Bunty could be a bit unpredictable at times when it came to family pets. When I was Eight and Davy was Ten we had , for a wee while, a muckle Labrador called Rueben – a bit too up market a name for a Dug in Harrysmuir North. That would be the same as having a classmate at Pumphy primary called Simeon or Digory – I’m sure that Simeon and Digory would’ve been splendid young chaps, but it wouldn’t have helped them in any way with names like those. Anyway this muckle Labrador, which Bunty had got, was in the back garden One day tucking into a big bone – Bunty had knocked back a couple of cans of ‘I’m driving the Bus and if you don’t like it you can F–k off’ [ Carlsburg, for short] . I remember Davy and I looking out of the kitchen window and seeing Bunty moving stealthily, or at least as stealthily as she could after drinking the equivalent [ for her] of Two Hydrogen bombs, towards the dug. In itself – nothing to worry about there- but when you add in the fact that behind her back she was hiding a bone which was bigger than the bone he was eating – Davy and I were convinced that she was going to hit the poor Bugger over the head with it and kill it. Luckily Davy saved the day and got the bone off her and Reuben, oblivious to what fate might have had in store for him, carried on eating his bone. Jerry the Gerbil wasn’t so lucky. It must’ve been the next year when we got him – I know we had Ben the Dug and Jerry at the same time. I remember Scud senior jokingly wanting Jerry’s cage out of sight of the Telly when Rangers played Moscow Dynamo in the 1972 European Cup Winners Cup Final – in case he was a jinx because Gerbils ran about in what was a part of the old Soviet Union. I think he wanted to put him in a box and send him back to Mongolia or wherever when Dynamo who were Three down at one point pulled it back to 3-2. He [ Jerry] was saved when Rangers hung on to win but eventually suffered the wrath of Bunt. I think she must’ve been on a cocktail of Carsburg, Castrol GTX and Nitro Glycerine that night because we let Jerry run about the kitchen and living room as normal. He’d dart around, annoying Ben the Dug, who just wanted to eat him or hire a professional hit Dog to shoot him- and the wee Mongolian Moose would be safe in the knowledge that Ben the Dug would get a ‘Haw sir’ or ‘bad boy’ if he growled or looked like he was getting pissed off. A dog is one thing but Bunty on the wreck the hoose juice is another. I remember she was in the kitchen writing and drinking and drinking and writing – she must’ve written more words than Winston F ing Churchill over the course of time- and Jerry was scampering about the kitchen and she hit him with the coal shovel and picked him up by the tail and threw him into the coal fire ‘Raeburn’ as it was called. It was a cooker that ran on coal instead of Electricity – you put coal in the fire and shut the wee door and it heated up the oven and the Hob. I think at one time it might have provided hot water but if it did it was before my time. Anyway, I remember the poor wee buggers legs twitching as she threw him into the fire and I can remember it like yesterday. The next Gerbil we got ended up in the oven of the same fire- although that was a deliberate plan. The house was getting decorated – in the early Seventies paint was Two ingredients short of being a Chemical weapon – and Scud senior reckoned it was this that led to ‘New Jerry’ being overcome with the paint fumes. He also thought that if we put the oven on at low with the door open the wee thing might come to. After a while the Gerbil stirred and for a short time it seemed to be OK, but died before the morning.
Tales of Bunty –27,4,16
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