One, two, three heads with floppy ears I counted, appearing and peering up from the front seats; there were some more bobbing around in the back of the vehicle. I lost count. there seemed to be an entanglement of canine bodies and from the middle of it was “keep away,” barking.
A large man in working clothes hobbled towards the car. It was one of those shaped like a tall post van, but with more windows.
He opened the driver’s door and ordered the three dogs to “move over” so he could heave himself into his seat. The driver opened the passenger window, giving the one dog that stayed next to him, the opportunity to put its head outside. It wanted a pat. However, I was not sure about the aroma that wafted out at me as I patted it.
Me: “How many dogs have you got?”
The barking dog deciding this was its cue to resume its rasping noise.
“Q u i e t!” a female voice ordered. ………..Where had she been hiding.
“Eleven, we’ve got eleven dogs”,
Me:“I lost count”.
“We often do as well”, said the woman, leaning forward from the corner of the rear seat as she spoke.
Just then the man at the wheel called “Come here Tiger”.
An almost white pigeon fluttered down onto the dashboard. Tiger’s tell tale trail signs of dried white splashes were already on it. The bird made no attempt to fly out of the open window. It would not, it liked being where it was, I was assured. Tiger had been hand reared. There was a pigeon loft at home. No, they did not race or take messages anywhere, the other pigeons just enjoyed their home comforts in their loft. Tiger, I was informed, was not part of the loft flock.
The car with its canine, feathered and human cargo and the groceries, eased out of the parking space and disappeared from view.