The sun had set and the night time coolness had descended on the countryside all of the animals had finished their work for the day and had clocked out. ‘See you down the pub later lads’ somebody shouted ‘Yeah see you there’ was the combined answer. It had been a long summer day the dogs had been running around others had been busy, burrowing, or just eating grass.

After dinner the mole surveyed his self in the hall mirror his black velvet coat was sleek and flawless. Opening the front door he stepped out into the evening air his nose raised high to take in the many various scents. It was just a short walk to the Poodle and Pistol. As he approached he could hear singing and the piano playing a jaunty song. Opening the door the welcome glow of the orange lights seemed to draw him in.

     “Usual Maurice?” asked Bill Badger the landlord.

      “Yes please” said Maurice and watched, licking his lips as Bill poured him a foaming pint of beer.

Bill was immaculate in his black and white outfit as befitted his position of mine host.

The evening was full of good humour dogs shared a table with cats laughing at the chases of the day and the beer was flowing like table water.

     “I’ll catch you tomorrow Felix” said Towser

    “If you did what would you do then?” Felix’s question was met with silence as Towser had never caught a cat he had no idea what would happen next.

     “See if I catch a mouse or vole I play with it for a while then I eat it” Felix said smiling at the thought.

A table of small rodents looking a bit flustered got up and moved to the other side of the room.

Reggie Rabbit, the piano player, belted out the music at a furious pace, his ears flapping with every beat. He finished with a flourish and amidst the applause he took his pint of carrot juice and downed it in one. ‘Any requests?’ he said.

     “How about You ain’t nothing but a hound dog?” said a gruff voice in the corner. The tune started and a canine couple got up to dance, his wiry grey hair was the opposite of her golden well groomed gown like coat. They jived energetically around the floor until Reggie finished.

     “Thank you Ladies and Gents now to finish off the night – for a pint of beer – it’s open mike time!”

Up stepped Martin mouse playing the mouse organ, after he had finished Bill poured him his free pint.

     “You’re very good we had a lady mouse playing the mouse organ last week”

     “Oh that’ll be our Monica” said Martin as he supped his beer.

Larry the Lurcher was leaning on the bar.

      “Can I have a pint of……………………… lager Bill?”

      “Yes of course you can Larry – but why the long pause?”

       “Well I’m a Lurcher ‘aint I”

Just then the door opened and Peter Penguin put his head round

    “Has my brother been in?” he said

    “What’s he look like?” was Bills’ reply with a chuckle.

Todd the fox was looking lasciviously at Reggie and his tongue was hanging out of the side of his mouth

      “Have you got any of those pies left Bill? I’m feeling a bit peckish”

      “What the squirrel pies? No I had to send them back apparently they should have had a warning notice on them.”

“What warning?” asked Todd.

 “May contain nuts”

     “Catch you later Reggie” said Todd with a smile as Reggie beat a hasty exit through the side door.

It had been a long night and every animal was looking tired they all had to be up at dawn so Bill decided to wind up the evening.

     “Time gentlemen please” shouted Bill “Do your talking as you’re walking thank you, see you all at work tomorrow”

Outside, as they queued for a lamp post the chattering was buoyant.

     “G’night all” said Todd and he started looking for Reggie but Reggie was already safe at home tucked up in bed.


684 words Michael White 2020

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