In case you haven’t already met her I would like to introduce you to my closest friend in this world, Amiga Friedman.
This magnificent animal is a Boerboel, almost 7 years old so she is getting on a little and not quite as frisky as she used to be. Her favourite spot at the end of the day is curled up on my side of the bed on top of the lovely fluffy green blanket I bought at Monsieur Presay last season. She is quite happy to curl up there until I arrive and gently ask her to move 25 or more times which she eventually does, albeit very grudgingly and flops down just a little further away leaving me barley enough bed to hang onto the edge of. For all that, she is lovely and warm to sleep next to in winter.
Boerboels are hunting dogs, they were bred to hunt lions and elephants in the 1800’s. Amiga actually saunters somewhat like a lioness when she walks swinging her back hips from one side to the other delightfully and looking like she owns the world or my world at least. I won’t go into the history of the boerboel as such except to say that these magnificent dogs were bred as hunters and protectors and they are fiercely loyal. For a fascinating and thorough history of the African Breed of Boerboels read this link http://www.african-boerboel.co.za/history.htm
My Amiga, bless her, is the most (tongue in cheek) fearless of them all.
In our suburb we have a rat problem. By problem I mean that the rats are taking over. I can hear them playing football across the ceiling at night. You can even hear the spectators cheer when one of them scores a goal. As far as I know none of them have opened a restaurant as yet but I am sure it is just a matter of time. Amiga not being able to understand what all the noise is about that is going on over her head is quite happy to spend time hurtling around the house, jumping on and off the bed and barking at the ceiling. Not that the ceiling shows even the remotest interest in her. A thousand mini heart attacks have I already had as madam has erupted into a furious barking fit with her snout pointed at the sky! Likewise the rats have somehow found their way into the foundations are quite happily building a large communal residence under the bath tub. You can hear the scratching of earth works going on relentlessly at times which only serves to frustrate Amiga even more as she cannot understand why the bathtub will not get up and move out the way so she can ferret out the noisy creatures underneath and extract an e-toll from them for rent.
The house has been quiet of late. It would appear that Ratatouille and co have found a grander house to move onto and we, Amiga and I, were not unhappy to see them go. I would have offered to help them move if they had asked for a little help. I was ready to hop into bed the other night at around 10pm, was just psyching myself up for the battle of wills to shift a the sleeping dog over to the other side when something scratched my foot. Thinking that it felt like grape stalk for some reason then suddenly realizing that I hadn’t been in the bed eating grapes and leaving the stalks lying around I decided to shake the blanket a bit. Imagine my surprise when I looked up and there perched quite happily next to a dozing Amiga was lo and behold Ratatouille himself. “Eeeeekkkkkk” I screeched and leaped back into the bookcase dislodging one or two tomes onto the floor. There’s a rat in my bed. Amiga, my fearless barker of rats in the ceiling and hunter of noises under the bath opened an eye. Just one eye. she looked. She sniffed. She sniffed again. Then she closed her eye and went back to sleep. I realized to my utter dismay that there was to be no help forthcoming from that particular quarter.
At this point Ratatouille batted his big beautiful brown eyes at me, twitched his whiskers, he being a real charmer and very, very cute, and moved quite comfortably into to the tunnel the blanket made on the bed. The hero rat, showed absolutely no signs of fear and seemed to be making himself quite at home. I have shared my bed with a rat or two in my time but they generally were a lot bigger, walked on two legs and turned tail and ran as often as not. This was not one of those rats and I didn’t intend on letting him share the bed with moi and my incredible hunting dog.
I made a plan. I was going to grab a handy scarf, throw it over the rat, grab it and toss it out the door and onto the patio from where it could scuttle back to where it had emerged from. As plans go it wasn’t a bad one and it was going along swimmingly until Madam Amiga decided at this point, now that the door was open, to go out for her nightly ablutions. As luck would have it just as she leaped gracefully off the bed to go out the door, we collided and young Ratatouille went plummeting down to the ground. He appeared a little stirred but completely unshaken. Amiga, the fearless hunter turned to look at this young interloper, sniffed in its general direction and the two of them walked out the door together, David and Goliath. In this instance though, Ratatouille was Goliath and they like the best of friends. Amiga went right and the rat going left. I think if the rat had been wearing a hat he would at this point have turned and doffed it at me like the well bred gentleman he appeared to be.
Bed stripped, blanket in the wash, I eventually succumbed to sleep, safe in the knowledge that I could rest knowing Amiga would protect me from rats. I dreamed peacefully, wondering who had moved my cheese