A stone dog had a chip on its shoulder. “Don’t you want salt and vinegar with that chip?” asked a passing scruff.

“I’ve never had the chance,” said the stone dog.

The scruff replied, “But I have some with me. I can spare a pinch and a splash if you really want them.”

The stone dog blinked at these offerings.

“That’s not the kind of salt and vinegar I like! I only want sea salt and balsamic vinegar. I’m so unhappy!”

“Would you feel better if I gave you a hug?” asked the scruff.

“Maybe, maybe not,” said the stone dog.

“Let me try!” suggested the scruff, and he jumped up next to the stone dog and hugged him with platonic affection. The stone dog was forced to admit that he did in fact feel less sad.

“More fool you!” chortled the scruff as he devoured the chip.

¶ Keep your chips safe from scruffs.

(Image by Adele Whittle)