"I say, young man! Who in the blue blazes are you?!?!"
Malcolm leapt backwards, his hackles in a tizzy.
An older looking prairie dog stood staring at Malcolm, dressed in a well-kempt, but decades old khaki uniform. After assessing Malcolm intently with his right eye wide open and his left eye squinched shut, he waved him aside with his walking stick.
"Move aside, bingo. I'm here to see Peach. I brought her some news."
Malcolm noticed that when the prairie dog pronounced his b's like they bubbled out of his mouth. Maybe he's British, he thought. Or maybe he doesn't have any teeth. No, he does. Maybe they're fake. They do look awfully straight.
As Malcolm contemplated the old man's teeth, the prairie dog marched around Peach's underground home, searching room to room for her. He completely ignored the fact that Malcolm was still pressed against the wall in silence. The prairie dog's metals shone as they swung from side to side in the midst of his frenzied search.
When he finally remembered Malcolm, he swung his walking stick once round then planted it firmly in the ground. He leaned towards the young meerkat and asked, "Well! Where have you put her!? This is of utmost importance! No time to fiddlefaddle around, here, young man! Hmm? Speak up!"
"She's . . . She's. . . HaCHOO!" Malcolm sneezed. He often sneezed when he was nervous.
"Nervous, eh? My tongue swells up when I'm nervous. Sit down. Sit down," he said in a much more calm manner.
Malcolm sat in a floral printed arm chair. He felt like he was sitting inside a tea pot.
"I . . .who are you?"
"I, young man, am Major Heggs, commander of the 14th regiment of the Royal Marines. Fought in the largest small mammal war of all time. You may have heard of it."
Malcolm gasped then sneezed. He certainly had heard of it.