The distant sound of a drum, beating out a staccato heartbeat: the rustle of the wind through the leaves. A Spanish guitar is strummed four times and the chimes begin.
Stranger crouches low in the ground and the camera pans around the horizon, taking in the unmown grass.
Tiny emerges from the house, pacing slowly. Cut to close up of Stranger’s eyes. The guitar sounds again, accompanied by an orchestral swell. Tiny stops, tail bristling in the air.
Wide shot of the garden. The chimes sound again and we catch our first glance of Furry, still standing in the doorway: watching patiently. Stranger stirs in the grass, meows, but does not back down.
Tiny edges forward and the almost audible soundtrack reaches the bit where the choir kicks in. Tiny is calling now, her voice hot and insistent: you are not welcome here.
Stranger makes his first mistake, answering back and thinking the shade of the nearby fence will protect him. The camera cuts to an extreme close-up of Tiny and the guitar sounds a single note repeatedly and tails off. She seems uncertain as the music fades again; her plaintive cry sounding like a child as she calls for re-enforcements
The mariachi band horns come in, sounding loud and vibrant. Furry is moving away from the doorway, sauntering towards the unwelcome guest, keeping a wide circle from Tiny and never letting either one out of his view. He stops to one side of Tiny, adding his voice to hers as he enters the ring: three may enter, only two can leave.
The horns cut out and for a long moment there is no sound but the chimes and the wind. The camera cuts from each face, waiting for someone to make the first move.
The camera cuts closer and closer, faster and faster from one face to the next until you can see each whisker bristling, each set of eyes narrowing into pinpoints.
Furry howls again: one last chance, he seems to say, just one last chance. Stranger makes his last mistake: goes for his claws.
There is a blur of movement and noise as Furry and Tiny leap as one, scrambling with the intruder and forcing him under the fence. There is the noise of a continued fight from the neighbour’s garden behind: then there is silence.
Three have entered: but only two leave. Tiny and Furry saunter back to the food bowl, collars lost or damaged but territory intact.
And from behind the neighbour’s fence Stranger watches and wonders when his time will come again.
The grass stirs in the wind and is still