MIZMARILYN'S MISSIVES

MIZMARILYN'S MISSIVES... THE MANIACAL MUSINGS ON THE MEANDERINGS, MISADVENTURES, AND MISHAPS OF A MISGUIDED MISCREANT...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Sheik Of Araby...



To be totally honest, sheik is the wrong word... the name of the dog was Sultan. He has a wonderful story, so settle back and get a cup of hot chocolate and picture this:

It's around 1888, in Foochow China. My great grandmother was about to, or had just given birth to my grandfather. My great grandfather took one of his many trips and went to the Monastery of Saint Bernard in Switzerland. While there he sent a huge ring of leather, rigid in type, about 2 inches wide with a heavy brass buckle. He sent this to Julia, my great grandmother without any explanation. She thought it might be a belt for her to wear and attach things to the brass bands, but she most certainly was puzzled.

Meanwhile, Sultan, as he was called, was making a very long and perilous journey for a cold climated dog. He traveled to the Mediterranean Sea and then through the Suez Canal to the Indian Ocean, improving his unhappy existence by totally charming the ladies of first class, who said "How is it, good Captain, that we did not know this beautiful creature was on board... we beg of you to allow him to remain with us". Such patting and petting he had never known before, and he made the best of it until the temperature rose. When the heat of the journey overtook him, the captain had buckets of water poured over him, and finally sheared off his hair, thinking that would cool him. The immediate result of that was sunburn, and at some point he got into the deck tar, so that when he came joyfully down the gangplank in China, julia put her face in her hands and turned away in terror. Now she knew the point of the leather 'belt'.

The Chinese were terrified of him, and called him the great tiger. To quote Julia, "Chui se lau hu, ai ah, keng cheng twai" This is a tiger, ai ah, this is a very large dog... This intimidation, of course, was the point of having a dog this size guard my grandfather. It took Julia quite a while to finally get Sultan to obey, he had been on his own for too long. He had a habit of going to the open air markets and taking a hank of something choice and bringing it home, followed by some Chinese merchant, screaming...

So here he is, tame at last, with my grandfather in the house on the hill in Foochow.

Later, when they returned to Boston, Sultan was thrilled at the first snow, and apparently ran out and threw himself into anything that looked like a snowdrift, so happy to be back in the climate he loved.

and I have no idea why he was called Sultan...

me

2 Comments:

At 11:05 PM, Blogger bonho said...

Doug especially loved this story and wishes to fuck he was agile enough to spend time on a boat....

 
At 10:17 PM, Blogger Infamous Angel said...

Oh wouldn't he love to go sailing with you.. that is, if he were agile enough to spend time on a boat, that is...

me!

 

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