Just blow up their noses to calm them down

I could tell you about how much washing I have sorted through this morning, or the fact that the cat’s IBS has flared up again with inevitably unpleasant consequences, or the fact that for some reason the dish washer failed to come on in the night and I went downstairs this morning to the delicious aroma of hours old Chinese food.

But it is all too tedious to think about frankly.  Bad enough to have to deal with. Worse to have to write it up as a diary entry.

Let us, instead, talk about Tallulah’s new hobby.

Tallulah has a horse.

Luckily for me, her and the horse, it is imaginary.

Imaginary horses are the best sort, in my opinion.  They do not pooh small mountains of dung which you are required to clear up. They do not pee acrid lakes of eye stinging urine.  They do not cost a king’s ransom to keep, and if they try to bite you and/or throw you off into the nearest bramble patch/hawthorn hedge, you have only yourself to blame.

As you may be able to tell, my history with the horse is a chequered, and mostly unpleasant one in which I spent hours of my life in ditches, winded on tarmac or sailing through the air – whilst paying for the privilege.

I realise that for some of you out there, the horse is the noblest and most beautiful of beasts, second only to say, actually owning an angel or a unicorn. For me they are a punishment in brown.

For some reason, known only to herself, Tallulah has called her horse ‘Butty’. Not only is it called Butty, but she says the word Butty in a particularly strange way which is a kind of half squawk, half squeak.  Apparently that is how you pronounce it correctly.

‘Butteh!’ in a Sybil Fawltyesque tone.


Butty has lived with us now for nearly a month.

I blame Miranda.

Tallulah is obsessed by Miranda, and has watched all three series of the programme with forensic attention.  She was particularly charmed by Miranda’s need to gallop to places.  After getting the box set for Christmas she has taken to galloping with a dedication and enthusiasm I can only marvel at.

The galloping led directly to the need to have something to gallop on – hence the birth of Butty.

Her enthusiasm for equestrianism has now spread.   Oscar has a horse called Scrib.  He is less dedicated to the cause, but can, on occasion be found thundering up and down the hall with Tallulah, tossing his head and neighing.

The cat thinks it is all brilliant. She is quite the galloper herself.  I have always been convinced that Derek has never really understood that she is a cat.  It is my belief that she simply adopts all the behaviours that she likes best and stores them up in a kind of furry parcel of dysfunction.  Sometimes she joins in with Oscar and Tallulah’s galloping exploits.

It is at this point that I retire to the study with a glass of wine and Jason’s noise cancelling headphones.

There is nothing to be done.

This week, Tallulah has launched the Tallulah Wheatley school of horsemanship at school.  There are seven members so far, all of whom have paperwork and ID cards (it is her fascist side coming out).  I was talking to one of the children in the playground about it earlier in the week.

Apparently she has to get a new horse.

I enquired as to the reason for this.  She said that the first horse she imagined was simply too fat, and it’s legs were too spindly, and when she tried to sit on the horse its legs snapped in half.

I was, for once, quite speechless.

It had never occurred to me that, given the vast universe of possibilities open to you in creating your own imaginary horse, that you might actually imagine one that was peculiarly unfit for the job.

Then I got to thinking about what she’d said, and given my long history of horsal abuse at the hooves of horses through my life, this is actually exactly the sort of horse I would imagine if left to my own devices, and it would still leave mountains of imaginary pooh all over the place.

Which is why I am not joining Tallulah’s club.

2 responses to “Just blow up their noses to calm them down

  1. i admire tallulah’s dedication to Butty….and her leadership skills. it could be worse. when my sister kirsty was about her age, she pretended to be a puppy. for months. she made us give her her food on a plate on the floor, we petted her on the head, she would curl up on a blanket. in addition, she convinced our cousin to be a kitten. there were days when the cat and dog chasing each other around the kitchen table was insane. but … it all worked out in the end. we had no mice that whole summer and the dog was wizard at fetching the mail.

  2. Ha! Excellent story. I am so glad Tallulah doesn’t expect her dinner in a nose bag.

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