The jester swung from crudely pieced together trapeze, performing somersaults, and split as if she were putting on a routine but the room remained empty. The mouse glided from one swing to the next before she final landed with perfection.

“From Syracuse a boat arrives, two dogs, two names that end in Y. Sophisticated, so prim with pride. On the outside, so much alike but find within – nothing identical to their twin. Now take note as their paths begin.”

As the boat from Syracuse docked, a bulldog and Chihuahua exited. Clean, firm postured and well-spoken the two gathered their bearings.

“I don’t understand why we didn’t take the earlier ferry with Jewels.” The bulldog said to the Chihuahua.

“The demands of an actor of my caliber, my friend.” The Chihuahua boasted. “My schedule keeps me busy but what my love wants, my love gets. Happy wife, happy life is what I always say.” He advised.

“But Chilly, isn’t she mad at you for staying to work?” The bulldog asked.

“Nonsense, Bully boy!” Chilly scoffed before he further explained. “We parted ways with an understanding. She would get to her sister’s in time for lunch and I would promptly follow behind after my performance and we’d have a lovely dinner before the show.”

“Not to mention you promised her a present.” Bully reminded his chieftain which caused the Chihuahua to stop.

Chilly’s eyes widened in realization of his error.

“Yep, she’s going to kill me.” He whispered in shock.

The bulldog stared at his friend in concern.

“Chilly, are you in there?” He wondered as he waived his paw across the Chihuahua’s gaze.

Chilly shook his head furiously and snapped back to reality.

“Okay, here’s what we’re going to do.” Chilly said as he thought for a moment. “If I’m going to keep my promise, we need to split up.”

“Spilt up?!” The bulldog exclaimed. “But why, what if I get lost?!” He worried.

“No worries, Bully. You’re one of the most intelligent pooches I know.” The Chihuahua confided. “A bit inquisitive, but still.”

He put his arm around the bulldog as he walked alongside him and attempted to persuade him.

“I made a promise to my dear, Jewel, that I would arrive at her sister’s with enough time for dinner so we could make the show.” The Chihuahua explained pausing for a reaction but received none in return. The Chihuahua stopped walking and stood in front of the bulldog.

“I also promised to arrive with gift in hand.” Chilly once again stared at Bully. “Though you were right to remind me, if you think about it – it was your fault I forgot to begin with.”

“My fault? How’s that?!” Bully asked, questioning the logic presented before him.

“Bully, you’re looking at perhaps one of the most famous faces in Syracuse.” Chilly revered. “And in turn, I’m very busy. It’s your unspoken duty to keep me on track of situations like this and remind me.”

“But I did, remind you!” The bulldog pleaded.

“Nonetheless.” Chilly said in disregard. “I need you to find a gift. The more expensive the better.”

“Got it.” The bulldog nodded.

“We’ll split from here.” Chilly suggested, confirming the plan. “I’ll head to meet Jewel for dinner, you find a gift and bring it to me before the show starts.”

“What’s the name of the show again?” Asked Bully.

“Era’s Comedy Show.” The Chihuahua relayed. “It’s a big event, so it’ll be easy to find if you ask around. Now go forth my friend and return bearing treasure.”

The bulldog bolted down the street with determination as the Chihuahua hurried along to their original destination.

Not too far away, another bulldog and Chihuahua, two bandits by the name of Bullie and Chile admired their freshly pilfered goods. A baby mouse in red diapers with white button fastens.

“Check it out, Bullie. Is he adorable or what?” The Chihuahua asked.

The bulldog looked and shrugged. “I dunno. Looks like he’ll get kinda annoying after a while.”

“Hmmm,” the Chihuahua pondered rubbing his chin before he agreed. “I can see that.”

“Toss him over. Lemme get a closer look.” The bulldog suggested.

“Sure thing.” Chile agreed. “CATCH!” He shouted as he tossed the trinket.

The throw was short causing Bullie to lunge forward and barely make the grab. “Phew…that was close.” He said in relief. “But nope, he’s starting to get on my nerves already. Take him back.” The bulldog said as he hurled the item with little warning catching his compatriot off guard, causing him to bounce and bobble the talisman before finally gaining control over it.

“Are you insane?!” The Chihuahua asked. “This thing is important.” He said taking care to slowly place it down but before he could do so, a butterfly landed on his nose causing a sneezing reaction. “AH-CHOOOO!!” The small dog bellowed, causing him to fly off his feet dislodging his grip.

The mouse flew through the air with only enough time for Bullie to comment, “Uh-oh.” Before the filched ornament hit the ground and shattered revealing a deep red ruby.

The Chihuahua stood back to his feet. “Now THAT I get.” He said as he approached the jewel.

As the two looked at their loot in awe they heard a familiar voice approach.

“I recognize that accent anywhere.” Bullie trembled. “We gotta get outta here!” The bulldog turned to run before being stopped by Chile.

“Wait,” the Chihuahua gave the bulldog the ruby. “We gotta split up. You remember the U-Haul caper?” Chile asked receiving a nod in agreement. “You take this and hide it and I’ll lead them away.”

The bulldog picked up his newly minted responsibility and like a coach in a huddle declared, “And break!”

Elsewhere, the thespian murine, known as Era, dressed the stage with cardboard painted in imagery to set a scene and recited –

“So, in separate directions split the two. One scoundrel with scavenged loot, the other found in villainous pursuit. He dipped and dashed between breaths of fear and hid in shadows till coasts were clear. Then once again he appeared, greeted by a familiar stranger and a question…”

“What are you doing here?” Bully from Syracuse asked of Chile, believed to be his other half.

“What am I doing here?” Chile asked in disbelief. “What are you doing here! Didn’t I give you and assignment?” He inquired of the bulldog.

The bulldog revealed a small blue box with white ribbon. “Indeed, you did, sir.” Bully said with confidence, “and mission accomplished.”

“What’s that?” The Chihuahua asked in confusion and curiosity before he further observed, “And why are you talking like that?”

“It’s the gift you requested.” Bully explained.

“Oh right, ‘the gift’.” Chile winked in agreement to what he presumed to be their newly adapted code.

The bulldog turned and began to walk.

“Where are you going?” Chile asked.

The bulldog looked over his shoulder slightly and explained, “We should hurry. You’re going to be late to dinner with the misses.”

The Chihuahua winked again in agreement before he realized he didn’t grasp the concept. “Wait, does that mean we’re going to meet with the buyer for the jewel?”

“Technically I was the buyer for Jewel.” Bully corrected. “I think you mean seller.”

“Sailor?!” Chile question in continued misunderstanding. “Where’s the boat?”

“We have plenty of time until we need to catch the ferry.” The bulldog said, picking up his pace but if we don’t make it for dinner we’ll have bigger problems.”

“Dinner?! Bullie my boy, that’s the smartest thing you’ve said all day!” Chile yelled in excitement following suit as the two set on course. “Let’s put that ‘gift’ somewhere safe,” Chile suggested “and gets to eating.”

Meanwhile, as the distinguished Chilly strolled through a city of bright lights and glitz it only took him moments to realize, “I think I made a wrong turn somewhere.” The Chihuahua took a few more steps but he regained hope. “Bully boy, my good chum. Glad to see you.” He proclaimed in glee to a familiar faced bulldog. Stunned, the bulldog remained silent. “Where’s the gift?” the Chihuahua asked.

“You mean the jewel?” Bullie questioned in clarification.

“I meant what I asked.” Said the Chihuahua. “The gift for Jewel…Where’d you put it?!” He asked causing a rapid-fire exchange.

Bullie: You want the jewel?

Chily: I want the gift.

Bullie: You want a gift?

Chilly: Not A gift, THE gift. The gift for Jewel

Bullie: I had the jewel but I hid the jewel. Now you want the jewel?

Chilly: A jewel for Jewel is cool you fool but any gift you choose will do.

Bullie laughed hysterically.

“What’s so funny?!” The Chihuahua demanded to know.

The bulldog removed the paw covering his mouth and stated through chuckles and gasping breaths, “I think you’re a poet…and didn’t even know it.” As he continued to crack up.

The Chihuahua fumed until he couldn’t take it anymore and struck the bulldog on top of the head with his fist.

“Go get the gift!!” He shouted, “And meet me after dinner.”

“Owww…what was that for?” Bully asked rubbing his head. “If I didn’t hear the word ‘dinner’ I’d be VERY upset right now.” The bulldog cautioned.

The Chihuahua closed his eyes and calmed himself. “Just get the gift and find me at dinner.”

The bulldog’s eyes popped open and his tail began to wag. “Oh, what’s for dinner?” He excitedly asked causing Chilly to once again strike him on the top of the head. This time the bulldog growled back in warning.

“What has gotten into you, Bully?” The Chihuahua questioned as he lowered his hand opting out of yet another blow. “Just go get the gift and meet me!” He further ordered. The bulldog turned and reluctantly obliged and once again a bulldog and a Chihuahua parted ways.

The mouse once again took a break from building the backdrop of what would be her one mouse show to narrate.

“Ahhhh, with a growl of such force, from now and hence forth would this bully give Bullie or Bully, ‘what-for’ without reason, why or what for or any other logic more. Now as one gives distance with paw to floor the other gives assistance to put food to jaw.”

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