Parishioners probably know that in the Presbytery there are two vicious and dangerous dogs, who go by the names of Ben and Joe, but whose full names are Benedict XVI and Joseph Ratzinger.
Their viciousness knows no bounds. Not only have they been guilty unspeakable violence wreaked upon several items of clothing belonging to this serene household, but in the past week their crimes reached a new and unprecedented horror.
The first attrocity took place on the afternoon of Monday 31st July. Having returned from the funeral of a dear friend, the lady of house removed a new and expensive pair of shoes, specially purchased for this sombre occasion, and placed them carefully and neatly in that place in the house where shoes are safely kept. Imagine her horror, when several hours later the vicious vandalising canines were discovered, relishing the said items, which were now gnarled, ripped and disfigured, almost beyond recognition, and most certainly beyond repair.
But that was not all. A second and more severe attrocity followed on Wednesday 1st August, which caused much greater shock, appalling the master of this house this time by the wanton destruction which was wreaked.
In the evening of the said day, the master and mistress of the house were sat in their drawing room relaxing after the labours of the day and discussing quiet and trivial matters as is their customary wont. The master of the house had earlier met with his episcopal superior in the dining room of the house, and had discussed several matters, including important dates, during which discussions he had cause to make use of his expensive and sophisticated portable computer, which serves as an electronic journal and organiser. As the lady of the house spoke quietly and placidly to a family member on the telephone, she noticed that Benedict XVI, having been allowed to roam the house as part of his evening constitutional, was sat calmly in front of her chewing something which appeared to be lighting up the inside of his mouth. She felt it appropriate calmly to draw this to the attention of her recumbent husband, who glanced, at first idly, in the direction of this uncaring and hideous hound. She - and the aforesaid family member - were then terror-struck by the blood curdling scream which suddenly emanated from her husband's mouth, as he leapt from his relaxation to inspect the extent of the damage. His exclamations were soon followed by sobs, the like of which had scarcely been heard in the normally tranquil household.
Other words were also uttered by the distraught owner of the now destroyed electronic organiser, but these cannot be recorded here, for reasons which be obvious to any reader who has ever suffered a similar shock or loss.
The penalty which ought to be exacted on the malicious, vicious and destructive dogs ought to be severe, but the aggrieved master is a compassionate, forgiving and foolish man, who simply repaired to eBay to replaced the damaged item. The lady of the house may have to wait a little longer for another pair of shoes.