I haven’t written a story for a while. It’s just that there’s only a story when I’m actually drinking wine. I’m a dog. I don’t always get the chance to do that. And Smithy is very clear. I am not allowed to beg for food. Or wine. What he doesn’t know, is that every time I do what he calls “puppy dog eyes” and he doesn’t give me wine, later on, I go and steal one of his socks off the clothes line. Ha ha. He hasn’t busted me once. I have quite a collection.
Today Smithy has a new kind of wine. He keeps calling it “the forts that fly”. I have no idea why anyone would call a wine that. Maybe he means Fortified? Actually, I don’t even know what a fort is. A friend of his has brought this fort wine over and they are contemplating making some of their own. God help us all. That’s just what we need for Smithy, another winemaking “challenge”. I can’t even begin to imagine what the swearing will be like.
It’s getting really cold down here now. The vines all look naked. There are lots of shadows. I try to stay away from the vines at night because I get scared without the grapes to keep me company. Just as well there aren’t grapes. There was a frost this morning, and grapes do not like that. When I hopped out of my kennel, I could feel the crunchy ice under my feet straight away. Hmm. I know I’m a dog and I’m supposed to live for the outdoors and that, but frost is not my friend. I turn back into the kennel and go back to bed. I snuggle into the pile of odd socks for extra warmth. Then it dawns on me — the socks! I drag out four socks that kind of look the same. I don’t know why Smithy complains about having odd socks. He only has two feet to match socks to. I have four. I grab the first sock in my teeth. I put one of my front paws on the sock and slide my other front paw in. I do the same again, and then realise it’s not going to be easy to do the back legs.
I get all the socks on all my paws, and trot down to the house for breakfast. I know Smithy going to bust me for the socks, but it’s so cold, that I don’t care. Plus I still have all the ones in my kennel. I saunter up to the back verandah, and the socks are a bit soggy, but they are doing the trick. Smithy looks aghast and amused when he sees me. He yells something I can’t repeat, and starts chasing me. I run for my life but he’s shut the yard gate, so I end up just running in circles with him chasing me. Eventually the socks all fall off anyway, I don’t know what humans see in them. If they don’t stay on when you’re running around, then what’s the point? I curl up on the back step to rest, and lick the water trickling off the icy handrail.
Smithy softens a bit — I do the puppy dog eyes and he gives me some “forts that fly” wine. It tastes sweetish, and acidic. It’s kind of like the fruitcake that I stole at Christmas actually, with more acid. It’s not thick and syrupy, like a dessert wine though. I could get used to this, and I do start to warm up on the inside. He doesn’t give me very much — it’s pretty strong stuff apparently. I go back out to do a lap of the vineyard — Smithy’s socks are hanging on the Hills Hoist. I wind it down with my mouth and jump up against the pole to shake it until a sock falls off. I tuck it into my collar like Lara taught me and off I go. I smirk to myself — Smithy really should start using pegs.
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