Wednesday 3 November 2010
One of the few problems one encounters when walking to Spain is badly brought up dogs.
Here's an email I sent to Lucinda Prior. Every word is true.
I hope this follow up on your recent phone call to us is of some interest:
As you now know, Lynne, George and Robin and I were walking from Mézin to the Pyrenees when your phone call came through to Lynne. She passed on to us how you had been hassled by a dog that eventually bit you when you were doing the same walk a few weeks earlier.
Needless to say from then on, every time we heard a dog barking, someone said ‘that could be the dog that bit Lucinda.’
Anyway, by chance, just after your phonecall, (and much to George’s disgust I suspect) I bought a catapult from a hippy who was selling them in the market. I put it in my rucksack and promptly forgot about it.
A few days later we were walking about a hundred metres behind another group of pilgrims when a pack of dogs ran out and started barking very aggressively at them.
A few minutes later it was our turn. The dogs were hassling and snapping at us in a very frightening manner.
But luckily I’d managed to pull the catapult out of my bag and pick up a stone.
Well, I must confess that I’d used a catapult thousands of times when I was a kid, and never managed to hit anything - except a few neighbour's windows. But St Jacques must have been on my side. Just as these dogs rushed at us – Lynne and Robin were fending them off with sticks – I put the stone in the pouch, pulled back the elastic, and aimed at the most aggressive dog. When I let go, St Jacques made sure that the stone hit the dog right between the eyes. There was a loud ‘thunk’ and a sharp spurt of blood. The dog promptly stopped barking and started yelping. And it kept on howling as it ran off down the road followed by the rest of the pack. The last we saw of it was it’s arsehole disappearing over the horizon.
Lucinda, I must say that I fervently HOPE it was the dog that bit you, and I trust that you are as pleased as I am with my shot.
The moral of the story is this: pagan dogs shouldn’t fuck around with Christian pilgrims.
Love to Luke and Minty.
P.S. like a WW2 fighter pilot - or a gunfighter - I've cut a notch in the handle of my catapult and simply labelled it "dog".
Posted by Ray Johnstone at 05:33