The yapping of small dogs.

A phrase I’ve always liked is “When small men begin to cast big shadows, it means that the sun is about to set.” — Lin Yutang

I was looking sheep this morning. It was raining on and off and I got rained on twice. But as I walked up a track towards one house I could see their little dog standing in the window watching me. But as it turned, it could see its own reflection in the mirror over the mantelpiece. So it barked at the strange dog in its house.

Of course in jumped down onto the floor to chase the mutt off, and of course, it could no long see the strange dog, so the tactic had obviously worked. And better still, it will continue to work. Because every time it gets up on the window ledge to look out, it’ll glance over its shoulder and discover that other chuffing dog is back. So it’ll have to drive it off again. Hours of fun for all the family.

It’s just that somebody sent me a link to an article about Russia. It seems that President Vladimir Putin has had ‘illegally imported foreign food’ ostentatiously destroyed, live, in front of cameras. To prove to his own people that he’s a big important man and isn’t to be crossed.

But it’s funny. These ‘big important men’, how can you tell them? Well I’ve been doing a series of interviews for an editor and writing them up. This means chasing busy people, phoning them up and taking twenty minutes of their time to do an interview. They’re all busy people, all worth talking to.

But written next to one name on the list was the cryptic comment that this chap was the ‘real deal’ and was seriously important and therefore should be handled tactfully. Yet this is that chap who not only returned my phone call, he booked a time for an interview, and then rang me to do it.

The really important people are normally important enough to remember that society is held together by the thin glue of courtesy and if we want society to keep hanging together, we’ve got to be prepared to keep splashing the glue about as we pass through the day.

If President Vladimir Putin had been a really big man, he’d have taken this food and given it to old people’s homes or used it, with match funding from the centre, to provide meals for those who have so little. The big men (and big women) don’t need to throw their weight about to prove that they’re important.


Many years ago, (it could be fifty), I heard the lyrics of a song on a BBC television news and current affairs programme. The chorus has stayed with me after all this time, although I’ve never managed to track the rest of it down.

“Doctors and teachers exams must pass,

If ere they wish to rise above the working class.

And if perchance, they’ve just scraped through,

I’ll give you ten to one that they look down on you.

Ho, ho, just scraped through.

I’ll give you ten to one that they look down on you.”


There again, bring a little fun into your life

As a reviewer commented “Benor is a cartographer and he’s come to Port Naain to produce a handbook. He makes a home with Tallis, a professional poet and his wife Shena. She’s a mud-jobber or as we might say, a beachcomber. Some of her combings include bodies. Everything has a price and families will pay for the privilege of burying their dead and, if possible, finding who caused it. Benor is a natural. He’s a nosy person and, with the aid of the wonderful Mutt, a ten year-old wise beyond his years, he sorts out the villains from the corpses. This first short story from The Port Naain Intelligencer bodes well for the rest of the series. A really great Whodunit.”

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4 thoughts on “The yapping of small dogs.

  1. The Opening Sentence August 21, 2015 at 5:55 pm Reply

    The line about looking down on people reminded me of that old phrase I first heard during my first job: ‘never p**s on people on your way up, because they’ll p**s on you when you’re on the way down.’ People remember how they’ve been treated and you might need them one day.

    As for Putin, yes he’s a knob, a politically astute knob, and he must go to bed at night thanking his lucky stars there are enough of his population who are thick enough to buy his macho nonsense. I’ve said it before, but people get the tyrants they deserve.

    • jwebster2 August 21, 2015 at 10:57 pm Reply

      The saying about those you meet on the way up etc is a true saying. As for Putin I’d merely mention Plato has his comment “This City is what it is because our citizens are what they are. “

  2. hanleygreen August 30, 2015 at 12:50 am Reply

    I read somewhere probably on my paper round ( so a while ago ) that Alan Ladd, stood on a box or the leading ladies stood in a hole to give him the appearance of being tall.

    Perhaps Mr P should try this to give him the extra stature that he needs.
    I think a ‘Corona’ crate would suite him nicely. In fact a perfect match as the consents are full of CO2 bubbles.
    He still wouldn’t beat Alan Ladd who had presence without a box.

    • jwebster2 August 30, 2015 at 5:51 am Reply

      I read the other day that somebody, somewhere has done a survey (yet another one) which shows that small men do overcompensate and that big men tend to be gentle. There again I vaguely remember reading that Julius Caesar preferred to be surrounded by stout men who were less ambitious as opposed to thin men who were always plotting. Perhaps we should encourage small men to eat well as a way of pacifying them, whilst tall men are encouraged to keep slim because their ambition will be tempered with gentleness?

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