Pio was here today. Pio is the man who comes when the Girl has extra jobs or heavy work. Pio is great. He can do plumbing and electricity and mending things, and once he gave me some lasagna when the Cook gave him too much at dinner time. He didn’t know that the Cook gave me my own lasagna. The Girl didn’t know that either of them gave me lasagna; she thinks she’s the only one who feeds me.
This morning I was rambling round the garden checking up on things, when I noticed a door open that is never open – a door into the house. I was on burglar alert immediately, but sniffing indicated that it was Pio and the Girl. So I tracked them. I tracked them up a stairs, up, up, up, and the stairs was a bit slithery for me so it wasn’t very easy, but I kept my nose down and didn’t lose the scent.
Up, up, up the slithery steps, and eventually I came out on the terrace at the very top of the house. Pio and the Girl were there, arranging old furniture and boxes and suitcases and all the other things that had been stored in the attic. There was even the cow and the donkey from the crib that they couldn’t find last Christmas. And someone’s old shoes, and a shopping trolley with a broken wheel, and a mouldy blanket! It was very exciting! So many smells, some of them really old!
Pio saw me, but he didn’t say anything. He kept talking to the Girl about what things to keep and how she would have to wait until something that he put on the walls of the attic was dry before putting the good things back, and the Girl was saying how it would be hard to bring the things for throwing out down the stairs, and it was a pity that the lift doesn’t go all the way up to the terrace.
I was behind an old cupboard, but my tail thumped against something and the Girl heard and whirled round.
“Murphy!” she exclaimed. “How did you get up here? What on earth do you think you’re doing?”
“Rodent control”, I replied quickly. “I thought you might find rats up here, so I came to deal with them.”
“Don’t be silly, Murphy,” she said. “There are no rats up here, nor even mice. Only a nest that some bees made last year, and the bees themselves are gone now. Go downstairs at once. You know you’re not supposed to be in the house!”
“This isn’t in the house,” I pointed out. “There’s no roof here, it’s all open.”
“Are you sure I can’t help?” I offered quickly. “Give me some things that need to be brought down, and I’ll run down the stairs with them in my mouth.”
“You’re a great dog, Murphy,” said the Girl. “But Pio and myself will manage everything. Now, off you go. Stay down there and keep the burglars out. Thanks.”
The stairs was even more slithery on the way down.
I don’t know why Pio was laughing so much.