06 August 2008

New Dawg

skulos

We have acquired - *I* have acquired - a new dog (and don't I look complacent and smug below?)

May well call him Argos, after Monsignor Baddeley's brill suggestion.

argos
He has a magnificent wail and bark and is utterly faithful and dogs my heels.

Sam is jealous as hell, as befits any only child, but he is learning to share.

Maman is impressed: we joked about training Sam to find the garden tools she constantly misplaces.

This new boy is toadying up good.

Mater was weeding somewhere when Junior squealed and whined over by the prickly thingies.

"Typical newbie. Must have impaled himself in the rose bush."

When I got there, he was sitting atop a prized pair of secateurs lost a month back.

We may well have a keeper.

Comment: Lo-o-ng Homeric comment/quote from Sinbad that merits attaching here instead of burying away.

"As they were thus talking, a dog that had been lying asleep raised his head and pricked up his ears. This was Argos, whom Ulysses had bred before setting out for Troy, but he had never had any work out of him. In the old days he used to be taken out by the young men when they went hunting wild goats, or deer, or hares, but now that his master was gone he was lying neglected on the heaps of mule and cow dung that lay in front of the stable doors till the men should come and draw it away to manure the great close; and he was full of fleas. As soon as he saw Ulysses standing there, he dropped his ears and wagged his tail, but he could not get close up to his master. When Ulysses saw the dog on the other side of the yard, dashed a tear from his eyes without Eumaeus seeing it, and said: 'Eumaeus, what a noble hound that is over yonder on the manure heap: his build is splendid; is he as fine a fellow as he looks, or is he only one of those dogs that come begging about a table, and are kept merely for show?' 'This hound,' answered Eumaeus, 'belonged to him who has died in a far country. If he were what he was when Ulysses left for Troy, he would soon show you what he could do. There was not a wild beast in the forest that could get away from him when he was once on its tracks. But now he has fallen on evil times, for his master is dead and gone, and the women take no care of him.

Servants never do their work when their master's hand is no longer over them, for Jove takes half the goodness out of a man when he makes a slave of him.' As he spoke he went inside the buildings to the cloister where the suitors were, but Argos died as soon as he had recognized his master."

Badders goes on with, "And the the stringing of the great bow and U shooting through the axe heads is as good in the book as in the film. How I wish I could read it or hear it read in Greek? But I'm a barbarian."

(Which he palpably is not and any more wimpo fishing lines like that he's in detention, 1000 lines from Pindar.)

I must get Panos to read it into the 'puter and post it as a wav file or however one works these things.

Oh, we're calling the hound 'Luca' after the house.

Since posting this, I've had no less than 2 reactions saying they wept softly into their vin santo as they read the Argos passage.

Hang on to that talent, Simon.

12 Aug: Yikes this thread is acquiring marathon limbs. Ace contribution just in from rwells and moving and powerful, it is; much too good to tuck away as a comment. Hope I do the punctuation justice.

Happy Endings

After twenty years
happy to hear
his master’s voice –

the dog rolled over

and died.

After ten years
happy to have
a challenge -

the suitors

played a game

and were slaughtered.

After ten years
of gristle and grease
happy to finally
clean the mess –

pretty maids

hung in a row.

After twenty years
happy to be home

he took his wife
to their olive bed –

happy endings.

Hmm, it sounds to me that Wells sahib and Badders might get on rather well and that I should effect intros and remove self from the middle-man limelight.

7 comments :

Simon Baddeley said...

I liked the name for Ulysses' old dog. Reclaim it from the catalogue shop but I agree the names come if you wait. The dog spirit enters your brain just when you've stopped trying to be creative and original about it. He's a fine beast.

Busker said...

What a terribly good idea. Argos, i assume. I remember a movie from my pre-salad days - Kirk Douglas or some such - and the faithful dog, both perfectly cast. i was *very* young but i thrilled to the way Ulysses fired the arrow thru all the hoops, and i also remember feeling distinctly worried that some lech would rumble Penelope's unraveling her macrame just to escape a fate worse than.
i will put the name to Maman as if *I* had thought it up and it will be instantly approved.

Sibadd said...

Homer: As they were thus talking, a dog that had been lying asleep raised his head and pricked up his ears. This was Argos, whom Ulysses had bred before setting out for Troy, but he had never had any work out of him. In the old days he used to be taken out by the young men when they went hunting wild goats, or deer, or hares, but now that his master was gone he was lying neglected on the heaps of mule and cow dung that lay in front of the stable doors till the men should come and draw it away to manure the great close; and he was full of fleas. As soon as he saw Ulysses standing there, he dropped his ears and wagged his tail, but he could not get close up to his master. When Ulysses saw the dog on the other side of the yard, dashed a tear from his eyes without Eumaeus seeing it, and said: 'Eumaeus, what a noble hound that is over yonder on the manure heap: his build is splendid; is he as fine a fellow as he looks, or is he only one of those dogs that come begging about a table, and are kept merely for show?' 'This hound,' answered Eumaeus, 'belonged to him who has died in a far country. If he were what he was when Ulysses left for Troy, he would soon show you what he could do. There was not a wild beast in the forest that could get away from him when he was once on its tracks. But now he has fallen on evil times, for his master is dead and gone, and the women take no care of him. Servants never do their work when their master's hand is no longer over them, for Jove takes half the goodness out of a man when he makes a slave of him.' As he spoke he went inside the buildings to the cloister where the suitors were, but Argos died as soon as he had recognized his master.

And the the stringing of the great bow and U shooting through the axe heads is as good in the book as in the film. How I wish I could read it or hear it read in Greek? But I'm a barbarian.

Simon Baddeley said...

I like Luca. Leaves Argos - expired on a dung heap - clear for me. Samuel Butler's good despite Keats' sublime 'On first looking into Chapman’s Homer'.

Busker said...

*NO* idea what the Butler Keats reference means but badders is a good lad and it's a pleasure posting him if only to show orf what a brainy readership i have.

Simon B said...

Google it! I do, when you mention something I don't follow, which you do a lot:
'Much have I travell’d in the realms of gold,... Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold: Then felt I like some watcher of the skies/When a new planet swims into his ken;/Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes/He star’d at the Pacific—and all his men/ Look’d at each other with a wild surmise—/ Silent, upon a peak in Darien.
I quoted Butler's trans. not Chapman's. What's the hawk that's harrying your pests?

rwells said...

Happy Endings

After twenty years
happy to hear
his master’s voice –

the dog rolled over

and died.


After ten years
happy to have
a challenge -

the suitors

played a game

and were slaughtered.


After ten years
of gristle and grease
happy to finally
clean the mess –

pretty maids

hung in a row.


After twenty years
happy to be home

he took his wife
to their olive bed –

happy endings.