For those who haven’t yet met our intrepid trio, they are: Chumleigh, the gerbil, who lives with Cookie the wire haired miniature dachshund and Cleo, the Chartreuse cat.….
“Psst Cookie; Cookie!” Chumleigh climbed out of his gerbilarium and scurried over to Cookie, who was snoring loudly in her basket. “Cooee! Cookie wake up!” Chumleigh tried again. When Cookie failed to stir, he poked his nose under one of her long ears and squeaked, “Cookie – wake up for goodness sakes!” Cookie jumped up with a start, leaving the bed by a few inches!
“What are you trying to do to me gerbil?! You nearly scared the living daylights out of me!” she cried.
“Sorry, but I couldn’t get you to wake up,” giggled Chumleigh, then quickly added, “come on, we need to go and meet Cleo.”
Taking a few deep breaths to steady her nerves, Cookie made her way out through the door flap, carrying Chumleigh in his exercise ball.
Cleo was taking a leisurely stroll across the garden when she was surprised to hear noises coming from the shed. She deftly jumped up onto the window sill and peered inside to find out what was going on.
Charlie was staring at a blank sheet of paper that was propped up on an easel. He had a brush in his hand; but hadn’t made a single mark on the paper. His face was screwed up in concentration and he was muttering to himself. He continued to stare at the paper for several minutes, before finally throwing down the brush, and stomping off, cursing; an exasperated expression on his face.
Cleo thought this was somewhat out of character and intrigued, she padded off to tell the others.
“I know why he’s grumpy!” Cookie told her. “He was telling Chloe last night that he has to do an abstract painting and he can’t come up with any ideas!
“Poor Charlie,” remarked Chumleigh, “it must be hard when you have to do something you can’t manage very well.”
“I wish he’d hurry up and get it done – the vibes in that house are all skew wiff at the moment,” Cleo complained.
“Perhaps he should try to get that mystery artist to help him out,” contemplated Cookie, “you know, the one that keeps doing those pretty pebble designs in the park,” she added.
“If only we knew who it was!” replied Cleo.
Just then they heard a rustling from the trees further down the garden. The rustling continued and as they watched, it looked just like the leaves were moving around on their own! Suddenly a little squirrel appeared, leaping along one of the tree branches. It stood up on its hind legs, watching them, twirling a small nut around and around in its paws, as if it was deciding on the best spot to take its first bite.
The squirrel had mahogany red coloured fur, with a white blaze down its chest and underside. Its tail was very full and fluffy and it favoured flicking it around at regular intervals.
The threesome sat watching the squirrel for a few moments, whilst the squirrel sat watching them.
Chumleigh broke the silence, “hi there,” he tried, hoping that it would respond to a fellow rodent.
The squirrel’s ears pricked up as it sat on the branch, flicking its tail.
“I’m Chumleigh,” Chumleigh tried again.
“Helloo there,” replied the squirrel. “I’m Cameron, nice ta make yer acquaintance,” he added.
“You too. This is Cleo and Cookie,” introduced Chumleigh.
“I don’t think I’ve seen you in the garden before?” asked Cookie.
“Nae, I’m no from these parts,” replied Cameron enigmatically. “I’m just passing through.”
“Welcome to our garden,” said Chumleigh.
“Cheers wee ‘un”, replied Cameron, a faint smile on his face. “I hope you do nae mind my saying, but I could nae help hearing your conversation down there just now,” he said.
“We were discussing an unfortunate piece of art work,” explained Cleo, who went on to tell Cameron about the pets’ efforts at painting.
Cameron tittered a little, “aye well, it’s no for everyone, is art,” he declared. “You have to have a certain talent you know,” he nodded.
“We wish we could do something to help our human,” said Cookie.
“Aye, well lassie, I might be able to help you out there,” replied Cameron.
“How could you do that?” asked Chumleigh, his curiosity peeked.
Cameron tapped the side of his nose with this front paw and winked, “aye well laddie, I might happen to know an artist you see.”
“Wow, really?” exclaimed Cookie.
“Do you think this artist would agree to help us?” Cleo asked.
“Well, I can nay say for sure, I’d need to ask them, mind; but I could have a word with them if you’d like?” asked Cameron gazing at the pets.
“That’d be most kind, thank you,” replied Chumleigh.
“Alright then laddie, I’ll have a wee chat with them – but they are a very private and shy kinda artist, so it’ll need to be kept a secret. Still, I’ll come back tomorra and let you know what they say,” replied Cameron and with that, he gripped the nut in his mouth and hopped off back into the tree tops.
“I wonder who he knows?” said Cookie.
“Sounds quite hush hush,” mused Cleo…. Find out if the mystery artist helps the pets and if their identify is revealed – in Chuckle with Chumleigh Once More – coming soon!