The Animal Doctor Dream

“Come on,” he assured me. “It’ll be fine.”
I wasn’t so sure the “WARNING, KEEP OUT” sign agreed with him, but I followed him nevertheless. We crept through a hole in the wall, to find a large enclosed area. I saw an old man in a lab coat, trying to coax something out of the ground.
I tried to stay hidden in the shadows, but the person I was with simply walked out to meet the man. They shook hands.
Clearly, he’d done this before.
This man was trying to get the badgers to emerge from their hiding place amongst the concrete wreckage. He told us to hide and stay quiet, but to watch. Eventually, after a couple of minutes, the first snout popped out of the hole. It sniffed the air, deemed it safe, and seemed to spread the word with his fellow badgers.
Five or six of them surrounded the man, and he proceeded to check them over, feed them milk, and then play with them as if they were dogs. It was amazing to watch. So amazing, in fact, that we decided to go again the next night.
This time there were no badgers. This time he was checking over the bunnies. A similar pattern occurred with them; we hid, they came out, the man fed and played with them. I’d never seen animals behave like this. This guy was clearly a real life Doctor Dolittle.
After that, we persuaded him to go public. Eventually he built a little shop, and hired me as his assistant. One night, a man came in wearing a shell suit and a beanie hat. His eyes darted around and he stank of something stronger than cigarettes. He had dodgy written all over him.
He came to my till, and placed a packet of mints on the counter. He certainly needed them. He paid the pound and turned to leave. But before he did, he walked over to the cigarette counter and took a pack of 100 cigarettes from right behind the Doctor’s head.
Then he ran. I chased him to the door, and watched as he stopped outside the taxi rank just down the road from us, and I told someone in the shop. They legged it after him, and came back with the man’s card in the card machine. He had paid the £140 for the cigarettes. Guess he lost his nerve.


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