Friday, July 17, 2009
Grandma's noisy night
Scene: Dark bedroom, dark courtyard outside open window (in picture). Second frame: loud coughing from inside window. A dog appears round the corner. BARK. BARK. WOOFWOOFWOOF.
COUGH. COUGHCOUGH. WHEEZECOUGH.
A cat streaks round the corner past the barking dog.
The dog gives chase, by now WOOFWOOFing uncontrollably.
Another cat joins in, then another.
The low-slung, slow-moving, roly-poly dog waddles into the courtyard. Inside the room, there is the sound of cursing, followed by another bout of COUGHCOUGHCOUGH.
The roly-poly dog joins in. GERWOOF. GERWOOF.
By now the night is hideous with the sounds of battle. An unknown number of cats have joined the fray - remember, there are 15 of them in the vicinity - and both dogs. Their paws make a drumming noise in the echoing confines of the courtyard. There seems to be no reason for any of them ever to quieten down. And no chance of sleep. It is 2am.
Suddenly a light comes on at the top of the stairs (look at the photo again). A door opens and a silhouette appears. It is la nonna - Grandma. A high-pitched torrent of Italian abuse is hurled at the miscreant beasts and a door slams.
And then, miraculously, there is silence. The cats slink off to their nocturnal prowlings, and the dogs retreat to wherever it is they sleep at night. And behind the ornamental bars, behind the geraniums, behind the mosquito mesh, I attempt to be silent, to avoid further barking, to refrain from talking to the dogs.
Now, I need an illustrator ...