set out walking through walled garden]
You’ve given him diverging pillow talk for his latest bit of fluff…. Why couldn’t you have used those busy teeth of yours to sink them into that terrible slut of a ‘PA’. Practically hanging on his arm. You know the one – gave her a good sniff did you not? Positively fawned over the little slut….
Sniff all you like Julius. Just don’t you ever forget who loves you more than anyone else in the world Pooki baby.’
They had to make do with that bit of beef. Some chipolatas. Appalling. Could have died. Worst thing was how everyone was so English – so quiet, so polite, not a titter. Until I’d left of course. Ha de ha de ha.
[she stops, stares at dog]
And then your grand entrance from the wings. My Leading Man. ‘Gobbled it down with the finesse of an alligator, then sit back. Enthroned on your bed. Aloof. Victorious! Oh you’re a player! Checkmate for Millie Blackhouse. Banished from gentile company.
[Dog and owner continue walking together]
‘Suppose something must have been welling up inside you… Is it the time I’m away on the training? Bleeding Crufts every year? …scents of a hundred dogs on my coat? Bewildering? Perplexing Pooki? You must know I don’t care about those spoilt, infantile city dogs. They’re just money to me. Those ill-bred cretins. Nothing to me.
[Stops, takes out of inner pocket a large bag, drops from it a half-eaten carcass of cooked turkey, shoving it with her foot in front of dog who proceeds to eat]
You were right of course my darling,
I don’t need any of them.
I just need you.