Jul 18, 2005

HR, 16

Harlequin was not usually given to lying; it was a vice he despised in others. With the dogs, and the crows, to a lesser extent, looking on in awe, he excused himself to stretch the truth a little.

"Took this off an alley-cat in a fight today. Quite a beast, that one." Harlequin brandished it suddenly and snarled. The little dog yelped and cowered. Harlequin laughed.

The little dog blushed in embarassed anger. The basset hound was not so flustered; he had his huge brown eyes trained hypnotically on Harlequin. He coughed a little and spoke up.

"Pardon us for being so rude, little one," he began; his voice was deep and came out thick and slow, like molasses. "My name's Hubert and my companion is Dorian."

Dorian, recovered from his embarassment, whined in disgust.

"Fool!" he spat scornfully. "Apologizing to a rodent who fancies he's defeated Atilla. I'll bet you just found that claw." Dorian gained more confidence as he spoke. "No stinking mouse runs around lying and threatening dogs. This is Pack domain. It's dogs' law in these parts. Just wait until I bring the General."

Dorian sneered and trotted north. "C'mon, Hubert. Let's report," he shouted over his shoulder.

"I'll be along in a moment," Hubert drawled, keeping his eyes on Harlequin.

Harlequin stood uneasily under his gaze. Basset hounds are usually droopy in appearance, but Hubert outdid them all. His great ears hung all the way to the ground and lay wrinkled on the ground. He had altogether too much skin for his frame: where it wasn't sagging from his cheeks and chin it bunched together in great folds on his forehead, legs and throat. His appearance was naturally mournful and forlorn. His enormous eyes confirmed his depression: they were soft with good inentions, but sad in their tenderness.

Within a few moments of being under Hubert's stare, Harlequin was disarmed and cast away the false front he'd put on for Dorian.

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