[The next in a series of childlike stories based around the 20 Moodscope Cards. "Hostile," is described by Moodscope as, "Feeling unfriendly towards others." Here, then, is the story of Hostile Henry.]
Henry was a rescue dog.
His new family loved him, but he had learned not to trust humans, nor most other dogs, so Henry growled a lot. Sometimes he snapped at both dogs and people.
His new family were at a loss to know how to help Henry learn to know, like, and trust again.
Then the daughter in the family, Rachel, had a brilliant idea. "Let's get a kitten!" she said over the dinner table. Mum asked what was her thinking behind the idea and Rachel said, "I've noticed the neighbour's cat is treated well by their own two dogs. I wondered if Henry could learn to protect a seemingly helpless kitten, and begin to build his trust again?"
"That's brilliant!" declared the rest of the family as with one voice! And so, "Tiddles," came to play!
Tiddles hadn't learned not to trust anybody and everything. In fact, Tiddles hadn't learned anything! She pounced on the vacuum cleaner, climbed up the curtains, tiddled everywhere, fell down the stairs, and 'cuddled' Hostile Henry without remembering first to retract her claws. Henry growled quietly at first, but didn't retaliate. The old-fashioned word for his behaviour was long-suffering.
And 'long' was a good word for the first day Tiddles came to stay. By the end of it, Henry was exhausted by the enthusiastic 'attention' he'd received from Tiddles. He gruffed off to his basket doggy bed and lay down with one eye on the room in case of another 'encounter'!
Tiddles came across and jumped into Henry's basket... and then laid curled up by Henry's warm tummy. Henry huffed as only dogs can huff, but looked secretly smug. Within moments, a tiny purr began, like the sound of the engine of bliss. Tiddles, the Monster, was heading towards sleep...
Henry said, under his breath, (btw, you do know that dogs can talk, don't you?), "Goodnight Tiddles... I'm glad you've joined the family." And, safe at last, Henry joined Tiddles in Sleepisville Dreamland.
... I wish I could say the story had a happy ending, but the truth was that Henry never really got to trust everyone. Perhaps that's a good thing. But Tiddles and Henry became inseparable. And the lovely thing was that Henry opened up to the family too – in fact he was fiercely protective of them and Tiddles – but that's OK, isn't it?
Years later, when Tiddles asked Henry what the secret was to his long and happy life, he sighed contentedly and said, "Find a few special friends, and be loyal and kind to them. Everything else then finds its own place." Ah, nice one, Happy Henry!
A Moodscope member.