Friday, April 01, 2005

DANCING LESSONS


Percy, Buddy, and Merci

DANCING LESSONS
Copyright 2005 Janice Price

Percy asks Merci and Buddy, “Do you two remember complaining that it’s hard for you to teach Jan to walk on a leash because she has no motor skills?”

“I sure do,” Buddy complains. “The funny farm residents nearly called Animal Control to send me to the animal shelter because of her lack of motor skills.”

“It’s hard for her to have motor skills when you trip her on the steps and try to kill her.” Merci says, quietly, remembering the incident under discussion.

Buddy sighs. “How many times do I have to tell you that I did not try to kill her. It was an accident.”

“We believe you, Buddy. At least we do now.” Merci touches Buddy’s shoulder with one paw. “I’m sorry I didn’t believe you then, but I do believe you now.”

“There is, however, a pattern here,” Percy says. “The two of you took her flying again last Sunday while you were walking her.”

“She tripped on a twig,” Merci explains. “We didn’t take her flying.”

“You didn’t stop either, when she started to fall, did you?”

“No,” Merci admits. “We didn’t realize she was in trouble. It isn’t unusual for her to stop suddenly or yank on the leash.”

“Yeah, we would have stopped, if she asked us to,” Buddy says.

Percy stares at Buddy. “Is your nose growing?”

Buddy touches a paw to his nose. “Why, does it look longer?”

“I’m not sure, but I hear that’s what happens when you don’t tell the truth.”

“I am telling the truth.”

“Buddy, you’re like a steam roller. You wander around in your own world, setting your own pace. You’re oblivious to everything around you,” Percy says. “Except food. You will stop for food. But you don’t pay a bit of attention to whether Jan can keep pace with you. You have to remember, she’s at least a month older than you and you’re what, four months old? That makes her old! People age faster than animals do. You can’t expect her to keep up with you and Merci.”

“Oh, I never thought of that.”

“You have to learn to pay more attention to what Jan is doing before you actually do kill her. Then what will we do?”

“Mr. Doug?” Buddy asks. “Do you think Mr. Doug will take us in if we accidentally kill Jan?”

“But we’re not going to kill her,” Merci says, with finality. “She’s hard to kill.”

“Not if she bleeds to death,” Percy says. “She lost a lot of blood Sunday.”

“Yes,” Merci admits. “It was running down her arm and dripping everywhere.”

“It didn’t hurt her. I saw her drinking a glass of blood to replace what she lost,” Buddy says.

Percy laughs. “That was tomato juice, Buddy. She doesn’t drink blood.”

“Maybe she should, if she’s going to keep falling on cement,” Buddy says. “I heard her telling Miss Mother on the telephone that Mr. Doug is going to make a video if she keeps falling on the sidewalk. Do you think we could be in it? You know she’s going to keep falling. Maybe we could sell it on the Internet and make enough money to buy her some new blood.”

“How much do you think she’ll need?” Merci asks.

“Not much, I’m sure,” Percy says. “Maybe one or two cups.”

Buddy is thoughtful. “How much do you think a cup of blood costs? We are talking about a plastic cup, aren’t we? You know how Jan drops and breaks everything.”

I have a better idea,” Percy says. “I read an interesting article in tonight’s newspaper. The Sheriff is going to make his staff take dancing lessons because dancing deputies have a higher arrest rate.”

“Whoa, Percy. What does that have to do with Jan? She can’t arrest anyone.”

“So?” Percy continues. “If choreographed dancing will help investigators with their analytical skills, it can help Jan think better on her feet instead of on the ground.”

“Oh,” Merci says, “I get it.”

“And clogging is supposed to help patrol officers strengthen their legs so they are prepared for foot chases. So,” Percy looks directly at Buddy,” it should help strengthen Jan’s legs so she can keep up with you.”

Buddy smiles. “Great!”

“There are other types of dancing but those two should do for now. I wonder what it will cost if we sign up Jan?”

“Whatever it is, it will be worth it,” Merci exclaims. “This sounds even better than sending her to charm school.”

“But,” Buddy complains, “we don’t have any money. How are we going to pay for Jan to take dancing lessons at the jail?”

“I don’t know, but this is important, so we’ll figure out something,” Percy says confidently. “We’ll just call the person giving the lessons and ask if she’ll take a rain check, since it has been raining so much lately.”

“You’re going to call the Sheriff?” Buddy asks. He’s a bit apprehensive about dealing with law enforcement after his recent mock murder trial.

Merci is becoming excited at the prospect of helping Jan.

“No I’m going to call the dance instructor, “Percy says. “The newspaper doesn’t give her phone number, but her name is April Fool.”

Mr. Percy, Journalist, signing off to go sign up Jan for dance lessons

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