((That's all right! That post was great! xD My computer's playing up so I'm really sorry if I don't reply for a few days while I get it sorted. >.<))
Lady closed her eyes as Walt scratched behind her long brown ears, wagging her tail and smiling happily. He spoke to her as an equal, as though they had known each other all their lives.
The man carried a truly wonderful scent, a scent that Lady loved but confused her all the same. Like the smell of a loving parent but surely that was absurd! This man was not her parent or even her owner. But Lady couldn't help but feel a special kind of a pull towards him. She felt the persistent urge to ask the mysterious man so many questions but they all seemed to weave in to each other and constrict her from saying what she meant.
Lady nodded eagerly as Basil spoke of their adventure and their journey of discovery, inclining her head in wonderment at the name tag he had just taken out. Was this country man called Walt the answer to everything? He was so ordinary but possessed the quality of being something truly unique that only came around once.
She felt confused by one thing in particular however - how could he had kept tabs on both of them when neither of them had met Walt before now?
"Please, Mr. Walt," Lady piped up again, "What do you mean when you say you've kept tabs on everyone, including Basil and I? How is that possible?"
"What do you mean when you say you've kept tabs on everyone, including Basil and I? How is that possible?"
The man called Walt rubbed his chin for a minute, looking at Lady with a penetrating but kindly gaze. "You don't give up when you want something, do you? I like that kind of stick-to-it-tivity."
He leaned back in his chair with a faraway look, like a man recalling the distant past.
"For as long as I can remember, I've always had the peculiar ability to see and hear beyond the here and now. I was born with it, I guess, but I used it to see a lot of things in the past, the future, even in other worlds. To see animals as people. And to see possibilities other folks couldn't seem to grasp."
"Then I mixed the things I could see with some good old Yankee ingenuity, added a heaping dose of sweat, and built myself a sort of a kingdom. A magic kingdom, you might say."
Basil's look revealed how earnestly he was taking it all in, turning it over in his mind.
"You look skeptical, son. Don't you believe me?"
Basil shook his head. "I am a rational mouse, sir, and what you say seems patently impossible." And yet, the detective knew he simply could not disbelieve this man.
"However, I have lately learned that there are more things in Heaven and earth, or at least in this park, than were once dreamed of in my philosophy."
Walt laughed again, that infectuous laugh that made Basil smile in spite of himself.
"Let's just call it 'the plausible impossible.' Take a vacation from the rational and suspend disbelief for a little while. After all, the real world will still be there when you get back."
Although Lady could not blush, she glanced down at the floor and her ears seemed to go back slightly as a shy smile appeared on her face. "Thank you, sir," she said rather quietly. After a moment she felt it was safe to look up again and sat up, her back straight and her eyes bright, alert and listening as Walt sat back and began to retell his tale.
As he spoke, Lady's eyes grew rounder in awe and wonderment and glanced opened mouthed at Basil to see what he thought of this rather wonderful man. He seemed to be thinking deeply about something. Walt seemed to notice too as he commented on his face expression. Lady nodded as Basil spoke of the impossiblity of this but she too couldn't help but believe him. There was something incredibly truthful about him.
The plausible impossible... repeated Lady in her head and she frowned slightly as it took her a moment to think about what it meant. She looked back up at Walt and wagged her tail happily. He had suddenly given her a new outlook on life. What was the harm in going in to disblief and fantasy for a moment? The real life would always be there when they came back. After a moment, a sudden thought occured to her. "How can you understand us?" She asked curiously.
"There are a few humans...too few, unfortunately...who can understand animal speech. I was lucky...no, scratch that...blessed to be one of 'em."
Looking first at Lady, then at Basil, Walt went on, "I wish more people could do it. They miss so much..."
"Anyway, I made sure that, here in my park, all humans could understand animals just like I do. All it takes is a little bit of magic and a dash of faith," he said with a grin. "And we can have this conversation."
"When you go back to your old lives, I'm afraid you'll find things just as they were."
Basil thought about this sad fact. "A pity, sir. It is a such a relief not to have to hide from humans every moment. You've no idea what life can be for a rodent. Or, perhaps," he considered a moment, "perhaps you do."
How splendid it would have been to be able to speak with his mentor Mr Sherlock Holmes.
Lady, whose tail had been wagging happily and face that had been filled with excitement, faltered as Walt spoke that this kind of magic would only work while they were in the park.
"Can't you do anything to make it perm ant?" Asked Lady, trying and failing to hide her disappointment. Oh how she would have loved to be able to talk to Jim Dear and Darling and tell them how thankful she was that Jim picked her at the pet store all those years ago. For letting her have a family.
"You shouldn't hide Basil - you're a very intelligent detective!" Said Lady, her eye brows raised as she looked surprisingly at Basil. "I'm sure the people in my town would be happy to have you."
You shouldn't hide Basil - you're a very intelligent detective!
"Ah, well, you are very kind, my dear," Basil answered her. "But I am afraid we must face facts. You and I are merely animals to the average human, though we might wish it otherwise."
"Still," he brightened, "we've got this lovely park to enjoy for a bit, eh? Where we can be quite who we are without fear."
"Can't you do anything to make it permanent?"
Shaking his head, Walt replied, "That would take more magic than even I possess, little Lady. There is one last thing I can do for you two, though."
He rummaged around in his desk for a few seconds before pulling out two blank castmember badges.
"These nametags will give you access to the tunnels beneath the park. I'll have your names imprinted on 'em and then send them off to you when they're ready. With these, you can come down here any time you like."
"I hope you'll come to see me once in a while. If you have a problem, or if you just like to chew the fat for a bit, I'll be here."
Lady scowled as Basil spoke of their obvious inadequacy, feeling a surge of injustice. What did it matter if they were just animals? Humans weren't always that perfect either, sometimes animals deserved more credit and that was the truth. "Well I think you're more than a match for any human detective," Lady replied with a smile.
As she turned to Walt, she was in for more disappointment. "So you can't do anything?" She ask sadly, feeling the hope of talking to Jim Dear and Darling begin to drain away. She frowned at the floor for a moment, thinking... Perhaps if Walt didn't have the magic, maybe someone else would. She had heard of a wizard.. A very wonderful and powerful wizard, would he be able to create the magic that Walt could not?
Her thoughts took a change however, as she lifted her eyes to the wonderful man as he pulled out two blank name tags. Lady's face brightening and her tail beginning to wag again she said, "Really? Whenever we like? I would like to visit you again, Sir!" She lifted up and sniffed the tag interestingly, before hurrying over and lifting up on her hind legs to rest her two front paws on his chair. "Thank you!"
Lady nodded vigorously in agreement, not be able to put in to words how this strange adventure had already opened her eyes. This man... This wonderful human being was second only to Jim Dear now. With such inspirational words and wisdom Lady found herself in awe of him, and she hoped she'd somehow be able to take a part of his greatness with her.
As he shook her paw, Lady wagged her tail, her mouth stretching in to a wide grin as his praise made her swell with pride. She had determination? Really? Well... Perhaps she did then. This man certainly didn't seem the type to lie. Chin up... Was he aware of his sadness for her loss of family even though they had never come close to the subject? Was any of this really possible? Was there magic in the world?
"Thank you, sir. I hope we can meet again someday soon." Lady said and with one last lingering looking did she turn her back and make her way out the door, Basil rested perfectly on her back.
Basil was feeling quite satisfied with himself. He'd braved the dangers of the laundry room, escaped detection by security guards and solved the mystery of the park.
"There is nothing quite like a job well done, eh?" he addressed his companion. "I feel as though we two have been granted a great privilege."
The trip out of the tunnel was much different than the trip into it had been. There was no more subterfuge for this pair. Their nametags proclaimed them castmembers, and no one tried to hinder their progress.
"You performed admirably, my dear; admirably on all counts." Dogs really did make the best companions.
Lady tilted her head to the side as they walked, glancing over her shoulder to smile at her new companion and life-long friend. She noticed his joy and the look of satisfaction on his face and Lady could not help but mirror it as she made her way to the exit.
There was a slight spring in her step now, her head high as she felt a strong sense of accomplishment. She had done it, she'd really done it and met a wonderful aspiring man in the process. Why, She was even a cast member now! Allowed to stroll around the park in ease. The only thing missing was Tramp, her pups and her family. A twinge dropped in to her stomach as she felt a knot at the base of her pain. Oh how she missed them!
"Thank you, Basil," she replied after a moment. "I couldn't have done it without you though."