The Love Caper

“What are you doing grandma?”
“Weaving a yarn.”
“Can I see it?”
“Close your eyes and listen and you shall see it with your mind’s eye.”
“I have shut my eyes!”
“Listen then, to this tale I call The – Love Caper.”

Pupmas the forsaken stray was smitten the moment he laid his roving eyes on her. The compact one with glossy brown fur and eyes filled with naivete and curiosity as she glanced at him through the bars of the gate. 

His longing whispered, “Struck! Struck am I by thou charm. Struck to the very core of my canine being. From where did thee descend, fair maiden of the Morgans?”

Before she could react to his rakish unkempt presence, which he considered was reasonably swoon-worthy, a flash of brown and silver appeared next to her. Looming over the golden pupperina-of-his-dreams was a sleek dog poised to strike, her eyes trained on him, her teeth bared, her claws drawn, deadly sharp and gleaming.

How typical, thought he. The protective big sister. Over protective. The tarred ground beneath his feet trembled as she let out a warning growl, followed by rumbling barks, punctuated by snarling. Her saliva dripped in a steady stream. She snarled, “Who draws near! My able nose sniffs out a foul beast! Be gone repulsive untidy rake, carrier of pests and critters! Be gone! I will tear you limb to limb, shall thou venture any closer to princess.”

But the infatuation was so great that it consumed the sliver of fear snaking its way through his veins, transforming the feeling into a resolve to win his pupperina at any cost.

A frown appeared on his pupperina’s brow as she wavered between her sister’s fierce rage and his gentle affection.

He held his breath as she tilted her head in that cute way, her squeaky clean ears perked up, her eyes shining as they met his.

She yapped, “Pray tell, where did thee descend from, O seeker of my fine paws?”

Then she obediently let out a series of barks, joining in with her ferocious sister as she made her decision.

“Revolting is thy shabby presence! Heed my sibling’s fair warning and depart! This very moment!” She delicately raised a paw emphasizing her harsh words.

His hope plummeted and he panted. But that voice. That voice. Her barking held the tiniest hint of doubt. Did it not? Or so he believed. He allowed her short, sharp barks to drive arrows into his squishy heart, scaffolding his resolve, hypnotizing him. Flooding his senses with rapture. Involuntarily driven by an inexplicable compulsion, his paws tapped the ground, his tail swished and his body shook.

His euphoria whistled, “So high am I! Higher than the clouds drifting in the heavens!”

He danced in wild abandon in front of her gate, his body undulating, his head tipping left and right, forward and backward, ears flapping, tail waving, his movements growing more frenzied in tandem with the rhythmic barking. But his pupperina did not relent as she sided with her sister. Their barks resonated, making the air shiver and the ground shake. The chorus rang high. Their heads shook in utter disbelief. “Hark! Hark! He hath dropped his reason. His marbles run free, helter-skelter. He lingers still. Like a wobbly spinning top, he gyrates. Crazy canine is bound to drop, shall he not catch his breath!”

Close to collapse with exhaustion from his wooing dance, he decided to call it a day and he retreated, tail tamely tucked between his hind legs.

His yearning panted. “Return I shall! To the abode…no…fortress of my pupperina! Tomorrow! Tomorrow awaits.”

Tomorrow is a new day after all. It will be filled with hope and promise and excitement. Or so he thought. But the scene repeated the next day. And the next. And the next. Till he lost count.

Countless days later he was walking back from his daily wooing fiasco. That is when he ran into another. A maverick from the streets who must have evaded the formidable guards to enter his realm. One who resembled his pupperina. But a scruffy older version with a self-assured, kind and soft gaze. Grizzly fur. A tender expression. And a welcoming stance. His heart fluttered and he looked at her with all the love in his heart. She sniffed deeply and returned his gaze boldly. His doggerina had arrived. Her bark reverberated, “Hear! Hear! O disgruntled rake of the prestigious Glens! It takes one to know one. Cliched, yet truer words have not been spoken. Thee mirror me. Thy intent tugs mine.”

The connection was instant.

They communicated without barking. 

I hear you, let us go, she seemed to say. She followed him as he led the way. In stony silence. Back to the gate. As if on cue, pupperina and her sister made a coordinated barking appearance. He walked back and forth in their view with a pronounced swagger and broke into a dance of victory as he paraded his new-found love. His doggerina didn’t miss a beat as she reciprocated his feelings and joined him. Now that should make pupperina regret her decision to stay put with her boring family, instead of leaping over the wall to join him, he figured. But the pupperina’s expression was glacial while her sister’s reflected smug relief, as they both restlessly paced the perimeter. Not a flicker of regret. Instead their eyes glittered with amused nonchalance.

A twinge of annoyance made his tail rotate. Anti-clockwise.

“Not a word, not a care, not a thought do thee spare my way! But alas, who cares, it is not like me to dwell in the fizzled out has-beens.” He sighed and sniffed and so did his doggerina, who howled, “Rightly said O Canine-of-my-dreams! Forsaken by the fickle-minded bipeds to roam this space, lost yet free. Your ardent displays of affection so callously rejected by your own kind. But no more. Forlorn no more you shall be. Thou for I, I for thee. Thus shall we remain.” Her sneer revealed teeth browned by age and wear, drawing a grin from him, as he battled with the urge to look back.

With a final flick of his head he sprinted away along with his doggerina. Into the great wide open they ventured, to begin their reign as The Canine Couple of the contained little human realm.

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