I used to have a lurcher. He was a tall dog, slim and intelligent and could run like the wind.
That was in the days when I lived in the countryside, and he and I would go out in the fields together.
One day I was standing on the Common – a large section of communal grassy land facing the cottage where we lived.
We must have lived in the smallest village in England because there were only about five cottages.
It was a beautiful setting and ideal for long walks in the fields.
So on this particular day I was standing on the Common looking at the cottage, and the woman next door came out of her cottage. She came across to talk to me and to tell me some news. She told me her old dog had started eating again. She had been so worried about him.
Her dog was a heavy-set dog, old and slow moving. I would see him dragging himself around. And with the news that she told me, in my mind’s eye I imagined her dog back in the cottage, having roused himself to eat breakfast.
And that’s when I saw my super-sneaky dog coming out of her cottage. He held his head low like he did when he was doing something sneaky. And his tongue was tongue lolling in his mouth, back and forth as he licked his lips.
Of course, he had stolen the breakfast and the dog next door was not eating. But I couldn’t tell her that. I just kept nodding and agreeing and smiling.
My dog, in true lurcher fashion, was too wise to come up to me. He knew he’d be spotted for a breakfast-stealing rogue. So he hung back and eyed me and I looked at my neighbour and willed her not to turn around to see him.