A FISHY PROBLEM

A Fishy Problem BY RICK HAYNES


Jasmine stared at the box and wondered what to do with something reeking of dead fish. Holding two fingers over her nose helped, a little, opening the window helped, a lot, but no matter how hard she sprayed disinfectant over it, the box stank.


“Why oh why did I pick this parcel up from the front doorstep and bring it into the kitchen when it’s addressed to someone down the road,” she said to herself? “And where the hell is Arthur when I need to cuddle him?”


Jasmine shouted so loud, Peanut, her treasured moggie, disappeared faster than light through the cat-flap. “So much for being my best friend, Peanut! When the going gets tough, the so-called toughie of the block disappears.”


The doorbell rang and she prayed it was her neighbour bringing back her Labrador, Arthur, from his daily walk. Jasmine opened the door. Arthur barked loudly, sniffed, and galloped into the kitchen.


“Thanks for taking Arthur for a walk, Mrs. Simpkins, if it’s okay with you, can I pay you tomorrow; for all the walks this week?"


“Of course you can dear. The money helps but the walks with Arthur are so good for my health. I’ve lost over a stone.”


“That’s really great, see you tomorrow, bye.”


Scratching, barking, growling, Jasmine heard them all and hesitated. Reluctantly, she walked into the kitchen, held her nose with her right hand, and put the brakes on. “What the hell is going on, Arthur?”


The box was in shreds, Arthur was wagging his tail and looking up at her, and smelly fish were strewn across the floor tiles.


Jasmine slumped onto her favourite stool, laid her weary head onto the surface, grabbed a tea towel to cover her mouth and nose, and closed her eyes. ‘Surely this is all a dream,” she thought.


Sometime later, the noise from Arthur tearing up the parcel abated and Jasmine felt a wet nose on her face. She opened her eyes and found breathing difficult. ‘What have you done now, Arthur?’


Arthur barked, wagged his tail harder than before, and walked over to the mess on the floor.



“What? I don’t believe it,” Jasmine shouted as she patted Arthur on the head.


“Only you would solve my problem by eating all the smelly fish, you wonderful mutt.”




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