The Magic Bone (Part 1)

The Magic Bone (Part 1)

By Mrs J (Capt. Savage’s Mum)

The old mother sheep dog looked fondly at her small family of pups as they scrambled eagerly for her milk. The smallest one of the litter was always pushed aside and never able to drink until his bigger and stronger brothers had drunk their fill. He would then have to suckle from all of her nipples until his hunger was appeased, which was not very often. Then he would curl up into a tight ball and try to sleep with a very hungry tummy.

Time pass and the puppies grew into bigger dogs except one, the little one of the litter. The farmer, not unkindly, decided to call him the “runt”, a term given to most animals that don’t seem to thrive like the others. Each day the farmer would go down to the dog yard and throw in a big heap of meaty bones. The dogs would fall on them, snarling and biting, fighting among themselves for the choicest bits. In the animal kingdom of the wild only the strongest survive and even domestic animals inherit this instinct.

Poor little Runt, he would find himself with bits and pieces after the others departed from their feeding frenzy and would often go out to work learning how to work the sheep still hungry. He was an intelligent little dog and was quick to learn how to round-up the sheep and respond to various commands and was always anxious to please. The farmer watch him one day and thought to himself, he will make a grand working dog but unless he gets bigger and stronger he will have no staying power.

Way up in dog heaven the king of dogs looked down and hoped that the Runt would prove to the farmer that small as he was he was still the brightest and smartest of the litter. He didn’t often go down to the earth, content to keep a watchful eye on what was happening from above. He believed in letting events run their course but this time there seemed to be a good reason for him to take action. The other dogs were really brutal in their treatment of the Runt. The only time the poor little dog was happy was when he was working the sheep. Sadly, he was in such poor condition from lack of food he would have to sneak out of sight to have a rest.

One day the farmer had boiled his billy for his usual cuppa, he lit a cig (cigarette), the rest of the pack were panting in the shade of the dray (a low, heavy cart without sides) and the little Runt was resting alone in the shade of a bushy shrub. Suddenly he sensed a presence and looked up straight into the eyes of a big black dog. The dog’s lips were drawn back but he wasn’t snarling, in fact it was a doggie smile he was giving the little dog. “Now who is this” the Runt thought “and what does he want”. He soon found out. There must have been magic in the air because everything was still. The farmer, the dogs, the birds in the air, even the leaves and grasses were motionless and not a sound could be heard. Suddenly the stranger spoke, “I am the King of Dogs and I come from the planet Sirius and you are one of my subjects. Now I have seen from on high how unkindly your brothers are treating you. Unless something is done to help you grow bigger and stronger there will be no future for you”.

With that he lifted one of his huge front legs and drew out a bare white bone. It wasn’t very large but had a big knob on either end. “Tale this bone” the big dog said “and whenever you are hungry just think to yourself (I am hungry) then he immediately vanished right before the little dog’s eyes. The dog blinked in amazement. I must have been dreaming he thought. But then right in front of him was the bare white knobbly bone.

He decided to see if it was a dream and thought to himself if it had some meat on it that would be great because I am hungry. Imagine his astonishment when the bone began to dance about and change in colour and shape right before his eyes. When it sopped he saw it had changed into the meatiest and nicest bone he had ever seen. He fell upon it ravenously before it disappeared. It wasn’t long before it was bare again and Runt licked his lips in satisfaction, for once he was completely satisfied as he curled up to finish his nap.

Then the farmer whistled and all the dogs came running. When the Runt arrived looking so pleased with himself, they all queried why he looked so contented and happy. With a knowing look on his face he replied, “That is for me to know and you to find out”. He worked so well that day that the farmer allowed him to ride beside him in the dray on the way home. The other dogs slunk off to their kennels vowing to keep a watch on the Runt and try to discover what was causing him to be so happy. As the Runt curled up to sleep he wondered if he would have to go back to where he first saw the bone to get another meal. That night he had a good night’s sleep on a very contented tummy.

End of Part 1… What will happen to the Runt next?


My Mum used to tell this story to me when I was a kid, and eventually she got around to writing it down and then a friend published it. Since then the local library has been using this and other stories from mum to tell to school kids when then come and visit the library. I’m not sure if they still do, but a lot of kids in my home town know all about the little Runt.

BTW, all of the illustrations in the book were done by mum in watercolours, and then scanned and put into her little books.

Capt. Savage

(Proud of the humble efforts of his sweet little mum)


T.S. Eliot Strikes Again… Macavity: The Mystery Cat

A Young clone of my cat Tabitha…

Insert Tabitha for Macavity, and Eliot could have been describing my mysterious disappearing cat, Tabitha. But on the weekend it was definitely describing the nocturnal messes that my mum’s cat ‘Oscar’ is currently creating… Mum keeps offering Oscar to me, but I have enough trouble with Tabitha…

Macavity: The Mystery Cat

By T.S. Elliott

Macavity’s a Mystery Cat: he’s called the Hidden Paw—

For he’s the master criminal who can defy the Law.

He’s the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad’s despair:

For when they reach the scene of crime—Macavity’s not there!

Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,

He’s broken every human law, he breaks the law of gravity.

His powers of levitation would make a fakir stare,

And when you reach the scene of crime—Macavity’s not there!

You may seek him in the basement, you may look up in the air—

But I tell you once and once again, Macavity’s not there!

Macavity’s a ginger cat, he’s very tall and thin;

You would know him if you saw him, for his eyes are sunken in.

His brow is deeply lined with thought, his head is highly domed;

His coat is dusty from neglect, his whiskers are uncombed.

He sways his head from side to side, with movements like a snake;

And when you think he’s half asleep, he’s always wide awake.

Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,

For he’s a fiend in feline shape, a monster of depravity.

You may meet him in a by-street, you may see him in the square—

But when a crime’s discovered, then Macavity’s not there!

He’s outwardly respectable. (They say he cheats at cards.)

And his footprints are not found in any file of Scotland Yard’s

And when the larder’s looted, or the jewel-case is rifled,

Or when the milk is missing, or another Peke’s been stifled,

Or the greenhouse glass is broken, and the trellis past repair

Ay, there’s the wonder of the thing! Macavity’s not there!

And when the Foreign Office find a Treaty’s gone astray,

Or the Admiralty lose some plans and drawings by the way,

There may be a scrap of paper in the hall or on the stair—

But it’s useless to investigate—Macavity’s not there!

And when the loss has been disclosed, the Secret Service say:

It must have been Macavity!’—but he’s a mile away.

You’ll be sure to find him resting, or a-licking of his thumb;

Or engaged in doing complicated long division sums.

Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,

There never was a Cat of such deceitfulness and suavity.

He always has an alibi, and one or two to spare:

At whatever time the deed took place—MACAVITY WASN’T THERE !

And they say that all the Cats whose wicked deeds are widely known

(I might mention Mungojerrie, I might mention Griddlebone)

Are nothing more than agents for the Cat who all the time

Just controls their operations: the Napoleon of Crime!

And where are all these cat poems coming from Capt?

Well from a treasured book from my childhood that mum still has at home, and I happened to have a little read of it on the weekend when I called in to my mum’s. You might remember I re-blogged another of his classics a while ago, see

Capt. Savage

(Becoming rather attached to his mischievous cat)

The pleasures of a Pussy (Cat)

What is more relaxing
Than sitting home alone?
Sitting on my sofa
With a cat to warm my bones!!!
This wonderful addition
To my quiet little place
Well she’s playful as a kitten
But when her purr begins to race
Its something between a buzz-saw
And a very loud V8
But I love my new-found fur-ball
Even though I’ve just found out
That I really do not own her
No, not the slightest bit
For she only uses me for food
And to tickle her while she sits