When I go outside at dawn, the first thing I do is stand still and take a long, long sniff of the air. Sometimes I can smell that fox, the same one I’ve smelt before and I can follow the trail of his scent across the back yard where he’s trotted in the night, it’s like following a piece of string. Then I might catch the scent of the two cats from down the road that come to our yard when I’m not out. Their cat smell floats on the air in a long, waving ribbon; once it wrapped itself around and up a tree and I knew they’d been climbing. If I’m outside they shoot off like rockets because they think I want to eat them – but I only want to stick my nose in their fur and take a deep breath. Our cat doesn’t mind.
Sometimes, if I jump up at the sink to and look out of the kitchen window at midnight, I spot the deer leaping over the fence. They love eating flowers in the moonlight. In the morning I race up to the back hedge and stick my nose through to catch their scent in the woods beyond. One of the best scents is rabbit; they wriggle under the fence and scamper on the grass and when I put my nose where they’ve been, I can smell their soft fur and the dark earth where they live.
Mistress watches me sniffing everything and it makes her think.
Here’s a few ideas:
Imagine a city where everyone is so obsessed with wonderful smells that they have a shop on each street to sell them in bottles, cans, aerosols, sprays and atomisers or even clouds! You can order a special scent cloud to hang over your house for a day or a week. People get scents, perfumes and smells as gifts. Scent Inventors are celebrities. One day a new inventor arrives and sets up a perfumery near the river. He specialises in bad smells, smells to make you think, smells to drive away enemies, smells to entice the wild beasts of the wilderness to come inside the city walls. You live in the city and you are a Scent Inventor, what do you do about the new one?
Sniffer Champion of the world:
You are a sniffer dog working with your human at the airport. Your job is to sniff the bags and boxes and find drugs and other things that aren’t allowed in the country. One day you make the find of your life. Nothing like this has ever been found by a dog before. You and your human are in all the newspapers. What did you find and why is it so important?
What's that smell?…:
One day you and your friend smell something strange on the way home. It’s a ribbon of scent on the air. It’s so interesting that you follow your noses to see where it comes from. You’re a little shocked when it seems to be coming from a small cave entrance on the edge of the woods, but you follow it inside. What do you find? What happens to you?