Friday, 25 December 2015


Mr. CURRY was the janitor of the second primary
school I attended.  He lived in the end house of the fourth row
down from mine, straight across from the school, and his house
came with the job.  Imagine my surprise when, a year or two after
we'd flitted to a new house and neighbourhood, I noticed that Mr.
Curry had become janitor of the primary school just around the
corner from us.  His house (that again came with the job)
stood in splendid isolation in the school grounds.

Before flitting, I'd been a secondary school pupil for
nearly two years, but Mr. Curry was still a regular sight on
account of him passing my house to or from the pub on the far
side of the shops across the street.  It was therefore a tad strange
when, after we'd flitted, he again became a regular sight to me in
my perambulations around my new neighbourhood, either when
I passed the school on my way to the town centre, or saw him
walking home from his local public house.  He liked a drink,
did Mr. Curry.  Died quite a few years ago now.

Let's now jump back to when I was yet living in my
former neighbourhood and was still a primary school pupil,
sometime around 1968, give or take a year either way.  While
gazing out of the window of the annexe huts across from the main
building one afternoon, I saw Mr. Curry taking a kick at a golden
labrador which appeared to be seeking shelter in the doorway.  His
kick may have connected, but I couldn't say with certainty after
all this time.  I was shocked to see an adult behave in such a
heartless manner towards one of man's best friends, and
felt sorry for the poor animal.

The very doorway.  The school was demolished
nearly two years ago.  Photo taken circa 1984

Later that evening, coming back from a pal's house, I
saw that the dog was again sheltering in the school doorway.
Had it been abandoned?  Was it lost?  Or had it tracked down
its young master to the school and was now faithfully waiting for
him to emerge from the building, not realizing that he'd gone home
hours before?  I told my father about the dog, and, along with my
brother, we went down to the school and brought the dog home
with us.  It was a friendly animal, and hungrily scoffed the
cold link sausages we fed it from the fridge.

My father, who worked for the police, arranged for
them to collect the poor dog and house it in their kennels
'til collected by its lawful owners.  He later informed us that the
canine had been claimed, but even at the young age I then was, I
wondered if he was telling us what had actually happened or what
he knew we wanted to hear.  Many years later, I saw inside the
station kennels for strays, and they were the dirtiest, smelliest,
vilest quarters imaginable.  To think that, if the dog wasn't
reunited with its owners, it had spent its last days in
such conditions is awful to contemplate.

I never much liked Mr. Curry after that, 'though, truth to
tell, I hadn't much liked him before, but he fell even further in
my estimation from then on.  Strange thing is, whenever I see a
golden labrador now, I can't help but think of that poor beast
from so long ago, and still find myself hoping that it was a
happy ending all round for the dog and its owners.

Sometimes there are some things we're better
not knowing, don't you think?  Just in case.


Philip Crawley said...

I agree. Sometimes it is better (for our mental health if nothing else) not to know the outcome of these situations and hope it played out to the benefit of the poor victim. Far too few people have any empathy for the other animals we share this planet with, be they wild or domesticated, and it is gratifying to read of experiences like yours where you try to fix things. About a month or so back on two occasions I found our dog harrassing a young bird in the garden, the bird fully feathered but clearly not yet ready to fly. The dog is far too domestic and removed from its wild state to kill the bird but still had enough instinct to chase something small that ran. Both times I placed the bird up in a tree. Never saw it again and like you hoped that it escaped further peril.

Kid said...

Three or four months back, PC, I was out in the back garden filling the bird feeders when I suddenly heard a frantic squawking. I turned around to see a black cat (don't know whose) with a crow in its mouth. I ran over and the cat dropped the bird and ran off. I picked it up, still squawking in shock, but it suddenly recovered and I let it go. It flew up onto my neighbour's chimney and sat there for a bit. Because of bacteria in a cat's mouth, if the skin of a bird is pierced, even although it might seem all right if it gets rescued or escapes, if the bacteria gets into the bloodstream, the bird will more than likely die. I looked out later and the crow was gone, and I haven't found any dead ones lying around, so I hope it's okay. I've since seen a crow that looks the same (it had a touch of white in its feathers) and I prefer to believe that it's the same one.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...