Separated by a Common Language

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Dog Named Bob.”

James walked into the sitting room and sat down heavily on the sofa. Bob thumped a welcome with his tail on the floor and James reached down to stroke the dog’s head.

Jane smiled, carefully capped her pen, and blotted the ink on the letter she’d been writing. She poured him a glass from the bottle on the table.

“Is she asleep?”

He nodded, taking an appreciative sip and turned the bottle so he could read the label.

“I’m banning picture books by American authors until she can use a dictionary,” he said.

Jane raised an eyebrow and fanned the pages of the story her husband had laid on the cushion beside her.

“Let me see if I can guess. What was it – mailbox?” She pointed to a picture of a teddy bear posting a letter into a blue structure.

“Nope. Try again.”

“Give me a clue.”

He waved both arms, and the wine splashed perilously in the glass.

“Funky chicken?”

“Ha ha. Though you are, as our American cousins say, in the right ball park. My ornithological knowledge was tested and found wanting.”

Jane smiled. “So you failed to step up to the plate.”

James groaned, and gave his wife an injured look.

“OK. Tell me.”

“I have just suffered persistent questioning about the size, habitat, food preferences and song of the bluejay. It’s the first, and I hope last time I have felt envious of that wild life guy on the telly. You know the one. He wears a syrup.”

“Burt Reynolds? I didn’t know he did bird programmes.”

“No, not him. Though maybe it’s not a wig. I suppose it could be his own hair.” He sipped his wine thoughtfully and Jane waited.

“Chris Packham.”

“Chris Packham doesn’t wear a syrup!”

“Well maybe he should,“ said James with an air of finality and reached for the bottle.

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4 thoughts on “Separated by a Common Language

  1. I enjoyed this before I referenced the writing prompt and even moreso after. I loved how you worked in the details; the bit about Bob thumping a welcome with his tail was also well played.

    • Thanks Steve. I reread it and thought bits were rather clumsy. If I rewrote it, I think Jane would be a calligrapher, carefully arranging her inks, Bob might get a few more lines, and the fact that we do not have bluejays this side of the pond and most of us have no idea what they look like would lead to some ornithological research. I shall trust you to tell me if syrup is also slang for wig Stateside, and if not, that you will do your level best to change that.

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