“Not again with the kibble, chicken broth, and a few pieces of chicken. I’m always eating the same food! I must say, as a hunter, you suck.”

“Aussie, what’s the problem?”

“Ever hear of diversity, equity and inclusion? Dogfood is best when it includes everything—steak, hamburger meat, roast beef, hot dogs, meatloaf, corned beef, surf & turf leave out the surf, brisket—”

“I got it, I got it, Auss.”

“When it comes to food, I’m all for DEI.”

“What about when it comes to Henry?”

“Never. Why, oh why did you bring him back from the hospital first thing in the new year? When you left with him that night, I thought to myself: Good riddance!”

“That’s terrible, Aussie. Luckily, it wasn’t very serious and I was happy to bring him home. We were both exhausted and right away fell sleep. Interesting way to spend New Year’s Eve.”

“He looks weird with the three wounds on top of his head. He didn’t have much brains anyway and the little he had probably leaked out.”

“Aussie, why do you lack empathy? Henry had a number of other smaller puncture wounds, not to mention bruising on top of his right leg, the hind right leg, and even on his penis, the poor—”

“Henry has a penis?”

“He’s a male, Aussie, of course he has a penis.”

“I mean, a penis that you can see?”

“Yes, a penis that you can see, Aussie.”

“Do I have to put my glasses on?”

“Auss, it’s time to stop making fun of Henry. He’s been through a trauma.”

“Boo hoo, everything’s a trauma these days. I cornered a chipmunk under a fallen tree limb the other day, and you know what it did? It stopped running, turned towards me, and said: ‘Stop, you’re traumatizing me!’”

“Really? What did you do?”

“I said: ‘You think that’s traumatizing?’ Then I ate it.”

“That’s terrible, Aussie.”

“No, it’s diversity in diet.  Good, here comes Henry. Henry, how’s your itsy-bitsy-teensy-weensy—”

“Guess what? Llama Louie’s prophesying!”

“Llama Louie doesn’t prophesy, he squeaks!”

“Llama Louie is prophesying about the new year. You know what he says, Aussie?”

“That 2024 will be a squeaker? Hee hee.”

“Aussie, Llama Louie says it will be a good year for us. There’ll be peace in the world.”

“I don’t want peace, I want lamb chops.”

“All the wars will end, everybody will have enough to eat, nobody will go hungry.”

“I plan to be hungry forever.”

“We will all love one another.”

“Good, another Buddhist in the house. What does Llama Louie say about my running away from home?”

“Nothing. He says you’ll stay be happy here.”

“Me, happy? I have my principles, called Principles of Disgruntlement. What does he say about illegal immigrants?”

“There won’t be any. Everyone coming here will be legal.”

“You mean, chihuahuas will take over our country? How do we get any sex?”

“What’s that got to do with—”

“Never mind, Illegal. What does Llama Louie say about the resurrection?”

“Of Jesus?”

“God forbid. Of Donald Trump. He who won’t stay dead, who’ll come back looking for blood.”

“Llama Louie doesn’t believe in zombies, Aussie. He says we won’t be selfish and try to control everything, we’ll make room for everybody on this planet. We’ll take care of all species, we’ll take care of the earth—”

“What does he say about bacon, Henry?”

“Bacon? Nothing.”

“How do you prophesy about the new year and have nothing to say about bacon?”

“Llama Louie has a much bigger vision than that, Aussie. He’s prophesying lots and lots of joy. He’s prophesying lots and lots of fun and games—”

“Lots and lots of bacon?”

“We’ll catch balls together, go out on walks, you’ll learn how to jump in the air and catch a frisbee—”

“You’ll never catch me catching a frisbee, that’s for elitist dogs. What you  catch me doing is eating a lot of bacon, if I can get it. Henry, what’s a happy new year without bacon?”

“An unhappy new year?”


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