The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

Writers' Showcase

Master and Mistress
by Jilliana Ranicar-Breese

The young fox was on the prowl at Park Crescent on the terrace overseen by Neko, sitting non plussed on the Victorian ratan table. The terrace overlooked the park that was once the West Sussex Cricket Club in Georgian Times. The fox family lived contentedly in the large park in Foxlandia and were only seen occasionally by residents.

Madame Gigi’s back door was open in good weather to air the narrow kitchen and give Neko, her beautiful chunky black and white cat, the freedom to come in and out at will as there was no cat flap.

Neko usually dined on his favourite chicken in jelly served in a china bowl from Granada around 6.00 pm. He had an internal clock and always knew his dining time. He would be left outside, his designated territory, on his table facing inwards so he could watch his mistress at work in her lounge. Then around 11.00 pm, bed time, he would scratch on the window and ‘Miao’ silently, opening his mouth, saying it was time to come in.

T’was a few days before Madame Gigi was off to Paris, her spiritual city where she had lived on and off for 30 years. Paris the City of Lights had called her again that June. This time the Spoken Word Group, Paris Lit Up, had invited her to perform her true life stories, known as vignettes, at Culture Rapide in Belleville.

Madame Gigi awoke to find devastation in her lounge despite Neko lying innocently on the pink patchwork Turkish rug. Broken Turkish china and large excrement, pivotally placed by the window, asked to be removed.

Shocked Madame went into the kitchen to find more broken Turkish coffee cups and saucers on the floor. Was this a political animal? Packets of foil cat food with telltale teeth marks lay on the floor abandoned and empty. Later brioche rolls devoured on her bed were discovered, a scratched tin containing chocolate biscuits. This rascal went to great lengths to satisfy his appetite.

Mister Rat was back! A year earlier he had cost Madame a small fortune to be got rid of by a cunning rat catcher. He had chomped his way through expensive Italian soaps, devouring the beautiful floral packaging before gnawing at the bars of perfumed soaps from Florence. Not to mention the wooden shelves! However he was safely locked in the gift cupboard so Neko was excused for not pouncing on his victim.

Worse was yet to come the morning after the first discovery and 2 days before departure. Mister Rat had been up on the marble mantlepiece. All Madame’s precious mementos had been dislodged and overturned and one of the candlesticks crashed to the floor, broken.

Desperate, she went in search of rat traps and poison despite being scared to find a big rat with a broken neck and cleaning up his turds all over the flat. Madame was no domestic goddess and could get a whiff of a strong animal smell emanating from the coat and bag area in the hall as she walked past to get to the kitchen.

Neko was banished to his haven on the terrace even throughout the mild night. She was advised to close all the doors, put her remaining china away in cupboards thus watching and waiting for the monster to appear.

The night before departure, Madame Gigi opened the kitchen door gingerly to get a late night herbal tea. Mon Dieu she gasped and cried out loud ‘Oh my God!. There, looking at her on the draining board amidst the dishes, was a terrified cute fox cub. The culprit who had been sleeping in the warmth of the carrier bags and suitcases for 4 days during the day and on the prowl for jellied cat food at night. Aaah he was so adorable!

Sir Galahad magically appeared with a broom to open the back door while Madame took a video and photograph for facebook. Master Fox, the star of the show, fled into the night back to his family somewhere in the park.

Madame Gigi thought she had outwitted Master Fox by putting packets of cat jellies in the large red shopper for her neighbour Maria to feed Neko on the terrace without coming into the flat but Master Fox smelt the chicken and left more devastation on the terrace during her absence. In the end after frantic Neko texts, the problem was solved with a golden key and Sir Galahad to the rescue.

Et voila. The end of the Master Fox saga!

Written in Linda McVeigh’s creative writing workshop at Evolution, Brighton on 17 November 2018.