The Enemy from Within

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June 30th 2018
Published: June 30th 2018
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Woolly says - The British summer had really arrived and instead of burying the shorts deep into drawers the nation has legs on show along with the slightly less savoury uncovered chest of the odd passing male. As the women worked away I had taken to spending an hour or so a day with the overly large dog, Kobi a mastiff ridgeback cross, that shares with us, his conversation is sparse and usually only in the form of woofs but he's friendly enough and it's quite entertaining to trow pistachio shells at him. With hours to fill each day I had decided to take over the planning of our day trips, having consulted my trusty map and checked out my facts in the Mammoth Book of Everything I was pleased when the women greeted my proposal with smiles and lots of head nodding. With the windows down we sped through the town centre and towards the country, just as I was about to start my fascinating lecture on our destination, Jo, beat me to it and started to tell stories of her childhood, having given her a hard stare she paused for a moment and I managed to get my opening gambit in. The Clent Hill range consists of, in order from north-west to south-east of Wychbury Hill, Clent Hill (and Adams Hill), and Walton Hill (and Calcot Hill) and continues eastwards to include Romsley Hill, Waseley Hills and the Lickey Hills. Barely had the words left my mouth than the car came to a halt and the females climbed out dashed towards a fence, this wasn't going according to plan.

My small companion seemed mildly distressed by our sudden departure from his route plan, I smiled down at him and pointed to the obelisk that sits high on Wychbury Hill, a place that I had sledged down, run down and fallen down in my younger days.

Woolly says - The monument had been constructed in 1747 and had spent a lot of it's life in disrepair, local myths say that it was built in memory of the first Lord Lyttleton, a huge landowner of the time, and that his faithful dog had sat there following his death in wind, rain and snow until his own demise. With a couple of pictures taken we climbed back on board and drove towards Clent itself. The Clent Hills are well known for their role in the legend of St. Kenelm, who was murdered on a hunting trip at the north eastern slopes in 821 AD, as well as being one of the places where a beacon was lit in 1588 to warn of the Spanish Armarda. Today the area is maintained by the national trust and provides good walks for the local population. A gentle incline took us from the car park towards the highest viewing point where the views covered miles across the rolling landscape, we sat enjoying the sunshine and fresh air for a while before making our way towards some interesting looking upright stones. The Four Stones are one of the most mysterious places in the region, at sunset, particularly on a frosty winter’s evening, they radiate an aura of Neolithic mystery. Except they’re not stone age and for that matter they’re not even medieval. The megaliths were erected around 1763 by workers of the eccentric landowner – George, Lord Lyttleton of Hagley Hall – as something to see from his mansion, they did look good though and with the landscape behind them gave an incredible picture.

As we walked on the small furry one galloped between foxgloves and trees pausing every now and then to breath deeply through his trunk before disappearing again into the low lying ferns, we paused for another break at the oldest tree on the hills.

Woolly says - The Beech had stood proudly on it's patch for the last two hundred and fifty years, sadly it's branches are falling and high winds in the winter months cause it more and more problems as it falls into decline. It's beautiful canopy allowed sunlight to twinkle through, I wondered what stories it could tell from the Roman battles it must have witnessed to fighter planes flying over it's leaves during the second world war, if only trees could talk. With my paws aching I settled back into the car and as Zoe listened to music Jo and I discussed what we would watch for our evening's entertainment. We're all enjoying not having to squeeze into one room although it does mean me sharing with Jo, this has it's benefits as I get to choose our movies and look after the popcorn. With the film ready and the popcorn bowl filled Jo popped to the bathroom leaving me in control of the corn delights, having managed to balance a piece on each tusk and one on the end of my trunk suddenly my world changed as my head disappeared into a slobbery darkness, unable to breath and scream for help I wiggled as much as I could given the sharp white teeth that surrounded me. I could feel wetness seeping into my fur as terror took over, my tail the only slobber free part of me waved in a frantic attempt to get attention when suddenly my body hit the ground and I dared to open one eye to see the enemy from within dribbling spittle onto me and then licking his lips. I did what any sensible mammoth would do in the situation and screamed loudly before trying to gain my paws and balance, just as I had made it to an upright position the huge mouth engulfed me once more and I could feel my inner's being pierced as more drool covered me, I squeaked and tried to lash out but the huge beast was no match for me, was this the end? would I never eat another pistachio? how would my best friend Sion manage without me? My life flashed before my eyes, so many countries where danger had lain but I was to be slain by the dog that I had befriended, I closed my eyes as my body hit the ground again and waited for everything to end.

The room seemed strangely quiet on my return, with no crunch of popcorn or slurping of juice coming from my small companion, it seemed strange that he had left a whole bowl of snacks, settling back into my seat my ears picked up a small cry before a crescendo of barking started.

Woolly says - The noise was tremendous as the mammothnapper woofed into the night sky, my paws didn't seem able to work and taking the last of my small reserves of energy I used my trunk to pull me upright, I glanced up as I went to take my first step into the eyes of the demon and saw his fangs heading back towards my body, I tried one more scream before blackness took over.

The din ceased as I arrived on the roof terrace and Kobi the dog looked towards me, having told him that he needed to be quiet I turned to leave when I spotted a small lump on the ground between his giant paws, a chill ran down my spine, I took a step forward and his huge brown eyes looked wearily at me, another inch forward and his head lowered towards the sodden bundle, knowing that getting any nearer could result in the end of mammoth life, I did the only think possible and shouted at him. He backed away slightly and having shouted for the second time he moved far enough away, I slowly bent down and picked up my friend, a small whimper came out of his beaten body as I cradled him close, racing into the bathroom I just hoped that mouth to trunk resuscitation wouldn't be needed as the amount of slobber covering him wasn't appealing combined with the smell of dog chew and wet mammoth. Holding him gently I checked for damage and other than being sodden there were no holes or chunks out of him, as I rubbed his wet belly a small feeble sound came out and he peered up at me through one bleary eye.

Woolly says - The relief was immense, I almost wanted to hug Jo for saving me from the jaws of death but I don't like her that much. As she prodded and poked at my body I felt bruised, but everything seemed to be working and I sighed in relief at which e moment the tap was turned on and I got my second soaking of the night!

He wasn't happy but the need for a bath was vital, as years of dirt poured down the drain and the smell in the room changed to one of washing powder and freshness, I wrapped hi in a large fluffy towel and rubbed him dry admiring the new colour that had emerged, he looked very smart and smelt divine, as he sat frowning and finally munching on his popcorn, I smiled fondly at him, he might be a nuisance at times and have the most disgusting habits but I didn't want him turned into dog food.

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30th June 2018

Poor Woolly...
I'm pleased you saved him just in time. After all these years it was time for a bath. No wonder he doesn't like you that much. Tell Woolly next time not to squeak...dogs love squeeky dinners. The Mammothnapper does look contrite!
1st July 2018

Recovering well
He seems to have recovered well and certainly smells much better. Hoping there isn't a next time, this is a dog that eats everything in it's path.....he's very cute though

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