My Mum left my Dad to fuck a farmer. When she left she took all of her stuff and moved into the farmhouse with the farmer. She got cats and dogs and started wearing Hunter wellies, and she became a bit of a cunt, but you know about that anyway.
After she’d been with the farmer for a while and things weren’t going so well, she did the logical thing and took the girl dog 20 miles down the road to get fucked by a boy dog so that she could have puppies. Later Mum would say to me ‘Never have children to try and save a relationship. I did it with your Dad, I did it when I took the dog to get fucked and she had those fucking puppies.’
When the puppies were a couple of weeks old my Grandma and Grandad came to visit. My Mum’s always been pretty good at being ‘normal’ around people that aren’t me or my brother, and so it was quite nice and relaxed.
My Grandad went out with the farmer to go and shoot some animals. My Grandma and Mum and I sat in the kitchen and my Grandma pulled a plastic bag out of nowhere to give to me.
When I was little and Grandma would visit, she’d give me and my brother both a ‘lucky bag’. It was a plastic bag that had sweets and toys and books and other shit in. As we got older the bags had less stuff in, and what used to be Enid Blyton in my bag started turning into stuff that Grandma had picked up in the charity shop, read, and then passed on to me.
The book she’d given me this time was called Liverpool Daisy. Grandma said that she had really, really enjoyed it, and thought that I would too. I went into the Dog’s room (a room next to the kitchen with a lino floor and a dirty sofa) and sat on the sofa while the dog and the puppies slept in the ugly wooden fort-type thing that the farmer had built for them.
I started to read Liverpool Daisy. I can’t remember exactly what happens but I do remember that Daisy started fucking people for money to pay for her Mum’s medicine, and then when her Mum died, to pay for a new set of gnashers for herself. And Daisy didn’t stop there. She kept on whoring herself. In alleyways mostly. And I sat there with my mouth hanging open wanting to get up and go and smack Grandma one for reading such muck. And she was going to fucking ask me about it soon, wasn’t she? She was bound to come through and see me reading and ask what I thought and what in the name of almighty fuck was I supposed to do then?
“Yes Grandma, it’s good. I like the gratuitous sex and I really enjoyed that smelly fucker who rammed her one in the alleyway and then jizz ran down her leg.”
Fuck. I had to put it away. Hide it away and she’ll never ask.
So I pushed it under the dirty dog-sofa and got up to wake all the puppies up to play.
I stood over the wooden nest-cum-fort thing and watched as the puppies latched onto the dog’s tits and sucked. They all looked pretty happy. The dog looked fucking miserable though, poor thing.
There were seven puppies altogether. All black, all girls. But only six were feeding. The other one was sat at the back away from the rest. That was a bit weird, I’d not seen them do that before.
I called Mum and Grandma through and pointed at the dog.
What’s wrong with the dog?
Nothing’s wrong with the dog.
She’s just tired.
And we all stood and watched and then slowly but suddenly it dawned on us.
Mum bent down and put her face next to the puppy at the back for a few seconds, then quickly jumped back.
She’s not breathing. She’s not breathing. Is she dead?
They both looked at me. I didn’t know.
Pick her up! PICK HER UP!
They screamed at me.
So I leant down and picked up the puppy, and yes. It was cold and dead.
Mum and Grandma both started crying and screaming and hugging each other while I stood there wondering what to do next, with a dead dog in my hands.
She needs to be buried.
They both decided after a few minutes, wiping tears from their eyes. They looked at me with red, serious faces.
You need to bury her.
If there is one thing that you should never do it is argue with two women. Especially if one of the women is your Grandma and the other is your Mum who is prone to going fucking nuts and telling you that you were an accident. So I took the dead dog outside and went to the place where the farmer would bury the rabbits that the dogs had caught and killed and ripped apart. Grandma and Mum both screamed at me.
NO! NO SHE NEEDS TO GO IN THE TREES!
So I turned around, with the dead dog in my hands and headed for the trees outside the front of the house. Grandma ran out with a teatowel and told me to wrap the dead dog in it.
Poor little thing, what a poor little thing.
I didn’t say much. I was too busy looking for a shovel. I wrapped the dead dog up, picked up a shovel and began to dig a hole while the two women looked on. When the hole was deep enough I carefully put the dead dog in and began to cover it over. I patted down the soil and told them both that we should go inside. They were still crying. A lot.
My Grandma said.
If I’d had one, I would’ve called it Poppy. Will you make her a little marker, a little cross, and paint ‘Poppy’ on it?
If it were my Mum asking me and not my Grandma I would’ve asked her if she was shitting me. But it was my Grandma and my Grandma was sad, so I went to the garage and nailed together two bits of wood that I found, then found some paint and painted on ‘Poppy’ where the two pieces of wood met.
When I got back to the grave that I’d dug and put the dead dog in and filled back with soil they were still both stood there. I pushed the makeshift cross into the ground behind the mound of earth and stood back. And I told them now, we’re going inside.
We went into the house and I made them both tea. My Grandad and the farmer came back. I told them both that the dog was dead and that I’d been made to carry round the dead dog and then bury the dead dog. They went and sat with My Mum and Grandma and comforted them.
I went and sat back on the dirty sofa, the dog and six remaining puppies jumped up and sat on me and we all continued to read Liverpool Daisy.