It’s nearly 10am on a Sunday morning. Alice has just woken up. In this regard, she is already a teenager.
“Daddy, I’m feeling worried and scared.”
Oh [mutes Top Gear], worried and scared? Sweetie, what’s wrong?
“I’m really nervous.”
What’s making you nervous?
“I keep hearing strange noises.”
Where? In your room?
(A 5-year old hearing strange noises in their bedroom? Oh, that’s not creepy in any way…)
Is it the sound of the toilet in the bathroom next door?
“No, it sounds like someone in the room!”
Is there anyone actually in the room?
“No. But I can hear them”.
(Ohhhhh shit. I watched Poltergeist recently)
Are they saying anything?
(Oh bloody hell, she’s actually hearing words. It’s either latent paranoid schizophrenia, or the opening of a portal to Hell. Either way today’s not going to be good)
What are they saying?
“Woof woof woof.”
They… hang on. Alice…? It’s a dog?
“Yes. It scares me!”
Is it an angry dog?
“No. It’s just barking.”
A barking dog in your room? Alice, we don’t have a dog.
“I know, but I can hear it in there.”
Are you sure it’s not in the street outside?
[very definite] “It isn’t. It’s in my room.“
Really? Are you sure it’s not coming from next door?
Is that ‘no, I’m not sure’, or ‘no, it’s not coming from next door?’
“It’s ‘yes Daddy, no, it’s not coming from next door’
Riiight. What does it sound like?
“It sounds like a dog barking.”
I… yes, very good, I know that. But is it angry?
“No, it just says woof woof.”
In your room?
Not next door?
Where in your room is it?
“Out the window.”
In the street?
Right. So, not in your room then?
“Actually, it isn’t.”
And it sounds like…
“Look, it sounds like woof woof, Daddy.”
There’s no need to be sarcastic. Now, what’s going on – Is it two dogs having a fight?
“No. It’s just a dog barking. [Suddenly angry] It ALWAYS does that! It makes me scared!”
Just saying woof woof? Like a normal dog?
“No, like a cat.”
“Yes. A cat.”
A cat saying woof woof?
“Yeah. Well, no, maybe a dog AND a cat.”
What are they saying? Meow woof?
“[sigh] No Daddy! Just saying woof.”
So it’s a cat saying woof?
So is the dog chasing the cat?
“No, I think they got married. It’s OK. They’re happy.”
And you’re scared by this?
“Yes. I want Weetabix for breakfast.”