In From the Cold

Pekingese dog illustration

It looks warm in there. The human has its arms bared to the air, so the temperature must be far better than it is out here. The dog looks toasty, too, despite it being bereft of half of its coat. Thank goodness for its impressive ability to grow hair. I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw the human brushing out its downy fur and simply discarding of it on the lawn.

I should do it now, before it gets too dark. Oh, but what if it doesn’t go well? What if the human shoos me away? What if it just throws a bit of food at me and leaves me to eat it out in the cold, like the others?

No. I must think positive. This is different to the last time. And in any case, I can only try.

How do I go about knocking on doors? I’ve seen humans do it many a time, but we’re not quite built the same way. I’ll just nudge at it with my nose, I suppose, and give it a scrabble with my paws.

The human doesn’t hear me, but the dog does. Its ears are pricked up and it’s looking towards me. I better keep going, then.

The dog’s up and about now. Perhaps it’s offering up a growl or a whine. I suppose that’s something I’ll be expected to do soon, if all goes to plan.

The human has arisen now too. It’s coming towards me. It’s opening the door. This is it. Make or break.

“Oh, how precious! A puppy! And he looks like you, Dolly. A tiny, fluffy, version of you.”

I seem to have impressed the human adequately enough. Better not wait around for an invite. I’ll just go straight in. Bit of a struggle getting over the threshold – curse these stumpy legs – but I’ll manage it. For an opportunity like this, I’ll always find a way.

The dog’s snuffling around me, but it isn’t growling. That’s a good sign. I suppose I smell just like it. The human’s just watching me as I make my way past her feet and into the room. The ground in here is soft and warm. I can smell meat, somewhere. Oh, and the dog’s sleeping quarters look simply divine. I think I’ll just crawl right in and settle down.

The dog’s whining now.

“Pipe down, Dolly. The poor little mite looks worn out. I’ll get you some food, sweetheart.”

The dog just stares at me, and I stare right back. I wonder if it knows the truth. If it can tell I’m a hedgehog underneath the mounds of old fur that were brushed from its back. If it’s realised that I could spike it with my spines in a second if it were to rat me out.

It’s lovely and warm in here. Totally worth rolling around in dog hair. It’s the perfect disguise.

This story is what happens when you’re looking for inspiration and you shout at your significant other: “Quick, give me a story prompt. Now, now, now!” His response was: “Umm, erm, umm, A DOG THAT’S A HEDGEHOG IN DISGUISE.” His wish is my command.

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