"Right Ginger Tail, just pass me my funny wig and help me into my nice red robes." I said.
“Yes my lord, they make you look like Santa Claus" replied Ginger Tail. "We'll have less of your cheek!" I said sternly. I took a quick look in the mirror, and being most impressed with what I saw, I instructed my servant to lead on. Ginger Tail opened the door, and walked ahead of me. As I entered the room, wise Old Black Tom, the Clerk of the Court, stood up and announced in a very solemn voice,
“All rise for Lord Albert The Cat.”
Everyone in the court stood up and I strolled to my throne behind the big bench in the front. There was a nice fluffy cushion on it, ideal for a quick snooze. I was patting it down with my paws when I heard the words of Old Black Tom,
“The court is now in session, pray silence for Lord Chief Justice Albert The Cat.”
"I thought it was Santa Claus" said a voice from the back that sounded suspiciously like Tabby.I nodded, and everyone sat down.
“Righto” I said and asked Old Black Tom what was the first case. After all, he is a very clever cat, and knows everything.
“No idea" he replied. "Sorry m'lud" he said, "just my little joke!"
"Pray continue" I said.
“With pleasure m’lud” he replied. "Today’s case is the people, well the cats actually, versus the one Bert does not trust. Will the Sergeant at Arms please bring up the prisoner.”
There was a scuffling noise at the foot of the stairs, followed by much hissing and growling. Eventually, Riley, the biggest ginger cat you ever did see, dragged the one Bert does not trust into the dock.“I will now ask the Clerk of the Court to read out the charge sheet” I said.
“Thank you m’lud. The one Bert does not trust - you are charged that yesterday, with malice aforethought, you did grievously and wilfully, and with premeditated intent fail to provide Albert The Cat with a plentiful and tasty portion of prawns for his breakfast – How do you plead," said Old Tom, with all the dignity he could muster.
“Not guilty m’lud” replied the one I don't trust.
“What!!!” I exclaimed. “Not guilty, how ridiculous. Can we charge him with perjury and contempt of court as well?”
“Er, a splendid idea m’lud, but I am afraid there are no legal precedents for such action. Stupid as it may seem, the defendant does have the right to enter a plea of not guilty," said Old Tom sagely.
“Shame” I said, “let’s press on, I am very keen not to waste any more time, I’m looking forward to the sentencing!”
“Er, excuse me m’lud,” interjected the Clerk, “but don’t you mean the verdict?”
“Oh yes, of course, a tiresome formality we have to go along with” I replied, “very well can I please ask, who is appearing for the prosecution.”
“I am m’lud” said a scruffy looking brown cat with one eye and half an ear missing. It was none other than Mad Harry, “and I will be ably assisted by my deputy, Slasher Sid QC, and may I say m’lud how well you are looking, and how splendid you look in your nice red robes.”
“Most kind,” I replied, “and who is fighting the lost cause, oops sorry, slip of the tongue, who is appearing for the defence?”
“I am” said the one I don’t trust, “I am defending myself."
“Silence in Court” I cried.
"Er, excuse me m’lud", said the Clerk, "but outrageous as it may seem, he is allowed to do that.”
“Oh very well then, just get on with it” I said in frustration.
“I call upon the prosecution to open their case," said the Clerk.
Mad Harry QC rose to his feet – “I would like to call my first witness, Lord Albert The Cat.”
“Objection” shouted the one I don’t trust.
“Overruled” I said, and proceeded to take the witness stand.
“Please put your paw on the bible, and repeat after me” said the clerk, “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”
“I’m the damn judge” I said, “of course I’m going to tell the truth, my word is law round here you know. What a lot of nonsense.”
“Er, yes m’lud, but I’m afraid it is another tiresome formality we have to go through” he replied.
“Very well” I said, “then can we get to the sentencing, er… verdict I mean?”
Mad Harry QC approached the witness box – “m’lud, on the morning in question, you rose from you slumbers quite naturally expecting your prawns to be served - can you please tell the court precisely what happened next.”
“I most certainly can,” I said, “the one I don’t trust, whose primary responsibility it is to care for me, went out and completely forgot the said prawns”
“And can you identify that person in this courtroom?” said Mad Harry QC.
“It’s him, the one in the dock” I said pointing at the one I don't trust.
“No further questions m’lud, I rest my case” said Mad Harry.
“Would the defence like to cross examine the witness” asked the Clerk.
“I most certainly would” said the one I don’t trust.“Silence in Court” I shouted, “never heard of such a thing, the defendant asking the judge questions. We’re not having that in my court. As there are no further witnesses, I will do my summing up for the jury before we adjourn for a light lunch of tuna and fresh salmon, and then return for the sentencing. Firstly, may I congratulate the prosecution team, led by Mad Harry QC, for the comprehensive and compelling case they have laid before us today. Their painstaking research and attention to detail clearly justifies the enormous fees they will be charging. Now, members of the jury, when you retire to consider your verdict, there is one thing that should be uppermost in your mind – the unimpeachable integrity of the chief witness. This is an open and shut case! In the unlikely event, that there are still any doubts in your mind, I will ask Mad Harry and Slasher Sid to sit in with you to advise on points of law if you get my drift. Right, that’s my lot, I’m off for a spot of lunch.”
“I think it is all going rather well so far” I said to Ginger Tail as we prepared to go back into court.
“Yes m’lud” she replied, "have you got a nice present for me in your big sack?"
“Ladies, gentlemen and cats of the jury, have you reached a verdict.” Said the Clerk.
“Yes we have” said the foreman, who just happened to be my poncy brother Tabby.
“Will the defendant please rise” said the Clerk, upon which point, Riley dug his claws into the leg of the one I don’t trust and he stood up sharply.
“Do you find the defendant guilty or not guilty”
Tabby said “we find the defendant............................ covered in hair!" Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz........
"That's a strange verdict" I thought, as I was unceremoniously shoved off of my throne. "The chair, it's damn well covered in hair already, we only cleaned the place up yesterday. I bet that Bert is the main culprit" said the one I don't trust tersely. I woke up with a shock as I landed on the floor. Where am I? What's happening? Oh no, it was all a dream, just a dream. What a disappointment. Why did he wake me up just as we were getting to the good bit.Well, that's my lot for today. To finish on a lighter note, did I tell you about the cross eyed judge? He said to the first defendant, “how do you plead?” “Not guilty” replied the second defendant. “I wasn’t talking to you” the judge said. “I never said a word” replied the third defendant. Ho Ho Ho..... What do you mean you don't like it. Try this one then - the defendant said to the judge, “I don't recognize this court!” “Why not?” asked the Judge. “Because you’ve had it decorated since I was here last.” Ho Ho Ho..... oh well, please yourselves. What a Life! AlbertThe(hanging judge)Cat.
Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta
17 hours ago