The Plight of the Hairless Chihuahua

Edwin was a happy pup, the perfect Chihuahua, if your idea of perfect didn’t include hair.  An ugly duckling who finally found where he belonged.

The Plight of the Hairless Chihuahua

by Jules de Jongh

Season 2 Episode 25

[opening theme music and strapline]

Nanny Bea:  Welcome to my cottage. The kettle has just brewed in time for my neighbour Jules who will be bringing us a story any…

[knock sfx]

Nanny Bea:  minute now.

Nanny Bea:  Oh, it seems we have a visitor! Hello?

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

Nanny Bea:  Yes it is. Come in dear, come, come. 

Jules:  Thank you Nanny Bea. You know I should’ve said it’s your neighbour Jules with a story and a wonder word.

[insert Wonder Word theme]

Ella:  Hello Nanny Bea I’m Ella and I have a Wonder Word for you

[insert drum roll]

Ella:  It’s lollygag To lollygag is to waste time fooling around like when my mum comes to collect me from school. Thank you. Bye.

[insert chimes]

Jules:  Thanks so much Ella. Okay listening friends see if you can find lollygag in today’s tale. Are you ready for a story?

Nanny Bea:  Oh, yes please.

Jules:  Okay then, The Plight of the Hairless Chihuahua, adapted for radio

The sun was just warming up the earth when Edwin arrived. He was one of five pups born into the Bitby household. Mother Bitby laughed when they all popped out, ‘Oh, look at those gorgeous little worms.’ 

‘Mother they are not worms!’ Ellie insisted but really she was thinking the same thing, with their nearly white, barely there hair, you couldn’t blame them. At this stage none of the household had noticed that Edwin’s barely there hair, wasn’t there at all. He was a little bit colder than the rest so would always make his way to the bottom of the pile. Obviously his litter didn’t notice with their eyes still closed and even for a while after they’d opened as they would just pile on top of him when sleeping or suckleing. 

Edwin was a sparky pup, alert, full of energy, never lollygagging and quite the athlete. He was the first to stand on his feet, the first to walk around. No surprise as his hindquarters were muscular and straight perched upon his delicate little feet. You could see his kind marble eyes were perfectly round but not protruding even before they opened wide. And his mouth had a cheeky grin as though he always had mischief on his mind. He had large, flaring ears set on an exact 45 degree angle, pointing up like he was hailing a cab or reaching for the sky. 

Best of all Edwin was a happy pup, confident but no where near nippy. The perfect chihuahua, if your idea of perfect didn’t include hair.

The other pup’s idea of perfect did and they made that clear one hot and sticky afternoon. The pups were getting agitated as they grew out of their whelping box. Mother Bitby got home early to help Father relocate the pups and not a minute too soon. Earnest and Eugene were the biggest of the litter and the hairiest, of course it was they who started picking on Edwin calling out, ‘What happened to your hair? What are you? Where’d you come from?’

The words were a bit harsh but the intention was more so. And that was only the beginning, bit by bit Edwin’s siblings saw him as different, odd. His mother was concerned, I mean, what did happen to his hair? Nobody knew but everybody cared. At meal time his siblings started nudging Edwin out of the way, ‘Move over worm, there’s no room for you?’ And then they’d laugh as though it was a  game, as though that made it alright.

When they’d run around practicing their hops and their jumps, nipping at each other’s ears in a playful romp, Edwin was never invited. 

When they nuzzled together for nap time, Edwin was pushed away, ‘There’s no room here for oddballs,’ Eugene would say. ‘Go find your real family,’ Earnest would add. 

And although Edwin started out as a good size, well on his way to a 5 pounder, he soon became the runt of the litter as his siblings would spread out while nursing and not make any room for Edwin until their mother was nearly dry.

The Bitby’s by now were fully aware of Edwin’s hair, or lack of it. ‘Well, he’s perfect in every other way, maybe we’ll find him a good home?’ Mother hoped. The Bitby’s took pictures of the bouncy, beautiful pups, playing together, sleeping together, eating together, all except Edwin. He was always on his own now, alone and fully drained of all his happy. He would lollygag in the distance whenever it was meal time so the other pups would be done by the time he got there. He would find his own corner to nap in and try to make himself happy playing with a stray cat or a fallen leaf. Even his cheeky little grin was gone now and the best of Mother Bitby’s photos of him were still the worst of them all. Edwin looked miserable, he looked runty, he looked alone.

People phoned up at once to buy Eugene and Earnest and shortly after, the two girl pups found good homes. Now Edwin really was all alone. ‘Maybe we can keep him?’ Ella asked knowing that wasn’t an option. She felt sorry for him and would often whisper in his ear, ‘You are perfect just the way you are.’ 

One day the phone rang, ‘Someone interested in Edwin!’ Mother said excitedly. When the young man showed up with a fast smile and a fast car, part of Mother was hesitant but she ignored that part. Edwin needed a home and this young man seemed so excited about Edwin. 

Little and lonely Edwin now had a home and his owner had a business. The owner already had an instagram account, a twitter feed and a facebook page for Edwin the ugly. Edwin was entered into Ugly Dog Competitions, he became a Meme, even featured in a tic toc. Edwin didn’t mind, his owner didn’t hurt him, he didn’t hug him either. One day the owner found a new obsession, an even uglier cat and Edwin was taken down to the shelter. The shelter sounds like a place of safety but it didn’t feel that way to Edwin. The other dogs were even less kind than his brothers, ‘Look at what the cat dragged in?’ one would say, ‘You mean what the cat kicked out!’ another would add as they roared with laughter. Edwin wished he hadn’t told them why he was in the shelter. Little and lonely Edwin waited for his time to be up, no one was going to adopt him.

And his day finally came. The shelter crew picked Edwin up and walked him down the isle of shame, where the dogs go who can’t find homes. The others snarled and growled insults, they laughed and cackled at him. Over the noise Edwin could hear a little voice, ‘There he is, the one who’s walking down the isle!’ Edwin looked around, he was the one being walked down the isle. She was talking about him, but why? ‘He’s the one, he’s the one!’ she squealed. ‘Are you sure?’ the man behind the counter asked. ‘He’s perfect,’ she said as they started walking back towards her. ‘You can see he has no hair?’ the man asked. ‘Yes and he is perfect, just the way he is!’ 

They filled out all the forms, passed all the tests and Edwin was finally handed over to Lucy. He sat on her lap all the way home and when he arrived, he was greeted by a hairless cat, a hairless hamster and a hairless mom. ‘Look Mommy, we found the most perfect dog!’ Mom was so excited by Lucy’s excitement she tried to stand up. Father ran over to her but she leaned back into the couch. ‘Oh Lucy you do know how to brighten my day,’ her mom said and she lay back with Edwin cuddled in her arms. 

Edwin in his imperfection, was perfect. With constant cuddles and lots of play, Edwin found his happy again and spread it around to all his new family.

The End

Nanny Bea: Well Jules that was the most beautiful Ugly Duckling story I’ve ever heard.

Jules:  Beauty comes in all shapes and hairstyles.

Nanny Bea:  And hair can be such a nuisance, think of all the allergies it aggravates and my patience. My other neighbour, not you of course, but you know that, my other neighbour Ron convinced me to grow my hair into dreadlocks. You never have to wash it Ron said, you never have to comb it. Well that’s once you spend years twiddling and matting it up. I’m still miffed with Ron over that.

Jules:  Nanny Bea in dreadlocks, that would be a sight.

Nanny Bea:  It got there eventually but never again, I just don’t have the patience. Speaking of waiting, when will you return with another tale? 

Jules:  Well can you wait a week, cause I’ll be back next week with another story?

Thomas:  Go to NannyBea.com

Jules:  Go there to find out about all our episodes. You can like or follow us on iTunes or Spotify to get a reminder.  And get in touch if you’d like to be on the show like the epic Ella.

[Be on the Show jingle]

Mr Announcer: This has been a Toad in the Hole production for NannyBea.com.

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