Mishi’s Tale – Bones, fur and little bells

Part 1 –  Over the Bridge

As I walked along the disused platform I could make out the tufts of fur and small bones scattered along the tarmac and in the long grass beyond.
A few feet ahead I could see something shining in the sodium light of the platform apposite.
I recognised it instantly so I kicked it into the long grass where it would be more difficult to see. After all, if found by anyone else it would be a  death sentence for the animal that I had come to save.
The sun had been going down by the time that Laszlo and I reached Dawn Lane Railway Station. We were on a mission to plan and the capture of an wild animal believed to be a feral dog.
The beast had been distressing commuters on the city bound platform who were able to see across the way to the disused side.
My neighbor Laszlo had told me of stories about a devil dog roaming the station platforms by night. It was living off small animals and scraps left on the one remaining used platform.
Laz, as some called him, wanted to save the dog before it became a victim of public opinion. He had conscripted me to join in the mission.
And I was a willing recruit.
We had been neighbors for a number of years and had come to be best friends.
Laz, or Laszlo Fodor to give him his full name was short, rather overweight and partly hidden behind a short cut beard. He is what we around here would describe as ” all Arse and Pockets”.
If this doesn’t conjure up a picture then imagine the popular paintings of Toulouse Lautrec and you won’t be far off the mark.

We Need Cunning Plan

Putting aside Laszlo’s appearance he had a heart of gold.
He had come to me for help in catching this unfortunate beast which, incidentally, he had never even seen for himself.
I sometimes called him Laz which he didn’t seem to mind but I didn’t make a habit of it.
At school his nickname was “Four Door” ( Fordor – get it ). I never dared to use that one in his presence but when thinking about him that’s the one that he’s comes up.
As we stood on the disused side of the line I started to tell him about the object that I had kicked into the long grass.
We were far enough away from anyone else but it didn’t stop me talking in a whisper.
” Go on then, spill the beans”, Laszlo hissed half covering his mouth with one hand ” whats the big deal?”.
” You saw me kick something? yep, well it was a nice pink collar with a little bell on it”.
“Oh dear” he laughed”
” It could be curtains for it if that gets out
 We’d best find some way to catch it before it gets into anymore of a mess”.
“It’s already been good night Vienna for one poor pussy”
I agreed, “but how? we’ve not even set eyes on it yet”.
I dropped my voice as we drew near to the ticket office and the guy who let us have the key to the bridge half an hour earlier.
The guy in the ticket office stared at us as though we’d lost the plot.
You could almost see him thinking here they come again.
He may be glad that we were returning they key but I doubted that he would want to let us have it on a regular basis.
Well until the job was done.
How, on earth, was going to take to the idea of two middle-aged guys attempting to catch a hell hound.
To make things worse we had no idea of where to start, let alone what we would do with it if, by some miracle, we actually caught the thing.
I’d spent the last twenty years as a salesman but I didn’t fancy trying to sell this idea to the railways official representative.
I left it to Fourdoor. He went over and talked to the ticket guy for a couple of minutes  then sauntered casually over to me.
” He says we can have the key any time so long as we make ourselves scarce when the trains are due and we Must stay off the tracks”.
No problem there then I told myself.
We handed back the key and wondered home to concoct a plan.

Simplicity is the Key

The walk home was both dark and shrouded in the silence of thoughtful plotting.

I could think of several ideas, off the cuff, which included:

  • Tempt it with treats and grab it, simple but it probably wont fall for it.
  • Lasso it, neither of us had done this in a very long time and even then with little or no success.
  • Net it, with a large net. Problem no net and no skill in throwing one.
  • A box trap – this is where you put down bait and prop a box over it so that pulling a string will cause the box or cage to drop over it. This had once worked for me but only when catching a Hamster.
  • Borrow a professional trap from the RSPCA or similar. The nearest RSPCA was twelve miles away and they might not take to the idea of lending equipment to us.

The last idea had an additional problem. The RSPCA, we were told, had already had several attempts to capture the beast all without any success. They may not want two amateurs to succeed where  they had failed.

I decided to say nothing to Fourdoor until the next night when we would have our strategy meeting.

Incidentally I have opted for the Fourdoor  as it comes to  mind more naturally.

Arrangements made, for the next night, we went our separate ways.

Home to bed and to plan.


Part 2 – Meet the Beast

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