COPYRIGHT
© 2021
Dr Joe Murray

 

Bibs the Cat

  1. we’re all family, really
  2. a little feline philosophy
  3. excuse my french
  4. on the cludgie
  5. the baby
  6. a lesson in socialism
  7. sleeping with the enemy
  8. on the level
  9. a little black and white philosophy
  10. the magpie ultimatum
  11. Indy Cat?
  12. Who’s the Daddy?
  13. It's no about flags

Video Stories

Alasdair Gray & the
Book of Prefaces

Keekin Through Windaes
The Two Heifers
The Congo
The Hotdog

Other Stories

Aye, right ennuf
a natural balance
a short tale of woe
Maggie and the Little Pollok Carpet

Aye, right ennuf!
a true Glesga christmas story
by Joe Murray

IT WAS CHRISTMAS EVE and the sleet was coming down steady. It was exactly four-thirtyseven when Jack Reagan, holdin the box toe his chest with both hands like it had some weight tae it, came walking along the dock through the stoory darkness. He was just himself on the cobbled road leading to the gatehouse. As always, the sudden rush of dockers through the gate to the pubs along the road had emptied the place in a flash. As he neared the gate Jack felt the box move a wee bit in his hands. The two security men eyed him – somebody leaving the dock carrying a box just had to be shady, aye? Thi wee'er guy of the two took the key from the gate, leaving it locked. Jack smiled at the first security guy, a scrawney fella whose thin mouser made his face look even more gaunt.

Jack nodded to him, "how ye doin, Parkie?" It was a nickname he had from his first day on the dock as all the guys knew him from his days of chasing weans off the trees in the public park when he worked for the Cooncil.
"Aye, Reagan, whit's in the box?" asked Parkie, "and the name's Mr Cowan tae you."
"Is it? Ah thoat it was Park or somethin, naw? Anyway, Ah've got that auld mad cat in the box, it's been havin a go it some of the boys in the shed. Ah'm takin it to the vets to get it put doon."
"Aye, right enough!" Wee Smiddy, the other security guy, piped up, "A container of whisky gets drapped on the dock crackin open the doors and you've just got a cat in the box? Pull the other wan, Reagan."

Jack tried to look hurt, "whit dae ye mean? Ah'm doin mah civic duty here an youse waant to cast aspersions on my good intentions? If Ah tell ye it's that mad cat, then it's a cat, awright? It took me ages to catch it an Ah'm no letting it go now!
Wee Smiddy took a step towards him. "Naw," he said, "it’s no awright! Open the box." There was a wee speck of spit on his bottom lip.
Jack stood his ground, "Naw, Ah wulnae!"
"Aye, ye wull," said Smiddy.
"Better open it Reagan, or ye'll be for it!" said Parkie.

Jack stared it both of them, "Pair a bastards, so yeez are, yeez trust nobody, neither yeez dae!"
Jack raised the box in front of him, he jammed one end to his chest with the other end pointed at the fizzers of the two guards. In one swift go, Jack pulled open the lid of the box.

Both guards let out a yelp as a large cat sprang with an angry hissing snarl from the box; claws splayed. It crashed between them and onto Wee Smiddy's shoulder, its back claws skelpin his lug as it leaped behind him and ran yowling back along the dock. Both security men turned a very pale shade of white at the sudden display of feline anger. Blood dripped from Wee Smiddy's lug onto his white shirt collar.
"Fuck!" said Parkie.
"Pair a bastards, so yeez are!" repeated Jack. "Ah have tae go and catch that bloody cat again noo!" He turned and trudged back along the dock after the cat. After a few steps he stopped and turned back, "Are yeez no gaunae gie me a haun?" he asked.
"Nup!" said both guards in unison.

It was exactly five-twentyone when Jack came trudging back to the gatehouse – the sleet had already turned to big snowflakes. Parkie wis standin it the door of the gatehouse. "Awrite, Reagan, did ye get it?" he asked.
Jack stopped and could feel the heat from the paraffin fire inside. He was cold now and all he wanted was to get out of there. "Aye, Ah got it … nae thanks tae you two," he said.
Wee Smiddy, standing at the gate, squinted at Reagan with a pained look. "We’ve clocked ye out so ye cannae say you worked overtime,” he hissed and pointed, "oot the wee door, you."
"Ye know, wee man," said Jack, "ye sound just like that mad cat, an yer wee puckert face looks like the last view Ah got of it as it ran along the dock!"
"Fuck off!" said Wee Smiddy turning the key in the lock. the wee wicket door opened out onto the street. Jack smirked as he stept through.
"See yeez," said Jack without turnin round.
"Merry Christmas tae ye, Reagan," Parkie shouted after him.
Wee Smiddy dabbed his ear wi a hankie and said nothin.

As Jack walked into the heavy blur of snow he heard the dull thud of the wee door as it shut behind him. As he trudged through the thickening snow on the pavement in the darkened street toward Betty's Bar he felt the quiet clink of the four bottles in the box that he held tight to his chest. "Aye, Merry Christmas right ennuf," he thought to himself, "ya pair a daft bastards!

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