Copyright © 2009 SM Worsey
I charge down the steep grassy bank, trying to catch up with
Laura, who got a head start on me. She comes to an abrupt halt at the bottom
and I crash into her, laughing.
She’s laughing too. We need this. We’ve both carried so much
pent up tension around these last few days.
She brushes her coat down and checks her watch. ‘It’s time
we were in court.’
I nod, and we make our way back out of the park and along
the road. She changes her shoes. We have to look smart in court. We’re
I’m deep in thought as I walk beside her. My life has
changed so much for the better since I started living with Laura. Simply being
able to share affection with someone who loves me unconditionally has been so
amazing. I’ll never take her for granted. Never.
Laura tells me I’m very special – that there’s never been
anyone like me before. That I'm unique.
We meet our solicitor just outside the court building. He
reminds us that this case is extremely important because the world’s media will
be watching – that the implications of the evidence we are about to give could
influence people all over the world.
I wish my brother could have come with us, but Laura
reckons it would have upset him too much.
We enter the building and the security guards nod to us. One
of them pats my back as I walk past. I flinch at the contact because I’m not
used to being touched by strangers, though I know he is just being friendly,
and doesn't want to hurt me, or invade my space.
And so, the mighty machine of legal proceedings slowly churns into life. People keep
getting up and giving evidence – quoting all kinds of statistics and talking
about samples and forensics. I can’t really follow this. Science is pretty
meaningless to me, I haven’t got that kind of mind. It’s a struggle to stay awake
in places. Eventually, there’s a break and we got some air. Laura and the
solicitor fetch coffee. I just want a drink of water.
A journalist appears and Laura gives a quick interview. I
decline to speak to them, saying I want to save what I have to say for the
Then we’re back inside, and Laura is called up to give
evidence. She does such a good job – tells them everything she saw and what
those evil people did to me and my friends. She doesn’t hold back as she
relates how they forced me to take drugs, and how badly they beat me.
Then it’s my turn. They’re calling me!
As I start to get up, a man in a suit at the back of the
courtroom starts shouting, ‘You can’t allow this. It’s obscene! He can’t give
evidence. He’s a FREAK!’
His face is bright red and he looks so angry. I stop in my
tracks, beginning to feel nervous for the first time.
The security guards are upon him. They bundle him roughly
out of court and he’s still shouting ‘freak!’ over his shoulder as he’s shoved
through the door. The judge has to fight to restore calm, and Laura asks
whether I want her to accompany me. I tell her I need to do this on my own.
I get up and walk calmly over to the microphone. There’s
over a dozen photographers at the back, all straining forwards and jostling
each other to take pictures of me. I turn and look at them for a moment. Does
this mean I’m now famous? Will people all over the world see my picture?
I’m enjoying the attention, and so I start to walk more like
a celebrity – holding my head high. I can’t reach the microphone of course, so
someone fetches a chair. I spring lightly onto it, resting my front paws on the
The man who questioned Laura is standing in front of me. I
try to focus totally on him. Even a human could have heard a pin drop at that
‘Beagle number 431537. Now known as Max,’ he begins,
tonelessly. ‘Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but
‘Yes!’ I shout, practically yelping. I’m not going to hold
anything back about what they did in that evil place.
A hushed gasp ripples round the courtroom as I begin to
speak. I guess I’m going to have to get used to that reaction, and now that I’m
famous I’ll have to start being very careful about where I walk and who I allow
It’s worth it, though. I’m making history. If I can
make a difference today, I will. If I can help save all the others out there
who can’t talk, I will.
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