Be More Dog

Many have heard of what experts call the Jurassic period but have you heard of what fewer experts, probably none at all, call the Dogonian period. In this Dogonian period, life was similar to how it is now, except dogs ruled the world and they didn’t have wi fi.

 Be More Dog

by Jules de Jongh

Season 2 Episode 43

[opening theme music and strapline]

Nanny Bea: Is it that time already? I should’ve known the kettle has just boiled and my neighbour Jules should be here with a story any…

[knock sfx]

Nanny Bea:  minute now.

Nanny Bea:  Perfect timing! Hello, who might that be?

Jules:  Hello Nanny Bea, it’s your neighbour Jules with a story.

Nanny Bea: Just making sure, safety first!

Jules:  How wise Nanny Bea and hello to you and hello to our listening friends. I’ve come with a tale of a long time rivalry.

Nanny Bea: Intriguing, do continue. 

Jules:  Are you ready for a story?

Nanny Bea:  Oh, yes please.

Jules:  Okay then, Be More Dog, adapted for radio

According to experts, whoever they may be, we on planet earth have had several stages of development. I’m sure you’ve heard of the Jurasic period, you’ve probably been there, done that and seen the movie or rather movies. I’ve actually lost count of how many there’ve been. Some of you clever cloggs may be familiar with the Triassic period, when ‘they’, that’s those elusive experts again, say dinosaurs first appeared. But have you heard of the Devonian period? Or as fewer experts, probably none at all, call the Dogonian period.

In this Dogonian period, life was similar to how it is now, except dogs ruled the world and they didn’t have wi fi. They liked ruling as they like rules, sit, stay, roll over. And that’s how things operated, the Commander in Chief dog would generally tell the Generals, they in turn would tell the Lieutenants to tell the few tenants left, what to do. But mostly, they just had a lot of fun without much concern for the consequences. This is when the term, ‘be more dog’ was coined, before they even had coins.

Of course, the dogs couldn’t ‘be more dog’ than they were as they were already all dog. Probably their downfall really. I mean if they could’ve been more dinosaur than dog, maybe they would still be in charge today. Oh well, circle of life or is it cycle, buh,who knows! The point is Dogonian life was a good one. There were no wars as they hate loud bangs, no boredom as they were entertained chasing their own tails and no toilet paper shortages as well, you know, they don’t use toilet paper.

The dogs lived under a stone or in a log and they’d mark out their surrounding hunting/grazing area, just big enough for their needs. Now this process of marking was much like us putting up fences, although it doesn’t require any wood working whatsoever, just lots of water drinking and well, the opposite of drinking. They would hang out together, eat, laugh, oh and howl especially when they wanted to make more dog babies, or as so called experts refer to them ‘puppies’. It soon became obvious that these ‘puppies’ needed an education and that’s when the Commander in Chief got together with tenants, left and otherwise to establish the very first puppy school. Not far off a guppy school except they are dogs and not fish and they are learning on land, not swimming in water.

Puppy School was a real deal changer, they brought together the future makers to teach the future dogs about anything but the future as no one really knows what that holds. These teachers taught the puppies to fetch food and play dead (which they thought would fake out any predators but it just made their catching that much easier). 

It was during one of these ‘play dead’ sessions that Snip Diggity, a very chatty little pup, always speaking in rhyme and rhythm started a relationship that would change dogkind forever. Snip Diggity met what he thought was just another, albeit more slinky than bouncy, dog named Tabby.

Snip snuck away from the playing dead session for an early start to recess. The teacher didn’t notice as she was playing as well. He made his way out to the edge of the playground, beat boxing away to himself ‘bmm chi kah pi tah, bmm chi kah pi tah’, when he noticed a little tssss at the end of each line, ‘bmm chi kah pi tah, tsss, bmm chi kah pi tah, tsss, he started walking in the direction of the tsss and it got louder ‘bmm chi kah pi tah, tsss’, and louder until he stood face to face with the maker of the tsss, ‘Hi I’m Snip Diggity, want to come out and play?’ 

The little stripey orange and darker orange face replied, ‘I’m Tabby and yes please.’ That’s all it took for this beautiful friendship to begin. They spent the rest of recess making up songs. Tabby had a voice like Snip had never heard before. ‘I have recess the same time every day, will you come and play again?’ asked Snip.

‘Of course,’ Tabby said as she disappeared into the scrubland.

Snip bolted back to school and told the other pups about this most amazing dog ever, ‘She has four legs and a tail, just like us, but she sounds and moves in ways I’ve never heard or seen before.’ The other pups were eager to meet this ‘new kind of dog’ so made sure to follow Snip out to recess the next day.

‘Now keep it down,’ he said, ‘we don’t want to scare her.’ As they approached the edge of the scrubland where they had last met, Snip shouted out for her. Tabby slipped up behind him and whispered, ‘Hide and seek, count to ten!’ then she scurried under and over the shrubs, so smooth it was like she was being painted on them. None of the other pups saw her though. ‘One, two, three,’ Snip started to count with his eyes closed. The other pups caught on at once and hid. Snip was a hide and seek professional, he found each one except Tabby. The other pups started to tease Snip, ‘Where’s your new ‘most amazing dog ever’ friend?’ one jeered. ‘Maybe she’s hiding in his imagination!’ Buzz the biggest pup in class said. Tabby felt sorry for her new beat boxing, hide and seeking friend so called out, ‘I’m up here!’ The pups looked up to the sky and sure enough saw this orange and darker orange striped new kind of dog    in    a     tree. How’d she get up there they all thought impressed but that quickly turned to envy, ‘Hey, that’s no fair!’ ‘Yeah, we can’t climb trees,’ ‘She’s a cheater!’ That word was like a trigger and all the pups, except Snip started chanting, ‘Cheater, cheater, she’s probably a pumpkin eater!’ Then the bell rang and as quickly as they came out, the pups went back in, including Snip.

The next day, Snip returned to the edge of the scrubland, and tried to call out to Tabby loud enough for her to hear but quiet enough for the other pups not to. They did. ‘So you want to play with that ‘new kind of dog’ again do you?’ ‘Watch out she doesn’t cheat again.’ The pups laughed. Tabby poked her head out of the bush. ‘Tabby!’ Snip said excited to see her again. ‘Come on, I’ve got a different game we can play.’ Tabby gracefully stepped out almost on the tips of her paws. ‘Okay guys, how about some Simon Says!’ Snip shouted out and the pups came running. ‘Can I be Simon?’ Buzz asked. Snip agreed then made sure everyone, including his ‘new kind of dog’ friend knew the rules. Buzz started with an easy one, ‘Simon says….lick your nose.’ They all liked their nose. ‘Simon says…chase your tail.’ They all chased their tail. ‘Now…howl to the moon,’ the littlest pup Pico howled to where the moon would be but wasn’t. ‘Simon didn’t say.’ Pico pouted and sat the rest of the game out. ‘Simon says jump in the stream.’ They all jumped in the stream except…Tabby. Snip nudged her, ‘Jump in the stream.’ Tabby looked horrified. ‘Yeah, jump in the stream,’ another shouted, Tabby shook with fear. ‘What’s wrong, chicken?’ yet another pup shouted and that was it, the rest of the pups started chanting, ‘Chicken, Chicken and not even finger lickin.’ Tabby ran off into the bushes. Snip started to look for her but, you guessed it, the bell rang.

Snip tossed and turned all night about his ‘new kind of dog’ friend. ‘There must be a game we can play together,’ he thought over and over and…ughhhhh (snore) until he fell asleep. Mee, mee, mee, mee the alarm woke Snip, ‘Catch, no water, no climbing, we can play catch.’ He got to school and said nothing to the other pups. Then recess came again he slipped away, ball in hand. ‘Tabby, Tabby, please come and play again, I’ve found the perfect game.’ Tabby’s stripey orange and darker orange popped out of a bush. Pico the littlest pup agreed, ‘It’s very easy. Let’s show her how.’ Snip hadn’t expected Pico but agreed a demonstration was a good idea. Snip tossed it to Pico, Pico caught it in his mouth and tossed it back to Snip. ‘See, easy as that.’ Tabby wasn’t very confident so Snip very gently tossed the ball at her face. ‘Ow,’ she said as it bopped her on the nose. ‘Let’s try again,’ Snip moved closer and tossed more gently. ‘Ooo,’ Tabby rubbed her sore little nose. ‘You have to open your mouth to catch it.’ 

‘Why?’ 

‘Because it’s fun.’ 

‘Why?’

Pico the littlest pup was disappointed, ‘Spoil sport,’ he said as he walked over to the other pups who in turn started chanting ‘Spoil sport, spoil sport, spoiled so long it makes you snort.’ Tabby didn’t know what they were saying but she knew what they meant. She darted off into the scrubland. Snip tried to follow but Tabby flipped and she leaped like a trapeze act, Snip couldn’t keep up.

And that night he couldn’t sleep, at all. He dragged himself to school the next day but when the recess bell rang, he was full of zip and ran straight to the scrubland. He called out all recess long, ‘Tabby, Tabby, where are you?’ And no striped orange and darker orange head popped out of anywhere. But he did see a ball of striped orange and darker orange, he tiptoed closer. It was Tabby curled up in a ball hiding from him. Snip got the hint, her kind of dog, didn’t like his kind of dog. A few minutes later after he left, Tabby woke from one of her frequent naps. She heard the pups playing and popped her head out of a bush but Snip was on the other side of the playground, with the other pups. Tabby got the hint, he didn’t like her anymore either. 

From that day on, from generation to generation cats and dogs still believe they don’t like each other.

The End

Nanny Bea: Why thank you Jules. I’ve been lobbying Parliament for many years on that. 

Jules: On what?

Nanny Bea:  On cat and dog relations. I am the pet ambassador you know. 

Jules:  I do now.

Nanny Bea:  So will you be joining us next week for more tales and tea?

Jules:  Oh, yes, of course.

Thomas:  Go to NannyBea.com

Jules:  Go there to find out about all our stories. You can also find us on Apple Podcasts or Spotify and many more. Like us, love us, share the love with your friends. And we’ll see you next week for more Tales and Tea.

[Be on the Show jingle]

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