Well, scratch our bellies and throw us a bone: that was a whole lot of fun.
As you’ll recall, we asked for stories – of 250 words or less – about this little guy:
And you delivered. You made our little tails wag with delight. You made it pretty difficult to choose a winner.
But choose a winner we did.
RUNNER-UP: Emily Smallman
‘So, how did the book signing go?’
‘Okay, bit messy with the ink and that.’
‘Lots of happy customers?’
‘Yeah, I guess, but they were quite loud. Euston was shaking a bit.’
‘Good, good. So it’s a busy one this week. There’s the luggage brand launch, the photo shoot tomorrow – have you booked him in for a trim?’
‘Well, yes but we might have to cancel.’
‘Well, he’s not 100%. Think he licked his paws too much after the signing – it was non-toxic wasn’t it?’
‘Sure – food colouring or something. He’ll be fine, he just needs to sit there with that thing in his mouth. Now, kids’ telly have been in touch.’
‘Oh yes, and they want him for a new programme. “Euston to…blah” can’t remember the exact title, but it’s like a travel thing for kids. They want to send him all over with his little case, meeting the locals, barking the lingo, I don’t know. Think longer versions of the online stuff.’
‘He’s getting on now.’
‘Look, it’s great exposure, there’ll be more merchandise, interviews – might even lead onto a film.’
‘He’s seven and a half…’
‘So? What’s that, fifty? He’s never been better and bigger! Four billion views? Cats are so over.’
‘The vet said his teeth are wearing down a bit…’
‘You can buy him new teeth.’
‘I need to think about it.’
‘Maybe you should have thought about it before you loaded those videos. Now, let’s talk t-shirts.’
WINNER: Tim Bancroft
Annette shifted the blue overnight case onto her other arm, pulled at the collar of her new blouse. ‘Sam, this is really uncomfortable.’
Beside her, Sam shrugged. ‘I warned you about wearing something so new.’
‘But it’s bright. And it goes with my necklace.’
Sam snorted. ‘Overly ostentatious jewellery.’ He looked round the Market Square at the crowds of tourists dressed like themselves. A small dog trotted up to Annette, stopped, wagged its tail and sat down. It cocked his head to one side and pricked up its ears.
‘Oh, look,’ said Annette. ‘So cute.’ She put the case down, stroked the dog’s head and checked his tag. ‘Are you Piecrust?’ The dog muzzled her hand for a moment.
‘Leave it. You don’t know where it’s been.’
She looked up. ‘Don’t be grumpy.’ In that moment of distraction, the dog seized the bag in its teeth and ran back the way it had come.
‘Come back, you mutt!’ Sam gave chase but had to weave in and out of the crowd. The dog disappeared into an alley; moments later came the sound of a motorbike starting up. Sam arrived at the mouth of the alleyway just as a motorbike disappeared out the other end, Piecrust’s head poking from a saddle bag. ‘Damn,’ he said. ‘Lost them.’
Annette caught up, shrugged. ‘No worries.’ She pulled out her mobile, dialled. ‘Sir? They use a dog. The bait’s taken.’
There was a satisfied grunt. ‘Well done, Sergeant. We’ll track it from here.’
Congratulations, Emily and Tim! And thanks to all who entered.
We’ll see you at 9.50am next week – bring your muesli and your muses.