I'm worried. In fact I am almost very worried. I think I might be going mad. The Old Bat doesn't think I'm going mad: she thinks I have already gone mad.
Stark raving mad. Barking mad. Crackers - or, as Jonathan Ross would say, quackers.
I have started talking to the dog in duck. I really didn't think she would understand duck, but it would appear that she understands duck better than plain English.
Fern (the dog) is always fed immediately after the OB and I have had our evening meal. While the OB loads the dishwasher, I get the dog's meal ready. Meanwhile, the dog is supposed to sit quietly in the kitchen doorway. It's probably not really surprising that she generally heads for the dishwasher, intent on helping to clean our dinner plates. I have to speak to her quite sternly before she will return to the doorway.
But the other evening, as the OB headed for the dishwasher, I looked at Fern and spoke to her in duck. "Quack, quack, quack," I said. Fern sat in the kitchen doorway good as gold and waited, albeit impatiently, as her meal was prepared.
Last thing at night we send Fern down the garden and she always rushes off, barking madly to scare off any cats or squirrels or foxes that might be lurking under the shrubs. We always tell her to be quiet, but it never works. That is until I let her out and said, "Quack quack." She didn't utter a sound while she was out.
Then, in the park, she darted into the bushes and came out carrying a dead rat. One "quack" from me and she dropped it and came to heel.
It's really very exciting: I could have made a breakthrough in human-canine communication. The possibilities are endless. A professorship, a chair in Duck at Oxford or Cambridge, a visiting professorship at Harvard or Yale. A worldwide chain of language schools. A Nobel prize for something or other. Perhaps a knighthood, or maybe I'll be made a Lord in the Queen's Birthday Honours.
On the other hand, perhaps all my friends will be wearing white coats.
It's really very worrying.