When the house gets dirty, we dogs often get the blame. This is unfair. We do bring in mud, shed hair and have the occasional ‘accident’, but we’re not responsible for all the mess. A large part of it is down to a tribe of goblins called the Slapstyx, whose mission in life is to fill human homes with dirt.
The Slapstyx look like a cross between humans and insects, and smell like old bin juice. They swarm into the house at night, armed with special tools for distributing dirt – spray cans for spraying cobwebs in corners, pumps for puffing sticky dust onto skirting boards, brushes for painting drink rings on tables and spatulas for plastering mud onto carpets. They skitter through the bathroom putting tide marks in the bath, skid marks in the toilet and all kinds of grime and slime in the sink. They scuttle around the kitchen, gluing bits of old food on every surface. They slink into the bedroom with tubes of quick-drying egg and squeeze it onto suits and ties. When you try to chase them away, they disappear with a high-pitched giggle, only to reappear somewhere else.
Pearl did manage to catch one once. She tried to eat him, but he had too many limbs and she couldn’t get him down; half his legs were hanging out of her mouth. In the end she had to spit him out. He got his revenge by decorating the kitchen with dog do so we got the blame in the morning.