Handrafted by the Sixteen Men of Tain. Bottled in Scotland. Aged 18 years.
So says the cardboard canister where Ulysses' little toy green plastic soldiers live. Donald calls them "the drunken Highlanders."
Danny, our ferret, was having evening runaround time, where we let down the baby gates that keep him in the ferret-safe zone. Rummaging through U's toyland, he came upon the Highlanders' tube. I'd set it on the floor by U's train table, but I couldn't find the lid. Danny propped his front paws on the rim, and finding the mouth of an upended tunnel, he followed the primal ferret urge to dive in.
Crash! went the tube as it fell on its side with the weight of Danny's long and bendy body. Soldiers and jeeps and helicopters poured out. U ran to see what had happened and found Danny nosing among the tiny troops.
"No, no, Gee! No!" Danny jumped, startled. U righted the tube and replaced the soldiers.
He picked it up and brought it to the dining table, where I was sitting. Carefully balancing it on the tabletop, he pushed it a safe distance from the edge.
"There!" he said, and stood still for a moment, regrouping.
Then Ulysses spun to face Danny, who was still at the scene of the crime. He took a few steps towards the little animal, lifting a finger meaningfully.
"No touch, Gee! No! No touch!" With each firm "no" Ulysses shook his head and wagged his finger back and forth sideways, drawing an arc of disapproval through the air. Danny stared up at the boy, frozen.
Then the lecture was over. U dropped his hand to his side, staightened, and turned towards me, brightly, as if for approval. Or to say, "Well! I certainly told him!"
Danny bolted from the room.