Fred. An Organic Gardener
Millie. A Dog Owner
Spider. Millie’s consort
Constable Peter. A PSNI Officer
Constable Paul. Another PSNI Officer
The Scene: A small market garden. Adjacent to the market garden is a meadow where a small flock of sheep are grazing peacefully. Fred is tipping a barrow load of compost on to a heap when he sees Millie who is just outside the market garden gate. She is unfastening the leashes on two large and rather fat Rottweilers.
Fred: Have I not told you before about letting those dogs loose near those sheep? Can you not see that sign I have up?
Millie: Why don’t you mind your own business? My dogs’ll not go near your oul sheep.
Millie is wrong about this as the dogs are already running into the field with the sheep. The sheep are cornered at the bottom of the field. The dogs are barking and snapping at them. Then out of the huddle comes the ram. He is a fine large specimen of a pedigree Zwartble. He lowers his head and rams the nearest dog right between the eyes. The dog runs off stunned and whimpering softly. The other dog goes for the ram. The ram undaunted charges into its side and it is obvious that this dog has been hurt. Millie starts screeching.
Millie: Luck at my dog. That dog is hurt. You owe me a lot of money mister. There’s going to be big vet’s bills to pay. That’s if the dog doesn’t die. That dog’s worth a fortune. He’s got a pedigree as long as your arm. You are going to be paying me big money mister!
Fred: Money you say? Aye maybe I do owe ye a lot of money. And maybe I don’t. What do you say we get the police here and hear what they have to say?
Millie: You get the police if you like. I’m ringing my husband. He’s going to have plenty to say to you about this let me tell you!
Ten minutes later. The stunned dog is hiding behind Millie. The hurt dog is lying on its side panting. Spider arrives. In the distance a police car is slowly approaching.
Spider: What the fuck is going on here? What have you done to my dog?
Fred: I’ve done nothing to your dog but the ram has probably cracked his ribs. I’d get him to a vet pretty quick if I were you.
Spider: The vet? Aye and you’ll be paying the bill!
Fred. We’ll see.
Spider: You will. Let me assure you, you will pay for this. One way or another.
Millie: Aye you’ll pay. We know boys who’ll make you pay. Don’t we Spider?
Spider: Too fucking right. The main boy in Harrykeel is a very good friend of ours. We’re very well connected.
Fred: Well that’s very nice for you. Here’s the police. Let’s hear what they have to say.
Millie: This boy here is keeping a dangerous animal in that field and it has half kilt our dog. Luck at him lying there!
Constable Peter: You had the dogs off the lead.
Millie: Aye but that’s not the point…
Constable Peter: And Mr Carr has a big sign up on the gate warning people to keep their dogs on a lead.
Millie: Aye but the dogs were off the lead outside his place.
Constable Peter: But they ran straight into the field where the sheep were. You hadn’t those dogs under control. I don’t see how Mr Carr could have done any more to protect your dogs.
Millie: But that’s ridiculous.
Constable Peter: Tell me Mr Carr, do you have a shotgun?
Fred. No I don’t.
Constable Peter: Well you’d be entitled to have a shotgun. And then you’d be able to shoot any dog that worried your sheep.
Millie: (screeching) Whaaaat! That cannot be right!
Constable Peter: I assure you it is. Isn’t that correct Constable Paul?
Constable Paul: That is correct. And Madam I’d advise you take your dog to a vet immediately.
What Happened Next
There was no word of the injured dog. Fred hasn’t seen Millie, Spider or their dogs since.
Fred did not lose much sleep over the promised visit from the Head Man of the Paramilitaries.
He decided against getting a shotgun. The Zwartbles can take care of themselves..