Roffa liked her mornings to have structure. She started in the kitchen with a heaping bowl of Roffa food accompanied by pleading looks at any member of the family daft enough to try and eat their own breakfast while Roffa was hungry. Which was always.
After breakfast Roffa would do a quick tour of the big room to make sure everything was in order. The sofa, or “Roffa’s day bed”, needed to have the right number of cushions on it. The rug needed to be carefully checked for crumbs. And the haunted corner needed to be checked to see if there were any ghosts that needed to be barked at.
The ghosts only rarely appeared and only at 2 in the morning and only Roffa ever “saw” them but she diligently and loudly barked at them just in case. Oddly the family did not seem to appreciate her protecting them from ghosts and would yell “Shut up, Roffa!” but Roffa was a noble dog and did not bark at 2am to be thanked but rather to keep the family safe. One day, she felt sure, one day she would get a medal for being such a tireless barker.
Once she had checked out the big room Roffa would pad back to the kitchen, check her food bowl just in case, before launching herself through the Roffa launcher into the garden to go about her business.
This particular morning was typical.
Bowl of food – CHECK
Snaffled some dropped toast – CHECK
Roffa Day Bed – CHECK
Rug cleared of crumbs – CHECK
Corner clear of ghosts – CHECK
Big tree – CHEC…
Big tree?! There in the centre of the windows in the big room was a tree.
Roffa backed out of the room. Then poked her head around the corner. It definitely looked like a tree.
She slowly and carefully walked up to the suspected tree. She sniffed it. ACHOO! It smelled like the kitchen floor but also like a tree. She poked it with a paw. It felt like a tree.
So it looked like a tree. It smelt like a tree. And it felt like a tree.
Roffa laid down with her head on her paws and thought very hard.
There was a tree INSIDE the house. Trees lived outside with the squirrels, not inside with Roffa.
Squirrels! Roffa leapt up and gave the tree a thorough sniff and look. There were no squirrels.
How had the tree gotten inside? Had it walked? Roffa had never seen a walking tree before. Maybe they lived a long way away and could only walk very slowly so this was the first walking tree to reach Roffa’s house?
There was an easy way to check. Roffa walked up to the tree and gave it her best, gruffest, woofiest BARK! This had always worked in the past. Mrs O’Grady who lived opposite had once thrown her shopping trolly over the hedge after an accidental Roffa BARK!
The tree did not move.
So the tree had been carried in. Roffa felt that her investigation was starting to make progress. The mysterious tree had not walked into the big room. And, Roffa could hardly believe it, the squirrels were not involved!
So how had it got into the house?
Apart from the front and back doors the only other way in was through the Roffa launcher.
Roffa knew that the launcher was only a little bit larger than she was. She had previously tried bringing in sticks from the garden but Roffa plus stick was too large to get through the doggy door.
Roffa walked up to the tree again. It was taller and wider than she was. It was BIGGER than the Roffa launcher! It could not have gotten into the house through the doggy door.
Roffa decided that there was only one thing to do, she would need to keep the tree under observation.
She climbed up on the couch and arranged the cushions so she could keep an eye on the tree.
It could be a long job and Roffa knew that she needed to be in top form. A quick nap would be the best preparation for the observation of the tree. She imagined how delighted the family would be by her diligence in keeping an eye on this mysterious tree. She could just see them fussing over her and giving her a reward. Maybe even a medal. Yes, a nice big medal for Roffazzzzzzzzzzzz.