War of Dogs



Once, long ago, there was a large island where people lived, called Island. They called it that because they tended to be just the teensiest bit quarrelsome, and Island was the only name they could all agree on. They lived normal sort of olden-day lives, farming, fighting and finding things funny, like most folks in those days. They kept pets, too, mainly cats and dogs, who also lived by The Rule Of Fs, Fighting, and Finding things Fun, but they didn’t Farm much, except the cats farmed the mice and the dogs farmed the rabbits, as it has been for a long time. 

They did a lot of Fighting, though, like everyone on Island; in fact, they did a very great deal of it, so that it became a bit of a nuisance, then a downright pest, and finally almost a state of warfare. The cats ganged up on the dogs at night, ripping some lonely pooch to pieces as he pottered back from rabbiting, and the dogs hunted cats in packs by day, mashing the odd moggy who was too slow to climb a tree. Soon, dogs were afraid to go out at night, and cats were afraid to go out in the day, so the twenty-four hours were pided into cat-time and dog-time. 

The owners were joining in the battle, too. Cat-lovers railed at dog-owners, calling them nasty names like “footpath foulers”, and the dog-lovers hurled back insults like “bird-murderers” and “pussyfooters”, and things got worse and worse. Soon it was like Romeo and Juliet, with the two factions wearing badges on the streets, and huge fights were always starting between the Pussies and the Pups, as they called each other. When civil war was on the point of breaking out, the horses said they had had enough. They were led by the police horses, who were getting beaten up regularly in the fighting, but all the horses joined in to try and stop the senseless vandalism. Soon the sheep and the pigs had sided with the horses, and the cows lent their calming tones to the debate as well. They all tried to get the cats and the dogs round a table to work out some kind of peace treaty, before things got totally destroyed in the lovely island of Island.

At first, the rabble-rousing leaders of the Pussies and the Pups would have none of it. Ian Parsley, a Jack Russell, shouted “No surrrendorrr!”, and Fuzzyface, the leader of the Pussies, (who used to say “I are a Pussy”,) said “Miaow” out of both sides of his mouth, and nothing happened. The horses suggested a cease-scratch (or, for the Pups, a ban-bite), with both sides to file down their claws and teeth, but that was ignored. “They’re having too much fun,” said the police horses, “Let’s kick ass!” But that only made things worse, and the asses said it was unfair.

After about thirty years of this, the Pussies and Pups were getting a bit fed up; no mousing, no hunting, just endless warfare; and their owners were not looking after them well, preferring to fight each other too. So they agreed to sit down around a table for talks, chaired by a rather sweet creature, a Teeny Bear from across the sea. After walk-outs by both sides, a lot of barking, yowling, catty remarks, bitchy comments, Teeny Bear came out in front of the TV cameras and said:”I feel the Hand of History on my lead! After two years of talking, we have peace!” The whole world cheered and ate Easter Eggs, and forgot them again. 

The next week, the dogs and cats were fighting once more, as they always had. But no-one took the slightest notice. They had lost interest completely.  

MORAL You can’t teach old dogs new tricks, and you can’t teach cats anything.