KIPLING'S SUSSEX - online book

An illustrated descriptive guide, to the places mentioned in
the writings of Rudyard Kipling.

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THE SUSSEX DOWNS                 215
Having spoken of the sheep and the shepherd, I must refer the reader to Kipling's " Knife and the Naked Chalk," for the third member of the triumvirate, the Dog. Mr. Dudeney's dog, Old Jim, can be seen every day on the Downs. If one inquires the breed of the dog of a South Down man one gets the answer, "Just a ship-dog, surelye." But this description is far too in­discriminate ; it is often applied to the malapert animal which yelps noisily in the streets, chases cats, and goes mad at the sound of a motor car. Far different is the " ship-dog." He is always ready for real work, and whether employed in driving on the roads, or herding on the Downs, his grave and earnest aspect evinces his full conscious­ness that he is playing an important part in the day's toil. When on duty he will evade any overtures of friendliness by a stranger, not in a snarling and surly manner, but with a certain calm indifference. At an early date he becomes as sedate as a Quaker, and learns the rules of the game. Should his master be absent for a time he will '* carry on " and nurse the flock, never over-pacing them or suffering any to stray away ; and in the hustle of the market town or fair a good sheep dog never allows such distractions as a brass band or musical horses to lure him from his duties. When
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