Extract 2 – Somebody's Doodle

Crofts is a beauty competition, like Miss World. The contestants aren’t dressed in glamorous swimwear and they don’t drone on about world peace, but they’re just as glamorous and they’ve spent just as much time having their hair styled. There’s also just as much at stake for them.

Each contestant is paraded around the ring and introduced to the audience with an elaborately long stage name … “Now we have a lovely example of the Yorkshire Terrier breed. He’s from a long line of champions. Bred, trained, and owned by one of our most successful breeders, Mrs Sophie Ashley-Turner. Just look at the way he struts his stuff. Great attitude and bearing. No wonder he’s Best-in-Group. His show name is: ‘Big-Ben Prince Great-Balls-of-Fire, The Elder’.”

Jack and Annie burst out laughing.

“Shh!” the people around them hiss. You can feel the tension. The audience are on the edge of their seats. It’s serious stuff for all except these two.

“Check out the Bulldog over there,” whispers the Lad. “He should be called: His-Great-Woofyness Viscount Vincent-Butt-Face.”

“Not bad,” Annie says, giggling. “But the Great Dane has got to be: King-Canute-of-Kenwood Keep-an-Eye-on-my-Nuts.”

“Brilliant!” Jack is shaking with laughter now.

“Will you two please shut up,” a stern lady in a tweed suit orders, staring at Annie’s dreadlocks. But they’re into their stride now …

“The Bassett Hound should definitely be called: Bonny-Belleville Honey-Nut-Crunch the Duchess-of-Chewies, don’t you think, Jack?”

They’re both cackling uncontrollably now. Eventually, the head judge interrupts proceedings and insists they leave. But they’re not bothered—there’s a bond between them now.