Sunday, 29 November 2009
The case of the Missing Prawns (or the wickedest whippet in the world strikes again...)
I thought I was being so clever this evening but she’s gone and done it again. My pesky whippet puppy has eaten all my prawns – and I hope she gets a very poorly tummy. Though saying that, if she does she will probably land up regurgitating the whole lot on my bed knowing my luck!
I had been very indulgent and had bought - dare I say it? - a ready-made Chinese meal the other day. Beef and Black bean sauce, egg fried rice and crispy prawns with sweet chilli sauce courtesy of those goodly people at Waitrose. I was so looking forward to it, wrong we were both SO looking forward to it.
This evening I had it all sorted. Dear Charlie was soaking in a bath trying to warm up – poor chap is feeling a bit crook and awful cold. I was going to surprise him with a real treat, which we could eat in front of X Factor.
Everything was done for once and I was ahead of myself. The children were fed and in bed, chickens were all shut up for the night, laundry was done, table already laid for breakfast, washing up done. All I had to do was slam the dinner into the oven for 25 minutes and Bob’s your proverbial Uncle.
However, the prawns did not take as long as the sauce to cook. The idea being that you place the sauce in first then half way through place the prawns on a baking tray separately so they don’t go soggy.
So what to do with the prawns for the seven minutes before you place them in the oven? Of course, put them on a separate baking tray and leave them on the kitchen counter high enough, you think, to be out of reach of the dogs.
I hadn’t counted on EBJ’s tenacity had I? Nor on her ability to problem solve. In fact I keep forgetting she has a brain. I must admit it is not one of her most attractive qualities. The other whippets are blissfully brainless – that or they have better manners and/or are not quite so greedy.
However, I leave the kitchen for a few moments to check on Dear Charlie and tell him supper will only be ten minutes, and when I return everything seems fine. Nothing has moved, there are no tell tale marks to indicate anything is wrong. The baking tray is where I have left it but because I don’t go right up to it I fail to notice that there is nothing there until it is time to place the prawns in the oven and they are gone, not a crumb has been left. For a few moments I am bewildered. I question my actions and run through exactly what I did and come up with the conclusion that I must have put the prawns in the fridge. But they are not there. I am genuinely puzzled because there seems to be no way the dog could possibly have half inched those prawns without making an awful lot of fuss or else flying and I had heard nada, nothing, not a dicky bird. I only left the kitchen for two minutes - if that.
But as the Great Sherlock Holmes stated “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth”.
All I can say is, I have no idea how she could have done it. She is not a cat and to have leapt up 90cms to land on top of the counter which is only 30cms in depth without breaking anything or pushing anything off is incredible.
By a process of elimination I can hazard a guess as to how she might have achieved it but the complexity of the solution seems a bit beyond a ten-month-old whippet.
However this is what I think she did: she walked away from the counter top to the other side of the table where there was a chair slightly pushed out. She climbed on the chair and jumped onto the tabletop. She then walked along the table and jumped about half a metre onto the counter the other side of the oven from where the prawns were sitting. She then walked back along the counter, jumped over the hob without knocking over any of the pans upon it and ate the prawns on the baking tray. Then she retraced her steps. And quietly curled up in her basket.
If it wasn’t for the fact that she happened to have a few tell tale crumbs round her muzzle and for once looked particularly guilty when I glared at her, I swear I would never have known.
I am afraid I reprimanded her for all of two seconds. She seemed so abjectly sorry and it is so out of character for her to show any remorse at all that she was swiftly forgiven.
Dear Charlie mutters that the dog is a serious weasel and is not to be trusted ever and that this is just another ruse to add to her repertoire. Needless to say I suspect he is right. But she’s so cute…