by Margo Fallis Poopsy and
Fluffy in Nice
That wasnt too bad of a
boat ride. I took a long nap and I didnt felt sick once. How about you,
Mac? Ian stretched one paw at a time, spreading each toe wide apart to
pop the claw out.
Cant complain. This is
a nice place. Its odd that theres no sand on the beach, just pebbly
stuff, and look at the crowd. There are thousands of people here. I
wonder where we are. Mac raised his arms high above his head and
reached for the sun. That was a nice stretch. Ah. I feel better now
after being cramped under that tarp. Have I ever told you your breath
Before they moved a step,
several seagulls swooped down and attacked them with their talons.
Shoo! Were not food. Shoo! Shoo! Ian swung his arms around, swatting
the gray and white feathered birds away, but not before one nipped him
on the neck. Ouch! Get away from me you annoying bird. He touched the
sore spot and felt something sticky. Mac, am I bleeding? Did it take a
chunk of me?
Youre fine, Ian.
Theres only a drop of blood. Youll
What have we here? Oh,
you poor little dogs. Did those mean old seagulls attack you?
Disgraceful, naughty birds. An elderly lady reached for Ian and stroked
his back. Youre bleeding, you poor dog. Ill take you both home with
me and fix you up and feed you. Would you like that? She grinned,
showing a mouthful of perfectly white teeth.
Mac looked at Ian, his
face scrunched up. Ian glanced back. Did she say shed feed us? Mac
nodded. How bad could that be? I say we let her take us. Ian whispered
and Mac agreed.
Come home with Monique.
Ill take good care of you. The lady picked up Ian and Mac and put them
into her very large bag. As she walked down the beach, Ian and Mac stuck
their heads out and watched everything as they passed by. Monique pushed
the door to her apartment complex open and climbed a flight of stairs.
When she reached her flat, she put the bag down and let Ian and Mac run
This isnt too bad, is
it, Mac? Nice carpet, good view of the beach, a bakery right next door;
what more could we ask for.
A pair of wrinkled hands
lifted Ian. Now, what should I call you? Did you know dogs in Nice are
treated like royalty? Monique rubbed Ians head. Youre an odd looking
dog. Youve got a mask, like a bandit and a striped tail. P.U. You
smell. I think you two need a bath.
Did she say a bath?
Mac, who was sitting on the couch, gulped. He looked up at Ian and
Ian shrugged his
shoulders and let Monique take him into the bathroom. Mac heard the
water running and made his way towards his friend. Shes using bubble
bath. Well smell like girls. Mac said, backing up one step at a time.
This isnt going to do. When Monique put Ian in the tub, he started
giggling and splashing. What is he doing? He acts like hes enjoying
it. Macs eyes widened. Ian spotted Mac and waved for him to join him.
Come on, little one. Get
in with your brother. Theres nothing a dog likes more than a hot bubble
Monique picked Mac up,
dropped him in the water, and left the room to get some towels.
Ian, are you mad? Youre
enjoying this? Mac folded his arms in stubbornness. When he lifted his
leg, water dripped from the soggy fur.
I think its great fun.
I can blow bubbles, splash, pretend Im a submarine and the water is
warm. Its nice to have the water be warm instead of ice cold like the
stream. Ian scooped up some bubbles and blew them into the air. They
popped on his nose, making him laugh.
Why is she calling us
dogs? Cant she figure out were raccoons? And were not brothers.
Who cares, Mac.? Let her
think were dogs. Shell treat us well. Where did she say we were?
Nice. Its in southern
France. Rich people come here on holidays.
Monique returned with two
fluffy towels. She lifted Ian from the water and swaddled him in bright
orange terry cloth. There now. Youre clean, you smell nice and doesnt
this towel feel so soft and cuddly? She rubbed him dry, put a small
bandage on his wound, and slipped a lemon yellow collar around his neck.
Ive been keeping these two collars for special dogs, like you. Im
going to call you Fluffy. How do you like that name?
Ian stuck out his tongue
and mumbled to himself. Fluffy? Im not a Fluffy. Im Ian. He turned
to see Mac chuckling.
When he was totally dry,
Monique put Ian on the ground. Run along into the kitchen, Fluffy.
Theres a plate of fresh fish and some leftover stew for you. Ian
didnt hesitate. Monique turned to Mac. Now then, what shall we do with
you? You dont have a drop of water on you. She kneeled by the tub and
used the washcloth to wipe him clean. Before he could object, she dunked
him completely under the water. There now. Youre as clean as Fluffy.
She wrapped him in a towel and dried him off, slipping a lime green
collar around his neck. Im going to call you Poopsy, yes I am. Youre
such a cute little doggie. Monique loves you. Kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss.
Mac turned his head away
from her and struggled to get free, but to no avail. Giving up, she set
him down and he ran to join Ian. Ian. Ian. I am not staying here one
more minute. She wants to call me Poopsy. Have you ever heard anything
Shut up, Mac. Look at
this. Weve got all the food we could possibly want. She supplies us
with a nice place to live, fresh sea air, food, food, and food. All we
have to do is let her call us Fluffy and Poopsy. Is that too much to
ask? Ian devoured a piece of cod. Eat, Mac. Its delicious. Its
better than the fish and chip shop back home. Mac gave up arguing and
ate. When they were full they found a soft spot on the couch. I think
her husband is dead and shes lonely. I saw a photo of her with a man.
With a sigh, Ian lay down for a nap.
Several hours later
Monique shouted their names, waking them up. Poopsy. Fluffy. Were
going out for a walk. Im sure you two need to poo poo, so well stop by
the dog park on the way to the restaurant.
Ian yawned and nudged
Mac. In a whisper, he said, I suppose we should wag our tails and try
to act like dogs. Shes taking us to a restaurant. Oo la la.
Mac shook his head,
trying to wake himself up. He saw Ian wagging his striped tail and
couldnt believe what he was seeing. Wag my tail? Dogs in a restaurant?
What sort of place is this? Ive never heard of such things. Maggie
McCoy hits us with a broom if we go near her café. And whats all this
about poo poo? I hope its not what I think it is.
Mac, stop complaining
and start acting like a dog. Growl, bark and lift your leg whenever we
go past a fire hydrant. Thats what dogs do. Ian glanced at Monique.
Watch this. He jumped off the couch and ran over to one of Moniques
Much to Moniques horror,
Ian lifted his leg and went all over the plant. No! Dont do that,
Fluffy. Nice dogs dont urinate on indoor potted plants. If you ever do
that again, I shall have to put a doggie diaper on you. She pointed her
finger at him and bounced it up and down. Never again. Do you
understand me? Mac fell off the couch laughing. Thoughts of Ian in a
diaper brought hysterical howls. Ian acted like a punished child. He
whimpered and rubbed Moniques leg. Thats better. I trust you learned
your lesson with a simple scolding. She opened a drawer and pulled out
two sweaters. Mommy made these for you. Fluffy, since youre wearing a
yellow collar, Ill let you wear this lovely jumper. Monique slipped
the lemony-colored sweater over Ians head. You look lovely, Fluffy. Do
you like the sunflowers? I embroidered them myself. Give Mommy a kiss
and say thanks. Ian, who was into the dog mode one hundred percent,
licked Moniques face. When she turned to Mac, he backed up, bumping
into the couch. This ones for you, Poopsy. I hope you like the roses.
I made this jumper lime green to match your collar. Before he could run
away, she grabbed him and slid the sweater over his head. He fought and
wiggled, but somehow she managed to put his paws through the sleeves.
Dont you look so cute. Thats a nice Poopsy. Give Mommy a big wet
kiss. Come on, Poopsy. Mac refused to stick out his tongue. Are we in
a bad mood today, Poopsy. Very well, you can give me a kiss when we
return home. She left the room to grab her handbag.
I am not going out in
public wearing a lime green jumper with roses embroidered on it. I
absolutely refuse to go along with this one more moment. Mac tugged at
the sweater, trying to get it off.
I think you look rather
nice, and Im quite pleased with my own jumper. Ive always been fond of
sunflowers. Ian patted his chest.
All right, you two; are
you ready to go? Come on then. Monique hooked a leash to each of their
collars and let Ian lead them down the stairs. What a nice day. Were
going to the doggie park first. With a smile on her face, she headed
across the street and down the block.
Mac spotted a chain-link
fence that formed a large square. The gate opened and Monique undid
their leashes. Ian ran over to a corner and quickly relieved himself.
Macs jaw dropped in shock. He rushed to Ians side. How could you do
that? Look at all these creatures these dogs
Theyre not watching us.
Theyre about their own business. Ian sighed with relief. If you want
to be miserable all day, then be that way. Ian stuck his tongue out and
pretended to pant. He trotted over to Monique and forced himself to make
Mac shook his head back
and forth. He didnt move as his gaze moved from one dog to another.
From behind him he heard, Poopsy. Oh, Poopsy. If you dont have to poo
poo then come over here. He was aghast to see all the dogs staring at
him. He knew they were laughing at him. Reluctantly he went over to
Monique and allowed her to put the leash back on; anything to get out of
Once seated in the
restaurant, Mac relaxed a bit. All the people near him had well groomed
dogs, sitting still and behaving with the utmost of manners. He felt a
bit out of sorts. The waiter d, Henri, sauntered to their table.
Bonjour, Madame Monique. Ah, I see you have brought some new friends.
Would you care to introduce us?
Monique beamed with
pride. This is Fluffy, she said, stroking Ians head, and this is
Poopsy? Ah, Madame, we
get a lot of dogs named Poopsy dining in this restaurant. Such a common
name here in Nice. Now, Madame, what can I get for Poopsy and Fluffy?
My dogs are anything but
common, Henri. Dont insult me with any more comments. Monique scowled
and then examined the menu. Ill have some Provencal Fish Soup with
Saffron Rouille for Fluffy, to start, Henri, and then Fish en Papillote
with Tomatoes and Olives. How does that sound, Fluffy? Ian wagged his
bushy striped tail.
Madame Monique, pardon
me for sounding rude, but what breed of dogs are these? Ive never seen
masked dogs with striped tails before. Henri glared at the raccoons.
Mac gulped, hoping she
would come up with some sort of answer. Oui, Henri, they are indeed
rare dogs. They come from, um, from, oh yes, Easter Island. Theyre
known as Rapa Nui dogs. Monique was proud of herself. Shed only
recently returned from visiting Easter Island and remembered the name
the islanders used.
Rapa Nui dogs. Ive not
heard of that breed before. Very unusual, Madame Monique. The waiter
eyed Mac suspiciously. What can I get for Poopsy? Mac didnt like the
way the waiter had emphasized his name.
Poopsy will have Le Tian
De Courgettes Aux Fruits De Mer and also the Le Carré DAgneau au Safran,
Échalotes Confites. Hes very fond of seafood and I hope he enjoys the
lamb. For after-dinner sweets well all have Les Trois Crèmes Brûlées Du
Would Madame care to
order anything else?
No thank you, Henri. Im
not that hungry, however I am looking forward to tasting the Crème
Very well, Madame
Monique. He took the menu from her and headed for the kitchen.
Neither Ian nor Mac knew
what they were going to be eating shortly, but liked the sound of lamb
and seafood. When the waiter returned with their food, both Ian and Mac
drooled and gobbled everything up, licking the plates afterwards. The
three of them enjoyed their crème Brulees. When theyd finished, Monique
paid the bill and they headed out of the restaurant, both raccoons
bellies bulged, causing them to waddle.
We have one more stop.
Im having special jumpers made for the two of you and new name tags for
your collars. That way everyone will know your names. Monique grinned,
her red lips puckering with joy.
Ian, Mac whispered,
weve had a few good meals, but now its my turn. I am not wearing a
tag that says Poopsy on it. Ive had enough. Ive been patient and gone
along with this, but enough is enough. I want to get out of here.
I suppose youre right.
Too much of a good thing, I suppose. I am rather fed up trying to wag my
tail and pant like a dog.
Thats right, Ian. Were
not dogs. Were raccoons and were on an around the world adventure.
This is too soft for us. After all, were Highland raccoons. Our
ancestors roamed the woods in the days of Kenneth McAlpin and King
Malcolm. Were not French dogs. Were Scottish and proud of it.
Ians heart swelled with
pride. Aye, Mac, we are Scottish. He pulled off his bright yellow
jumper, untied his collar and let it fall to the ground. Mac did the
same. With the leashes no longer tied to them, they ran.
Monique squealed. Catch
my dogs! Runaway dogs! Help me! My dogs are loose!
Over here, Ian. Its not
the first time weve had to make a dash for it. Up this hill. Come on.
Hurry. Hide in here. Mac pulled Ian by the arm. Come on. I dont want
Madame Monique to find us, he said with a tone of sarcasm.
Not so fast, Mac. Im
rather full, you know. Ian glanced around. What is this place? What is
Bubble bath? Perfume?
Soap? Im not sure, but its too girly smelling for me. Mac pulled the
door open and they rushed out of the perfume factory. Down here. Mac
spotted a line of tour boats at the docks, readying to leave. They
blasted their way through the bushes, stones and trees, not stopping
until they had reached the docks. In here. Mac yanked Ian into the
small boat. Under this tarp.
Whats with you and
boats? What if the owner lifts it up this tarp and sees us? Hell toss
us into the sea. Oh, never mind. Ian turned around and around until he
had made himself comfortable. At least shes not after us and she wont
find us here, but I do think shell miss us. She was awful nice to us. I
dont think she had any children to take care of. Thats why she likes
Well put, Ian. I have to
agree with you. She was a nice lady, but were Scottish, remember? Just
lay still. We dont need any food for a while. Well go on this little
tour boat and wherever it stops well get off. Mac listened to people
clambering over boxes and tackle to find a place to sit for the voyage.
Ian had already fallen asleep, so Mac curled up next to him and joined
him, his heart beat slowing down after the long chase.
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