Search This Blog

Monday, 18 January 2016

Why Crooked Mick's dog seems stupid

For some reason, people seem a little puzzled about Crooked Mick's dog.  I keep having to point out that it wasn't really what you might call a clever dog, in fact it was generally regarded as the silliest dog on the Speewah, especially when you consider its size.  And it was lazy, too.

More than one New Chum had to be advised against trying to saddle Crooked Mick's dog after some wag had asked them to do just that.  Not that anybody cared about the New Chums all that much, but people of sensitivity could see how appallingly embarrassed the dog became, since all the saddles were too small for it.  Excepting for Mick's horse's saddle, but no New Chum could even lift that, and the dog wouldn't've helped them either.  Too embarrassed, you see . . .

The dog's main intellectual limitation was, as I've mentioned before, in its total inability to light a fire unless you gave it matches, and they had to be safety matches at that.  But in spite of that, I'm inclined to think Mick's dog was brighter than people thought.

I came to this conclusion after one occasion on which I saw the dog sit, wag its tail for a bit in an odd way, get up, turn round, look at the ground, turn back, wag again, and so on.  Curious, I wandered over to have a look.  There in the dust was a textbook example of the diagram that always illustrates Pythagoras' theorem.  Well, almost textbook: I'd say that the right angle was about 3 degrees off, but the squares on the three sides were all very good indeed.

The dog spent about half an hour fiddling with it, but it never seemed to get that right angle any closer, and in the end it mooched off.  So I think that all the time people were laughing at the dog for being stupid, it was just being absent-minded.

Which is no excuse, really, because a working dog has to keep its mind on the task in hand, and that was where Crooked Mick's dog fell down.  I mean, take the time it had to boil the billy for Mick out on the edge of the Grassy Paddock on the Speewah.  There were no trees for miles, not even little shrubs, so the standard method was to light a grass fire, and run along holding the billy over the flames.

Well Mick's dog had the matches that day, so it got the water, started the fire without any problems, and ran along until the billy was boiled, but like I say, it was absent-minded.  When the billy boiled, the dog was five miles away, but it had gone and left the tea behind!

Maybe the dog had its mind on Fermat's Last Theorem or maybe it was dreaming of something new to do with Napier's bones, or perhaps it was the four-colour map theorem, which the dog solved, many years ago, by rounding up a number of geographers and eating all their coloured pencils, but that's another story.  And in any case, who needs a dog that can do original mathematics?

* * * * *

Note: there is a whole book of these stories, which I am currently pitching to publishers, but they will probably appear in an e-book.

There will be quite a number of these on the blog, all with the tags Speewah and Crooked Mick.

No comments:

Post a Comment