N. Barry Carver

© Copyright 2017 by N. Barry Carver

Photo of a border collie courtesy of Pixabay.
Photo of a border collie courtesy of Pixabay.

On the occasion of visiting Hadrian’s Wall (The ancient Roman dividing point between Scotland and England) I have this day met a fine border collie. I thought her name was “Lucy” but I have since been informed that it is “Loo-See.”

Being a guard dog of the highest order, the name fits her. For I am told, whenever there is a curious noise or action, it’s this lovely black and white canine who is the first to go and have a look see.

She has today told me a message that I promised her I would pass on to those who might find themselves in similar straits but, since she was doubtful they’d listen, I’ll instead share it with you, who better learn such lessons. Luckily, here at the tourist stop, right on that wall, there is an internet connection and hot tea, so I’ll take a moment and type this out.

Loo-See tells me that there once was a nearby wild dog (she referred to as a wolf but I have my doubts), who would take the occasional stray sheep, eat what he could, and leave the rest to rot, here near the old Roman fort of Birdoswald.

After many years, perhaps several generations of this wolf’s activities, a wise collie (apparently this one’s great, great grand bitch) went to the wolf and offered this:

If you would please,” she kindly said, “you are doing an awful lot of chasing and leaving quite a bit of unnecessary waste so, if you’ll agree to a deal, we can all get on much better.”

You need to eat, obviously, and we need to live in peace. Let us agree to this then: Every third day, I will gather my flock and you may take a small bite from each one–until your hunger is satisfied. We will each hurt a bit, but that’s the worst of it. What say you?”

Well, the wolf agreed and all was fine for a fortnight, and then another... but, on a cold midwinter morning, when the wolf was sleeping amid his new benefactors, the old urges overcame him, and he ate a small lamb whole.

We trusted you,” cried the collie, who had no interest in violence but was fond of her charges and knew the requirements of her job.

It won’t happen again,” said the wolf.

And it didn’t...

For the collie tore his throat out in less than a minute... ending the entire line.


Ignoring my allergies, I thanked the dog for the story, with a long, slow scratching down her neck and as I turned to leave, she barked me to turn back. When I did, she reminded me to tread lightly amid these ancient ruins, on the marked path only, and not to stray. She gave me a funny wink, but all the same I noted that her teeth were sharp and well maintained.

Now that I’ve finished writing this down for you, I shall leave very carefully indeed.

Barry was hit by a car and died on Tuesday, June 19, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.  We  will miss his  fine stories.

Contact Barry's Family

(Unless you type the author's name
in the subject line of the message
we won't know where to send it.)

Barry's story list and biography

Book Case

Home Page

The Preservation Foundation, Inc., A Nonprofit Book Publisher