"The Snoop Dumpling Affair" By Rock Modo
This is a story in which Snoop McDonuts is not directly implicated, but Puppy McDonut is a main player in the events that will be described. The Eastern cultures are renowned for their delicious and solid food preparations. Amongst the legends of cuisine is the simple, yet oh so subtle dumpling, in its various regional guises and preferences. With the dizzying array of choices, it can be a daunting task to select the ideal treat for a special gathering and it is for this very reason that a small class of highly sensitive specialists has evolved to assess the merit of the numerous varieties. In this category, at the very apex of skill and reputation is Ukraine’s ambassador to the world, the incomparable Puppy McDonut, or Tsar Pel’meni as he is affectionately known. Each household possesses their own recipes of course, but when large quantities are needed for special occasions, this is the situation where the Puppy is revered for his choice of the perfect complement for any important meal. To maintain his competitive edge our hero must pursue a regime of relentless research on new varieties, while fully understanding the full range of more traditional flavors. It is from this dedication to discovery that our Puppy became immersed once again in the political entanglements of his beloved Ukraine.
As it happens, our Uncles Dmitri and Igor are very close to their Baba Gorokh, a brilliant innovator of special treats, who is the proprietor of Baba Kukhnya, the most famous in the entire Ukraine. Her kitchen in Vinnytsya is a must visit for any dumpling lover or casual gourmet in search of a delicious experience. Her authentic recipes and state of the art research facility have made her creations a part of every grand feast. “It is better than homemade, it is Baba Gorokh.” Even Pravda agrees.
It is early Monday morning at Snoop McDonuts. The Puppy has come in with Annie while Coyote has decided to nap in the back yard. But here is a surprise. “Why Uncles. So nice to see you, but it is your day off.” “Yes, yes Annie. Thank you. We did not forget. Could we borrow the Puppy for the day? We are driving to the country to see our Baba Gorokh and she has a new flavor of dumpling to test. Certainly our King is the very best at that.” “Of course Uncles. The Puppy loves the country, and especially seeing your dear Baba. And what of you Uncles? I had not known you were such dumpling lovers?” “Errrr. Well, it is true, Annie. Perhaps she did say something about a new batch of hooch to sample? “Ha, ha, ha. What rascals you are. Have a fine day in the country and give my best to your Baba Gorokh.” Puppy has overheard. “Bark, bark, bark, hooray! Thank you Dmitri. Thank you, Igor. Such fun. We will behave, Mommy. I love you.” “Yes, yes you scoundrels. Enjoy your visit.”
Our adventurers tumble into the jeep with gusto. There is honest excitement as they exit the old city. The Puppy of course is a dumpling lover of the highest order and truth be told, though our Uncles are rather gruff and stoical, they are enlivened with anticipation of Baba’s new offering of hooch, also a famous product of her esteemed kitchen. The arrival promises something for everyone, as is usual at Baba Kukhnya. When spirits are high the time passes quickly and soon they enter the outskirts of Vinnytsya. On a pleasant street in the ancient town is a grand sign reading, “Congratulations. You have found it. All are welcome at Baba Kukhnya. Something for everyone!” “Bark, bark, arf, arf, woof, woof.” Puppy’s magic nose has found the subtle aroma of premium dumpling. “What a fine day!” Our Uncles park the Jeep and saunter toward the entrance, but Puppy cannot contain his excitement and bursts through the door startling the patrons. Suddenly there is spontaneous applause as they turn to look and identify the intruder. “Goodness. It is Puppy McDonut. What an honor.” The Puppy is completely comfortable in his own fur. If you ask him what he does, he will not say, “I’m a little dog now, but someday I will be a show winner.” He will state quite openly, “I am Yedok Kolbasy and I am very happy being a puppy. Do you have an extra sausage please?” Yes, his reputation is large, but he is still a little dog of the people. He bows graciously to his fans. The clamor has brought Baba Gorokh from the kitchen and she greets everyone with her usual warmth. “Why Igor and Dmitri. The favorite Uncles. And look at this. You have brought a superstar. Your timing is wonderful. I am cooking a new flavor in the research kitchen and I would be so pleased to have an opinion from our expert. Come into the special area. These dumplings should be ready in a half hour and in the meantime, let us raise a glass and catch up on family matters. While the adults gossip and take a glass of hooch, the Puppy begins his Zen preparation, clearing his mind and sharpening his palate for the tasting. This is not simply satisfying a craving. A new kind of dumpling is serious business and the reputation of a nation might be at stake. When the dumplings arrive, the Puppy is in an altered state as he contemplates the aroma and the aesthetics of the platter. And then, before the adults are fully aware, the plate is bare. “Goodness. These are raving beauties!” The Puppy has devoured each one in a flash and now lays down to enjoy the aftertaste and savor each delicious dumpling burp. “”Baba Gorokh. I bow to your genius. This flavor is a masterpiece. A triumph. Congratulations. You must inform the authorities. This should be registered with the Bureau immediately.” “I can barely believe this Puppy. Your skills are breath taking. It is as if they vanished into thin air. By coincidence, the authorities will be arriving shortly. They need the perfect dumpling for a very important dinner in Kharkov, not 10 days forward. With your permission Puppy, I will explain to them your testing and will advance your opinion of this new treat. They have stressed the great importance of this event and we have been sworn to secrecy, but the word of Puppy McDonut carries great weight in culinary circles” “Oh yes, Baba. I will be proud to. This dumpling will be a sensation.”
The Authorities arrive shortly with great bluster. “Baba Gorokh. Have you thought carefully of our proposal? Your reputation is stellar, but this is a very important occasion.” “Oh yes dears. And I have the top professional to second my opinion. Gentlemen, meet Puppy McDonut.” “Hmmmm. Graf Pel’meni. You have gone above and beyond Baba. And you share her enthusiasm sir?” “Oh yes. This is the best I have ever tasted and destined to become a national treasure.” “Very well. Let us make the arrangements Baba. Oh, and Puppy. Invitations have been sent for you and Annie and Misha. They should be arriving shortly. We will see you in Kharkov.” The deal is done in Baba’s little office. Afterwards, the adults continue their conversation while the Puppy dozes in contentment and burps his dumpling pleasure. “Come Puppy. We must be leaving. It has been a lovely visit. You have discovered a gem and I must say, that was exceptional hooch. Thank you Baba.” “Return soon Uncles and our dear Puppy is always welcome. Adieu.”
The journey home always feels longer than the ride to an adventure. Fortunately, our Puppy is too immersed in his dumpling burps to obsess on the dinner to come. He bursts into the McDonut house barking, “Mommy, Mommy. We are invited. It will be so delicious.” “Whatever does the Puppy mean, Dmitri?” “Ah, there is a big dinner in Kharkov and you have been invited.” “I see. Well our little king will be insufferable for the next while, I think. Thank you Uncles for giving the Puppy such a fine day.” And sure enough it is so. An excited Puppy asks at least 32 times a day, “Is it here yet? Please, please. Is it here?” “Patience Puppy. So many questions.” And when the cards finally arrive, “Is it time yet Mommy? Please, please. Is it time?” And now the day finally is on us. Now there will be peace in the McDonut house! This is a formal gathering of course. The little Tsar looks very elegant in his tux and tie. Assembly is at 6 sharp for presentations and the toast.
The state dinner is blessed with many dignitaries and famous citizens. Often these are dull and pedantic affairs, but the Great Hall dazzles with brilliant decorations and the bright lights that are many of the guests. This will be a lively evening. After all, it is designated for the opening of talks between rebels and government authorities, to end incursions in the eastern region and signal a return to growth and prosperity. The Puppy is seated between a famous writer and a politician from the Donbass. Conversation is spirited. The Puppy looks around at all the delicious food and is dumbfounded by the plump, juicy dumplings on each delicious plateful. “Goodness. So much silly chatter while the yummy food sits in waiting for a feast. I must investigate.” He quietly slips under the table. After all, he is Secret Agent Stealth Puppy, trained by the authorities to be their best agent. He is a good dog, but so much temptation lies around him. The signal sounds for the toast before the meal begins. The Puppy spots a particularly attractive dumpling and gently sniffs from his hiding spot. “Such a treat!” He does not really mean to, but he knocks the dumpling skillfully from the plate and snatches it in midair. “We cannot waste this beauty. My apologies to whoever this guest might be.” He moves ahead with his exploration. Not two meters away he sees a very special prize. “The Queen of dumplings for certain. Who is this fortunate soul? I must look closer.” Oh no. The same result. Another dumpling mysteriously disappears into the Puppy’s mouth. But this time he is not so fortunate. The toast is concluded and as the owner places his glass he sees his beautiful dumpling disappear below the table. He roars in anger. “My dumpling! Vanished!” Pandemonium! In the noise and confusion, the Puppy slides onto his chair, unimpeded as he slithers through the general panic. The guests have all spotted the quality of their dumplings and are appalled that they too might be victims of this outrage. The Puppy tucks his napkin into his collar and quietly awaits the announcement to commence eating. He is a clever one and knows that this is a time for calm. He can softly burp his purloined treats later and savor his triumph. After all, a dumpling always tastes better from someone else’s plate!
As we know, the dinner was a special one and when the announcement was published, there was a crush of ticket requests and thus the facility was bulging with guests. Anyone with any connection at all had somehow wrangled tickets, as often happens with these events. The rub was that the kitchen was searched desperately for extra dumplings, but only one was found in a forgotten pot. It of course went to the big boss and one poor soul ate his dinner lamenting the loss of his treat. And what a prize they had found! Inside the plumper was the juiciest one our guests had ever seen. This made it even more galling for our mayor of Kiev, who was the unlucky one that did without. It will be a bitter and uneasy memory for certain. Ah well. Simply too much temptation for Tsar Pel’meni. But the incident has enlivened the affair and it is an unqualified success. Later at the reception in the Great Room where the guests assemble for apertifs, Annie winks at our Puppy and comments, “I am sure our Super Agent Puppy knows nothing of the cause of this? Never mind. It certainly set the mood for a fine evening.” The Puppy makes his most innocent look and bravely suppresses another dumpling burp. “Of course not Mommy. Puppy McDonut is a good dog!” And that was that. Another chapter in the legend of our little hero.
But the memorable fete has broken the ice, or the dinner roll so to speak, and negotiations proceeded with much more harmony and good humor. Eventually, an initial agreement is reached and the parties invited to present their case before the U.N. Assembly in New York City. Meanwhile, it is business as usual at Snoop McDonuts. Some days after the general treaty is signed, a fleet of giant black limos parks in front of the world famous café. This is not just a delegation of authorities, but the big boss. “Goodness,” thinks the Puppy. “Now I am for it!” It is Zelensky himself who takes the Puppy into his confidence. “Well Puppy. In the aftermath of the Kharkov incident and with careful consideration, the Agency concluded that there was only villain capable of this daring theft and it was our own Secret Agent Puppy. Please, please. Do not confirm or deny. I do not wish to carry this truth with me. But in a way it was a Godsend. There was so much talk of the scandal around the great heist there was no time for the antagonists to renew their bitter arguments. It was a brilliant coup and negotiations were lively and productive. Congratulations super sleuth. I admit Puppy that I was very angry at first with the theft of my dumpling at the special dinner. But my advisers explained later that you are perhaps Ukraine’s greatest expert of this national treasure. And this new flavor was delightful! I can understand your behavior in this light. Klitschko however will never forgive you. He was unable to have his dumpling replaced and his resentment still simmers. Never mind though. Let us attend to the task at hand. Our country is at war and this schism is doing great harm to our prosperity and our future as a nation. Now our task is even more pressing. We have this original pact that could someday help settle decades of grievances. We must win the world’s support for this process and a U.N. resolution would help gain acceptance for this agreement. I have been invited by the UN to address the situation and to reinforce the resolution condemning the thugs that threaten our stability in the East. I have spent weeks thinking of the best candidate to second my position with the Council. Who better than Puppy McDonut, a proud ambassador for our country and world renowned for his many adventures and his numerous appearances on the Oprah show? I realize that you are a busy dog with many sticks to conquer. But could you see yourself clear to accompany me on this crucial mission? You my son have been a tireless spokes puppy for our culture and heritage. I trust your instincts to help sway the representatives with a candid dog’s eye view of our situation. However you should decide to proceed, we completely trust your judgement.” Our Puppy is a deep patriot and will not decline an opportunity to help his beloved Ukraine. “Yes Mr. President. I am your dog. Tell me when we should proceed and I will make arrangements.” “Shake a paw Puppy. Our agents will soon be in touch. Thank you.” The authorities are thrilled. “Our cause is blessed. The Puppy is an icon around the world, our most recognized and decorated citizen. I have very high hopes for the success of this delegation. We will travel to New York early and set our strategy.”
There are no such afterthoughts for our little prince. Once the dice have been tossed, he is ready for the mission. In the meantime, Kiev is teeming with sticks and squirrels that demand his attention. The day of action will come soon enough without fretting on it. Our little hero knows that a good dog always makes new friends. And he has a little surprise under his collar, as we will see later. There is no fear in our lad. He looks like a cute little Puppy, but in his heart he is a wild beast. He goes duly about his business and is somewhat surprised when he is summoned. “Already? This is rather sudden, but I am ready. Will we have yummy snacks in New York City?” “Why Puppy. It has been three weeks. Never mind. I know you always have much on your mind. You have three days until we depart. And yes, Puppy. There are many yummy snacks in New York City.” “Yippeeee! In 3 days then.”
This time Annie will accompany the little warrior. Misha had escorted Pink and Yellow Kitten to Washington to introduce their miracle doughnut vaccine to America. Annie will see that the Authorities do not exploit the Puppy’s good nature. “They are all scoundrels, but we will have a fine time in America,” says Annie. But the Puppy is still dreaming of the snacks, so Annie gathers his comfy travel bed and chew toys and his favorite “goodnight” stick. The day arrives and the mission begins. It is a long flight, but our little prince has mastered the ancient art of napping and there are sausages on the plane. On arrival, the Authorities are jet lagged but the Puppy is ready to conquer the new world. “We will rest at the hotel and then take a long walk Puppy, just you and I, to make our strategy.” So in mid-afternoon Puppy and the Boss meet in the Plaza. “It is the first day. A long walk will ease the tension and anticipation. The delegation is otherwise ready. We will be the face of this initiative.” As always the whispers follow. “Don’t stare, but it is Puppy McDonut. What a good dog!”
They arrive at Central Park Manhattan, which is in full greenery. But, oh oh! Something rather more important has captured the Puppy’s gaze. It seems like there is a squirrel for every tree. “Stop this at once you reprobates. It is an outrage! Woof, woof, woof, woof.” Our Puppy is off, chasing like a wild beast. “Puppy, Puppy, we must have a plan.” “Oh no Mr. President. I have that covered. And look at all these little scoundrels. They must be taught their place. Bark, bark, bark, bark!” Scrambling and twisting and turning in pursuit. A mad ballet of rascal squirrels and our little McDonut. Even Zelensky forgets his worries at the joyful exhibition in front of him. “How right our Puppy is. The success of our mission is certain if we believe in our hearts. And is there ever more fun than a park, a playful puppy and a bushel of squirrels? Chase on Puppy!” So it is with light hearts that these two return to their hotel. “Thank you my son for this break. I feel so good about our chances now. May your snacks be delicious little tsar. Until tomorrow.” “Well Puppy. Are we ready now?” “Oh yes Annie. It was a fine day.”
The next morning they are politely received at the UN, but the warmth is missing. I am afraid the Council has heard this sad melody before. Nonetheless they plow bravely ahead. Zelensky presents the treaty and explains with passion the history of this conflict and that damage that has occurred. All very noble and relevant, the Council acknowledges, but so goes this hard world. It will be on the shoulders of our brave Puppy to strike the convincing blow. Puppy has a surprise for the Council. As Puppy approaches the bench he wags his tail twice in signal. From the side chamber comes serving tables elegantly presented. The steaming plates are alive with succulent and tempting aromas. “Please my friends. Dig in to these scrumptious snacks and I will explain the purpose of this distraction. This is a perfect treat baked to order by Martha Stewart herself. From the Eastern Ukraine, sausages of exquisite taste and pedigree. From the West, Baba’s own new dumpling, certainly destined to be a world heritage flavor. Just as there is harmony on this plate before you, there is the chance for the same result if a peace accord can be approved and supported. We must celebrate our similarities and not our differences, which are remarkably trivial when all is done. This, in my mind, is the true message from the simple viewpoint of a cute little puppy. I love my country as everyone else does. We must not think only of our own advantage, but the lifting of all lives on balance. We must cooperate and live in peace. By all means hate your enemy, for that is personal. But we are not natural enemies, so banish this feeling and enjoy freedom, just as we now enjoy this remarkable plate. The price of peace may be a few damaged egos, but this is the payoff ladies and gentlemen. Thank you friends. That is all I have to say.”
Pandemonium. A perfectly delicious plate and a perfect summation from our little spokes puppy. The Council is swayed by the eloquence and the succulent dishes before them. The pathway to a successful conclusion is not a road paved in diamonds, but a rough track travelled in a poor old tired Lada. Still, the brave and committed will follow that path with honor. And as always, Pravda has the last say. “The Evolution of the Humble Dumpling. Peace Accord Reached. All Ukraine rejoices.” The End.