I’m outside in a shady part of the backyard, scratching my head with the eraser end of my pencil as I try again to come up with a short story idea, when Huckleberry trots over with his orange ball and tosses it at my feet.
“What’s up, Raud?” He tilts his head to the side. “You look like you’ve got fleas scratching your head like that. Check the end of your pencil stick to see if you squished any of them buggers.”
I look at him and say, “I don’t have fleas.”
“You sure are scratching your head like you do.”
“No, really, I don’t have fleas,” I say. “I was just trying to–”
“Hey, everyone,” he interrupts, calling to Franny and Hamish, my two other dogs. “Raud has fleas.”
“I don’t have fleas,” I say to the others as they amble over.
Hamish plops onto his butt and starts scratching the back of his head with his right rear legs. “So that’s where I got them from. Are people fleas worse than dog fleas? Because it sure feels like it.”
I shake my head. “I don’t have fleas.”
The dogs look at one another and chuckle. “That’s what we all say,” they say in unison.
Franny moves in closer, licking her chops. “We’ve got a cure for fleas,” she says with an impish grin. “We eat ‘em.”
I shake my head again. “I’m not eating my fleas.”
Huckleberry’s ears perk up. “Ah, so then you do have fleas.”
The three of them crowd in closer. “Don’t worry, Raud, we’ll eat them for you.”