Horace the Paper Shredder

Gordon, our hero postman was doing his Tuesday rounds as normal. It’s a perishing cold day but as always, Gordon is in shorts and fleece, moving at a cracking pace keeps him perfectly warm and he sees absolutely no point in wearing long trousers.

Gordon loves people and dogs and most of them love him. An affable chap, he juggles an exceedingly busy round with making pleasant conversation to all he meets, and he still manages to get back to the depot before many of his colleagues. Friendly and efficient, his boss reckons that if he was able to clone him about ten times, the world of mail deliveries would be an altogether better place and he would sleep a lot better at night.

On this particular Tuesday, he stops in his tracks as Mrs Stedman from number thirty comes hurtling down her drive towards him.

“STOP!” she hollers, throwing up her hands, “Gordon, Stop”

Well this was all a bit odd.

“Are you alright?” Gordon asks politely, trying very hard not to notice that Mrs Stedman is still wearing a what is obviously her nightwear; a saggy pair of check pajamas and an oversized, slightly greying T shirt and has her bare feet on the frosty ground.

“Can I have the post?” She gasps, holding out her hand.

“Of course, here you go.”

“It’s my new bank card. I’m totally stuck without it. I only got one on Friday, but it got ruined so I need another one. I can’t have this one wrecked too”.

“It looks OK.” Gordon says, examining the three envelopes he is clutching for her. “I’m sorry if the last one didn’t make the journey, we really do try to keep everything safe in transit.”

“Oh no” she exclaims “It wasn’t the post. It was Horace. Horace ate the entire thing.”

“Horace is the new dog?” Gordon surmised, having recently heard a new dog barking from inside.

“Yes, our new rescue dog. He’s a total darling but he can’t see anything papery without shredding it into tiny pieces and eating it and he didn’t differentiate the bank card, I’m afraid. It’s a nightmare. He’s had the post most days, all the Sunday papers, a Jane Austen I’m reading for book club and my daughter’s homework. Well, that’s what she told her teacher anyway, I don’t actually recall her doing it if I’m honest… But how often does a girl ever get to say, “The dog ate my homework, miss”?”

“Blimey” Gordon said. “That’s, urm, difficult for you.”

“Oh, I know. We’re obviously trying to train him to play with other things but it’s really hard when a pile of his favourite stuff comes through the door every morning at 8”.

“Have you thought about a letter box?”

“We’ve got one?”

“No, not the one in the door. I was thinking you could put one up outside. Then he can’t get to the paper and you won’t lose all your post.”

“That’s a genius idea! Gordon, you’re a wonder. Why didn’t we think of that?”

“Well, you’re clearly managing quite a lot. If I were you, I’d get on the web straight away with your new card and look at Letterbox 4 You. They have loads of really stylish ones that will look a treat out front here.”

“Thanks Gordon. I am going to do it right now. Horace’s mail chomping days will soon be over”

The next day, Gordon is careful to ring the bell and hand the post to Mrs Stedman. He is introduced to Horace who surely is as described, a lovely dog of some indeterminate mixture of breeds, who looks quite likely to lick a person to death when he’s not busy being a one-dog professional document shredder.

“I’ve ordered a gorgeous letterbox” Mrs Stedman said “It’s arriving later today! I can’t wait.  It was such fun choosing one, there are so many, I’d no idea!”.

And sure enough, on Thursday, Gordon walks up the drive to see a beautiful wall mounted post box attached to the wall of the Stedman’s porch. It’s a rather fancy looking thing with leaves and a newspaper holder.

“Well” he thinks “That’ll sort Horace out”.

And he pops the post easily into the postbox and heads back off on his rounds, smiling to himself.