It’s a unsaid given in life that you’ll meet all sorts of weird, wonderful and sometimes wacky people. Unless you live under a rock. In which case you’ll meet weird, wonderful and wacky worms who stop by your home looking for shade.
However. If you’re normal and chatting to worms only happens to you occasionally, you’ll find the human race an entertaining lot.
People like Clyde.
Clyde is retired, in his eighties and lives alone with his beloved cat, Bob. He used to work on radio, has a vast CD collection of thirty or so disks (I didn’t have the heart to tell him iPods these days carry a few thousand songs) and is a reputable story teller.
His tall tales range from hilariously funny to dubiously believable and he obviously believes every one of them. While I couldn’t tell you for certain whether he’s phoned the Prime Minister or has a cousin who sells kelpies to the Americans, his stories of Bob’s adventures excited my imagination.
Bob is a grey, slinky cat with slanted eyes and a collar tag which reads ‘Bob the Builder’. A story for another time. He acts as Clyde’s alarm clock, is fearless in the face of snakes and, I am informed, chases dogs.
I sat on the veranda with Clyde today and he told me of Bob’s dog chasing love affair. Unsuspecting canine get a fur full of fright if they happen to walk by Bob’s pad. Out he’ll race, a cat on a mission, and off goes the dog, scared witless. Bob will take on any dog, including the neighbour’s Alsatian.
Listening to these cat tales, I pictured the ninja of all cats karate chopping dogs into yelping sissies and mesmerizing snakes into spineless worms. Clyde tells the stories with a lot of feline affection often breaking off to say to Bob, ‘You like chasing them dogs, don’t ya, Bobby?’ or ‘Ya remember that, mate? Remember that snake?’.
When all the cat stories were told, I glanced over at the great mammal himself to see what he thought of it all.
Bob was lounging in a chair next to Clyde and not paying a lot of attention to his stories of super cat heroism. Clyde started telling me another tale and that was when Bob looked over and gave me a look.
If cats could speak (and I’m sure Bob could if he tried), I’m almost sure that look would have meant,