Tall Tails From Joy’s Corner
Parents please note: These brief stories about dogs and their social life were written with children in mind. We endeavour to keep them safe. Please read them to your children. We feel it would be wonderful to have them involved, too. [The editors ]
Graim was a big, beautiful, black dog. He was a Newfoundland. He was very proud and happy, even as a puppy. His hair hung over his eyes like a verandah. But Graim had a big problem. He couldn’t remember where he had buried his bone. Maybe he had never actually buried it !!
Part 2, The Meetings
Later that day, Graim hooked up with Will Soon, a big red Chow with a humungous bushy tail. They trotted down to the Post Box to see if any other dogs had been there. Chorbin Zippy, a little Dachshund, was hanging around and so were the Carlotta Twins, two smart little French Poodles !! One was jet black and the other was white as driven snow. They were always together and looked so smart with bows on their identification collars. All doggies must have a tag in case they get lost. Graim didnt mention his bone to the others but it was still on his mind.
Graim sat by the post box on the grass verge and looked up the street. Just around the corner was Henderson the Rain King, and she soon came into view. Henderson was a really big Old English Sheep Dog with hair that hung down over her eyes. Neither Graim nor any of the other dogs that lived nearby had ever seen her eyes.
There was a rumour that Henderson didn’t have any eyes. But that myth was quickly refuted by Chorbin Zippy, who said he had seen her eyes once, when she had accidentally knocked him over with her tail, and that one eye was brown and the other was green. Graim pondered this and also the other things he
had heard about Henderson.
Henderson had her paw prints and a star on Broadway Neds Land and was said to be a Bildungsroman !! As Henderson passed by with her Master, they wagged tails and Graim watched as the sun started to sink down the sky and it was time to go home.
Part 4, The Flea
Next day it rained and rained all day !!! Graim heard his master on the phone talking to someone about fleas. When he heard the sound of his lead rattling in the hallway, he jumped up on the bench and tried to get out the Kitchen window. But it was only open a little bit and he got stuck halfway!
His master’s voice was very stern as he was cross. But Graim didn’t want to go to the vet and just wished he had hidden under the bed. Finally, his master and Lady Jane got him into the car after a bit of a struggle and off they all went.
As they drove down Kent street, Graim didn’t see that lots of doggies were hanging around the entrance to Dodd Park.
When Jane called out, “Oh, look at all the dogs!” Graim, who was lying on the floor behind the front seat, trying not to be noticed, let out a big sigh …
He had realized that Beethoven the Bassett and D’Yer Ken Laddie, a wee Scots Terrier, were in town to arrange the Dodd Park Hill Roll. Maybe if he was good and behaved at the vet’s, he would be allowed out tomorrow. He didn’t want to miss all the fun and games!
Part 5, Dog Security
The next morning, Graim was up at the crack of Dawn. He had left some Goodoo’s in his bowl from the night before. He quickly gobbled then down so he wouldn’t get hungry later. Now.. if he could squeeze through the fence hole he could get down to the Park for an early spot.
As he trotted along he noticed quite a few of his four legged friends heading in the same direction. Graim always kept to the left of the path, away from the side where the cars went past. And he always stopped at the corners to look both ways before he ventured on.
Suddenly, he heard a loud bark !! he looked up and saw his old friend, Leviticus. He was standing on the back of his Masters truck.
Wow, thought Graim, he hadn’t seen Leviticus since August. He was a Kerry Blue but a pretty good Roller and had won this event before.
Graim trotted up to the main gate as the truck pulled up and his old friend from puppy-hood jumped down to greet him.
Graim gave an excited wag and a woof and the two chums waited as the two security Bulldogs on the entrance sniffed all the doggies and inspected their collars for license tags.
Part 6, The High Rollers
Once inside the Park, it was clear to see there were lots of dogs vying for good spots to watch the Rollers in action. Standing next to a bin, was a small Australian Silky Terrier with a bone in his mouth, wagging his tail furiously.
Graim told his friend Leviticus it was Rolloff who’s real name was Sidd Arthur. He got the name Rolloff as an endowment from the ‘Four Paws and a Tail Dog Society’ after an hilarious incident the year before at the Hill Roll.
Just as the race had started and Sidd was getting up speed on his first roll, a cat ran past him and Sidd forgot all about the race and started to chase the pussy! He went clean off the side of Dodd Hill and ended up in the Park Fountain.
It was so funny, everyone was distracted and the race had to be restarted. Sidd Arthur was disqualified and the race was run again. This time Beethoven rolled over like a real champ and was a clear winner.
Afterwards, there was quite a commotion and lots of barking and yelping. Sidd, who was still wet from the fountain, shook himself off, but he had got a big lily flower stuck in his collar. All the Doggies were having a great time, barking and laughing at Sidd who looked so funny dressed up like a flower!
Anja, a lovely Dalmatian puppy, called out “he rolloff the hill side” and that’s how Sidd became called Rolloff.
Suddenly, there was a huge WOOF! and all the dogs stopped and looked around. It was Corbett the huge Irish Wolf Hound and Master of Ceremonies. The race was about to start..
“The Rumble, The Tumble and The Folde Roll”
Mighty Corbett jumped up on an old Apple Box to open the Event. He said that this year’s roll was to Honor AlsBob who had passed on. Bob was often talked about in stories to puppies by their Mums. Bob was the only Dog known to have flown an aeroplane. After he had finished the dedication to Bob he asked a Kelpie called Norbett Jubby Jubby, to howl out the names of the dogs chosen to roll. A deathly silence fell over the hill and surrounding area that seemed almost covered in doggies of every size, shape and colour. Graim looked around and across at Leviticus, then down at Rolloff. Rolloff asked nervously ‘how many dogs are here?” Graim said “many.”
Dogs can only count to three, but Graim could count to four. If there were more than four he just said ‘many.’ Norbett called out the first name, last year’s winner Beethoven. A roar went up. Next dog is D’Yer Ken Laddie, one of the Founders of the race. Another roar went up !! Our next contender you all know is here to try again for the Big Bone …. wait for it !! Sidd Arthur !! Sumdog yelped Rolloff and all the dogs joined in barking and yelping Rolloff! Rolloff! Rolloff!! – what a pandemonium. Two puppies were so excited they did a wee. A Borzoi Hound was leaping into the air. Two Bassett Hounds were doing somersaults and several dogs jumped into the fountain then rolled around in a mud puddle. Norbett let out another yelp and Corbett, a loud Woof and they all settled down a bit to pay attention.
Next name was Sprocket, a skinny little dog with a side kick style and a very fast runner. Would he be a good roller though? Chorbin Zippy got a place in the race because he had helped carry the water bowls at last year’s event. Graim wondered why Leviticus wasn’t rolling this year and wondered if he had a bone buried somewhere !!
There were two newcomers in the race and a late entry in for a dog that was in the pound and couldn’t make it. We since heard she had been claimed by her owner and has a nice new collar and a tag with ‘Betsy’ on it. The two newcomers were Ram Pant, a Whippet, Colin, another Scotts Terrier, and Shadow a little black girl Husky. Wow, what a line-up Graim thought as they all moved into position. Then, without further ado, Norbett Jubby Jubby yelped out, “on your paws, ears up, GO !!!!”
Part 8, I Had A Dream
Deep inside Dodd Hill was a huge cavern. It had been used many Centuries ago by the Romans to store Treasure. When the Doggies Roll the hollow hill makes an amazing rumbling sound and the ground shakes. Today was no exception. In fact the whole Town started to shake. Graim thought it must be an Earthquake. He had heard about them but not ever felt one. Now with more dogs in the race and so many excited doggies jumping up and down the Park reverberated with a long loud rumble. The start was pretty even except for Shadow the newcomer who had done a backwards somersault and hit the front by a tail !! D’YerKen laddie was next to her and already on his second roll but still a little behind. Ram Pant was huffing and puffing but quite fast thought Beethoven, who was watching the new doggies progress with much interest. But he knew it was time to concentrate if he was going to perfect his surprise move. Further over Rolloff and Sprocket and Chorbin Zippy were having a great tussle with no one getting a clear lead. But Chorbin Zippy who was an experienced campaigner was the danger in this pack. Zippy knew all the tricks. By now they were nearly halfway down the hill and most were on their 10th roll already.
Suddenly Shadow who had got dizzy had bumped Colin and they both lost a little ground. Beethoven who was in third place behind Sprocket and Ram Pant who had just got out in front knew he had to make his move and make it quickly !! Another two rolls went by and he was half a dog behind Sprocket. By now the whole hill was shaking and the rumble could be heard for miles. The Carlotta Twins were Dancing and Anja Puppy was so happy too. Then Graim noticed from the corner of his eye something Red waving in the distance and realized it was Will Soons big tail. What a race he thought. Graim started to bark and Rolloff jumped up on his back to get a better view and they started barking together. Even Henderson was paws up and wriggling, what a sight. Sumdog was busy trying to dodge Will Soons big bushy tail to see who was in front. Back on the hill side they were fast approaching an area known as Last Rolls !! This is the area where Legends are made. Last Rolls is fast flat and very dusty. Until you come out of the dust patch you cant see who is in front !!
This time as it pans out that there is not a lot in it and all the racers go into the dust bowl at about the same time. Beethoven had done his homework and in one well practiced move he first closed his eyes from the dust, opened his mouth and grabbed his tail in his teeth, then with all his might he introduced his Flick-Side double kick !! Just 3 rolls to go he knew. Suddenly out of the dust burst Beethoven, he was a wholemeal roll in front and 3rd time Grand Winner of the biggest race yet. A true Champion.
When all the celebrations and barking and yelping settled down Corbett the Head of ceremonies stood up on his hind legs to announce the winner. He then in a surprise move turned to Norbett Jubby Jubby to select a Worthy Dog to present the Big Bone to the winner. Norbett barked out to Graim to make the presentation.
Suddenly Graim woke up !!!! The clouds had gone, the sun was out and it had all been a dream. Graim looked and there was his bone sitting right in front of him next to his bowl. He did a big stretch and let out a yawn and then picked up the bone. This time he thought to himself: I will bury this bone in a special place and I will have something saved for a rainy day.
SPARK THE ROAMING AIREDALE
It was a cool clear morning as the Sun came up and the last mist rolled off Chesapeake Bay. Spark tipped a paw towards the big Orange Sun ball already clear of the horizon and wobbling up the sky.
This was the day Spark had been waiting for. Like the great Sun, he too would begin his long awaited journey ..
Spark was an Airedale doggy, he wasn’t a pup any more, he was 2 and the happiest and most adventurous dog you could ever meet. His Black and Tan coat was trim and shiny. He was a proud dog and cut a good figure against the backdrop of The Bay. The water lapped at the edge of the sandy shoreline as Spark made his way up the ramp to the big Wooden Jetty. Soon the Arapaho Express would arrive and Spark would be on board and away over the waves on his great adventure, he hoped.
After a small doggy time he could hear the splashing of the paddle wheels and the Big Steamer emerged from the fog. Spark’s tail wagged as the Captain waved to him.
Dogs usually travel with a passenger and their master on the steamer. Spark was hoping he might be allowed on, all by himself. He looked around and saw several people carrying bags and cases scurrying up the jetty path towards him. His tail wagged again as an old lady looked at him and said, what a handsome dog he was. The Captain called out “and a brave one too !! He pulled my kitten from the Bay last week and saved her life.”
“Was that in the nasty storm we had?” asked the old lady and her husband together. They seemed to talk as one thought spark.
“Sure was,” replied Captain Jeff. The old lady explained how good swimmers Airedales are, brave and smart too. Her husband nodded on every word she spoke.
The Captain told them he had asked around, but no one seemed to know who Spark belonged to, or where he lived. He was a bit of a mystery dog !!
The old lady said, “I think he wants to come along for the ride!”
The Captain looked at Spark who let out a huge “Woof !!” and jumped up to the gangplank and sat at attention, his tail wagging. “Ok boy!”…the Captain blurted out. “Let’s follow the Sun, come on board..”. Spark bounded on in a shot. The Steamer gave three loud toots of her whistle and turned towards the morning sun.
to be continued ..
A Song for Author Craig