arrived yesterday. He had the good sense to wait until my youngest sister and her two dogs had departed.
"Does your mother know where you are?"
He nodded and held out a piece of paper. He was clutching four new looking pens in his other hand.
"Oh, you have some new pens. Are you going to tell me what you have been drawing?"
"Mum, Dad, Andy, me."
There were four vaguely recognisable stick figures on the page. It is unlikely he will be an artist like his mother. The picture however turned out to be the excuse rather than the reason for his visit.
"You had dogs."
"Yes. They belong to my sister."
"Why does she have them?"
"Well I suppose she likes dogs."
"I don't like dogs."
"Oh, why not?"
"They bark. Mr W....s dog barks. It barks a lot."
Mr W lives on the other side and his dog does bark a lot. I have to agree.
"Will your sister bring her dogs again?"
"Well I won't come and see you then."
"You won't come when the dogs are here?"
"I might not come ever. The dogs might come when I am here."
He was very serious about this.
"Well then you could meet them properly."
"No, I looked. I don't want to know them. YOU didn't play with them."
Oh. I am not a "play with dogs" sort of person. I like some dogs very much. There are a number of neighbourhood dogs with whom I am on very friendly terms but I do not play with them. I do not however particularly like my sister's dogs. They will bark and growl at me if they are here and I happen to return from somewhere else. I do not consider them to be very friendly.
Our young neighbour may not be an artist but he is observant.