Who's that? She's the same colour as me, but someone has painted stripes on her – I wonder why?
Who's that? He's the same colour as me, but he's doing something important, he's walking round and round carrying children on his back.
She looks like a zebra crossing.
He's very serious.
She's looking at me.
I like him.
I like her.
She rubbed her neck on his neck – he liked that – the children too.
He took her to The Flask. Somebody poured some beers into a bucket and he tried it – she tried it – she liked it.
She rubbed her neck on his neck – they both liked that.
They left The Flask, he walked very close to her. She wobbled, had she drunk too much beer?
They reached the lawn around the big mansion called Pearsons Place on the edge of town, her knees were weak and she sank to the ground. He thought that she was silly, but he liked her.
Nottingham had a new friend to play with – Mrs Pearson liked her – Mrs Tinge liked her – Betty liked her. Nottingham tried many times to lick the stripes off her – not much success, none at all.
Mrs Pearson had a name for her: Zeeta. It suited her – everybody liked it.
Thursday was always an important day – a day to be taken seriously – a day to do things properly. Zeeta and Nottingham were very small, but they worked hard, they carried children round and round the paddock from breakfast time to tea time.
It was time for a drink, Zeeta rubbed her neck on Nottingham's, they wandered slowly along the canal tow path.
A man came towards them, Nottingham had seen him before, several times. Nottingham did not like him, he was ever so strangely odd and nasty. Nottingham avoided him, when he could.
The man pulled out a knife and Nottingham knew exactly what he wanted to do – carve red stripes into Zeeta. She stopped and stared at the man. Nottingham stopped and waited. No, fleeing was useless, both of them couldn't.
Nottingham knew that it was time for action. He kicked the man into the canal – Nottingham had more strength than he knew. The man couldn't swim and yelled for help. Someone at the pub pulled him to the bank with a boat hook and rescued him.
For the rest of his days the man had a hole in his head caused by the boat hook and a huge U‑shaped scar on his face.
Nottingham had a friend for life.