Florence Mutt

18 The Great Escape

7 minute read

Things were looking grim. No one could possibly buy the ridiculous hat on Fluffy’s head. Florence and Fluffikins be stuck inside this lizardy lair forever. Sure, the hat was marked down to half price, apparently — but it still cost more than Fluffikins would spend on a car*.

*If Fluffikins had passed his driving test, which he had not.

And who would ever buy this lycra suit on Florence? Especially now she’d ripped a tail-hole in it. Why was she wagging that tail, anyway? It should be firmly between her legs. 

It was FLORENCE WHO GOT THEM INTO THIS MESS.

Fluffy’s brain worked overtime. 

But then Fluffikins perked up a little. Like an old-fashioned newspaper vendor, the lizard salesman had snuck outside onto the pavement. There he stood, sandwiched between a sandwich board. 

Despite the hollering lizard, Florence continued with the triple-lidded dog nap. 

But Fluffikins was a light sleeper. He would not be getting a wink of sleep with the hustle and bustle increasing outside. 

Creatures in clickety-clack heels walked past, stopping to peer at him through the window.

He kept his three eyelids shut but heard every muffled word through the glass. No one mentioned the kale hat. But the onesie seemed popular.

And so on and so forth. Until the sheep (singular) turned up.

Like regular dog-dogs, Fluffikins had three eylids. He opened two of them and stole one murky glimpse of the potential purchaser. 

He detected a sheep-person, like those ones swimming at the beach, only skinny-looking. This was a recently shorn sheep person, too lazy to grow its own fleece back.

A dastardly sheep would soon be gadding about in Fluffy’s fine fur. A very RICH sheep by the looks, hung all over with jewels. 

This was just the pits. 

He opened the last of his three eyelids to get a good peep at the sheep.

Next came a rattling at the door. Pattings of lycra pockets. Frustrated turns of the knob. More rattling. Knock knock.

(Florence mumbled in her sleep.)

“Hee-ah!” exclaimed the lizard-man outside. “I’m locked out of my own shop! I’m dreadfully sorry about this, ma’am.”

Fluffikins glanced up at the ceiling. Sure enough, the front door key still hung from that high-up hook. 

How embarrassing for him. Convenient, though.

Outside, the lizard-man scuttled away to the locksmith. That’s when sheep number two turned up.

With that two-faced onesie-loving sheep engaged in very small talk, Fluffikins glanced at his wrist watch. A freckle past a stubble. Another twenty hairs and that insufferable lizard would be back with the locksmith in tow. He sprang into action. 

First he tossed away the lizard’s froufrou hat.

Next, he removed his onesie from the zebra. 

(One should not conduct an elaborate escape plan in one’s underwear.) 

Then he prodded Florence until

she stopped doggy snoring.

Florence limbered up.

Florence nudged the naked zebra mannequin into the middle of the shop floor. She balanced the plastic flamingo on top. 

Florence tore off her silly lycra suit and stuffed it with shorts, vests and leggings from the shelf.

Fluffikins threw the stuffed clothes onto the Flamingo’s head. Now a tower reached almost to the ceiling, serving as a ladder.

Fluffy was still slightly sore from the pogo-stick incident, which was kind of Florence’s fault anyway. So it was up to FLORENCE to save them BOTH!

Florence clawed her way up the chain of mannequins and stuffed clothes until she teetered on the top. 

“You can do it, Florence! Use your back thrusters! Oh, Florence. I meant your hind legs!”

Florence stood dangerously on tippy-claws to reach the key-hook. 

Fluffikins couldn’t bear the drama. He pinched his nose AND covered his eyes.

“Got it!” Florence yelled.

“Yay!”

Florence shinnied down the mannequin ladder, key in paw. The doggone heroes dashed for the door. 

“I’m back!” called a lizardy voice from down the street. “I’m back, with the locksmith! I am about to sell you that bee-yutiful one-of-a-kind ones—”

That nasty, wonderful sheep-lady! Fluffikins had seen all of it in slow motion, through his very intelligent glasses. That sheep had accidentally-on-purpose PUNCHED the lizard in the softest part of his belly! With the pointy end of her parasol!

“Oh deary me, I’m sooo sorry!” exclaimed the sheep. She didn’t want to let her flock-mate to know she’d been in conversation with such a slithery, lowlife creature, while lining up for an annual sale like some sort of blinged-up beggar. 

A crowd of creatures was gathering round the ugly scene. A pair of police-pigeons pulled up in a patrol car.

“Quick, Florence! That lizard has splatted onto the pavement and the sneaky sheep is busy explaining to the cops.”

The key went in easily. The front door swung inwards. Florence and Fluffikins were released into the street-mayhem.

They ran away from the lizardy prison, weaving through legs in the crowd. 

dog paw prints border

They ran and they ran and they ran. Somehow, somewhere, they would find their way home.

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