The strange rat looked a bit confused, and asked Miss Blatz, “You’re friends with this mutt? She’s not bothering you?” “No, but you are!” Sam was ready to fight now herself. “Sir,” said Miss Blatz politely, though she stood at her full (albeit tiny) height and her whiskers quivered. “This terrier is my good friend Sadie Lynn, and she would never hurt me, or, may I add, be so rude as you are now.”
“Oh,” the rat looked disappointed, but then promptly put his fists back up in the air and began hopping from foot to foot again. “Well, I can still take her on! Put up your dukes, I said, put ‘em up!”
Sadie Lynn had stayed silent until now, as her friends had stepped up in her defense without her needing to say a word, but now she spoke, “Who are you and why on earth do you want to fight with me?”
“The name is Jenner, old sport,” said the rat, doing his best to talk like The Great Gatsby too as he continued to hop and box the air, “And I want to best every terrier in town! And everything else too!”
“Well, I don’t want to fight you,” said Sadie Lynn, “so if you’d like to join us as a friend, please help yourself to a sandwich and sit down, but if you’re looking for trouble, I advise you to be on your way.”
“Oh ho ho ho!” The rat was not deterred. In fact, he seemed excited. “A threat is it, old sport? That’s the spirit!”
Clearly, trying to make him go away only served to encourage him, so the girls decided to ignore him instead, making a point of having very polite conversation with one another and any other pet that went past. It was quite fun, as everyone was speaking in the lingo of the 1920s, saying this was the bee’s knees or cat’s pajamas.
Presently, Miss Blatz was approached by a pair of Bassett hounds in police costumes, pretending to be enforcers of Prohibition as part of a detective game. They warned her about rumrunners and asked if she’d heard of any speakeasies in the area. Miss Blatz, playing along, started to answer, but was cut off by a howl of pain from one of the hounds.
Jenner had launched himself at the poor dog from behind, and was wrestling with his tail!
End of Part Two
Story and Illustration by Mary Grace Mauney
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