(a wee gift to the tiny people of the world)
Horatio Hound wiggled his whiskers in his sleep. He twitched his paws. He ruffled his very long ears. Finally he opened his eyes and rolled onto his tummy. “No, no,” said The Cat, “you rolled the wrong way! Now you’re out of the sunlight!” The Cat was a championship sunbather. “But hark, The Cat! I perceived a sound!” replied Horatio, his nostrils flaring. “Is it a mouse?” asked The Cat. “No, regrettably, it is not a mouse,” answered Horatio. The Cat sighed, re-wrapped her tail around her paws, closed her eyes, and returned to her meditations. Horatio, not content to let a new, strange sound go uninvestigated, stretched and stood and listened. The sound drifted into the sunny parlour from the kitchen, and it was a sound of crying. Alert now, Horatio Hound trotted to the kitchen where he found Baby Walter wailing disconsolately at his mother, sitting up high in the high chair. “The pink pachyderm! The pink pachyderm has fallen to its doom!” wailed Baby Walter. He was only one year old, so he could still speak the language of animals. “Alas and alack! Mother, why do you not understand me?” Horatio licked Baby Walter on the foot in a comforting manner and answered. “Baby Walter, your lovely mother speaks only the limited language of humans! She is unable to comprehend this situation. Please, friend, allow me to attempt sign language with her! Tell me where the pink pachyderm may yet be found.” Baby Walter sobbed a small sob and slowed the ferocity of his outcries. “West-by-southwest it fell, toward the bright constellation of Scorpius, but it fell so far that I can no longer perceive it.” Horatio took a sniff to find the North Star (which a good hound can detect even by daylight). He turned himself three times around to activate the magnetic compass in his brain. He found west-by-southwest exactly, put nose to the floor, and began tracking the toy. Suddenly, he caught the scent of a well-loved stuffy! Nosing under the couch and straining his head as far as he could go, Horatio found the pink pachyderm and picked it up in his teeth, saved! He returned to where Mommy was trying to comfort Baby Walter and sat proudly, toy dangling from his mouth. Mommy said something in human language and then said “Good boy, Horatio,” and accepted the slightly soggy pink pachyderm. “Thank you, Horatio,” said Baby Walter, now calm, from up in the high chair. Horatio smiled.