XX – Rude Romans And Payback

Dear Journal:

The Lady and I spent the midday meal with small talk and comments about the mutts. Mutt Three quickly learned the ropes, and was sitting at the table staring at steaks as they went by. Three sets of jowls quivered in unison. Three sets of eyes gazed hungrily. Three mouths drooled with anticipation. Once they had their meat, the mutts hightailed it to a close corner and began to gobble greedily. The Lady and I were snacking light and enjoying each other’s company.

Then it happened. I had hoped to get through one day without something spoiling it. Nope! Not this time! There was a commotion at the front entrance, and my guards came in escorting someone.

A Tribune. Correction. The Tribune. The personage who strode into my hall was none other than the personal advisor to the number two man in the Empire. He stood in the middle of the room as though he expected heaven to open up and bless his august presence. Didn’t happen. What did happen, however, will be talked about in high circles for a long time to come. In a word – wuff!

The man was in the middle of berating the Lady and myself for, what he perceived, as disloyalty to Caesar when he suddenly stammered to a halt. He was being watched. Stared at. Studied with an intensity that only the finest meat deserves.

Standing on her hind legs with both forepaws on the Tribune’s shoulders, Mutt Three glared at him practically nose to nose (and the Tribune had a fine Roman nose). The black, wrinkled behemoth looked the Tribune up and down and all over, as though she was looking for a handy place to bite.

Lesson one. Never yell around my mutts. They get very protective. The Tribune started to back up when his retreat was halted by a second huge bulk.

Mutt One had circled around during the Tribune’s tirade and now blocked that worthy’s exit. Meanwhile Mutt two stretched, yawned, and ambled over to the confrontation, sniffing and rumbling with curiousity. More food!? She was determined to find out. The Tribune, in a matter of a few minutes, had been encircled and trapped. He began to sweat profusely.


Mutt Three edged even closer to her victim. Her mouth was agape with rows of very sharp teeth that were quite suitable for rending and tearing. Not to mention – devouring.


The Tribune stepped back only to be greeted by Mutt One, who was advancing from the rear. He was now virtually pinned by three aggressive, inquisitive, ticked off predators who just didn’t like the Tribune’s attitude. Mutt Two edged closer from the flank, still sniffing and eyeing the tribune hungrily.

The sweat was pouring off. If he could have, I think my unwanted guest would have been writing his last will and testament. The noses of Mutt Three and the Tribune were now mashed together, with the Tribune’s eyes bulging in barely contained terror. Three was slavering with anticipation and the drool dripped down the front of the Tribune’s breastplate.

As fun as all of this was to watch, I figured I’d better call the mutts off before my guest got hurt. Or eaten. I gave the command to stay and the trio, reluctantly, backed off. A little. As soon as Mutt One moved aside, the Tribune was outta’ there! In seconds, the totally terrified man was gone from my hall, leaving behind only a slight breeze to mark his exit.

It should be noted that, during this melodrama, the Tribune’s Praetorians had remained stock still, not coming to their boss’s aid. They weren’t stupid. As soon as the Tribune ran out, his guards marched out, taking their time catching up with him. Wonder what he’ll tell Caesar? At least, for now, I have the last laugh. For once.

Chapter XXI

Published in: on September 23, 2009 at 2:43 PM  Leave a Comment  

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