“What are you doing?” she asks, “stop messing about and help me get him down.”
Still grasping the trunk of the tree, I open my eyes to find Meeko frowning at me.
“I’m just going to sit for a bit,” I say.
“Are you serious?”
Not having the energy to tell her of my revelation, I rest my head against the bark breathing in the musty scent of nature. It hasn’t escaped my attention that countless dogs no doubt use the tree as a pissing post, but at this precise moment, I don’t care much at all.
“If you fetch him,” I tell her, “I shall get food.”
“Noodles,” I reply.
“I don’t want noodles, I want donuts.”
“There are no donuts here,” I croak.
Giggling to myself at how solemn I sound, she takes offence.
“You smelly fuck. You drag me out here, get me chasing after the dog you stole, and then refuse to feed me. And I let you take a photo of my pussy.”
Laughing harder, I slump forward as if drunk. I am drunk, but only a little.
“Pig,” she cries, before kicking me up the arse.
Doubled over, I laugh at the base of the tree.
“If that’s how you want to play it, then you can get the dog yourself.”
Stepping onto my back, she leaps into the air clutching the lowest branch with both hands. Pulling herself up as if climbing trees were a hobby of hers, she shimmies like a monkey until she’s sat with Hachikō a dozen feet above my laughing head. Looking at the two of them with tears of laughter dripping from my eyes, I wipe them away with the back of my hand. Getting to my feet rather wearily, I breathe in a lungful of air. It tastes disgusting and warm like chicken.
“What are you doing up there?” I ask as she kicks her feet as if on a swing.