Story and Illustration by ‘Shoe
Dog most nights slept in the front room with Isobella facing an open doorway onto a verandah and beside the internal doorway that had no door against the Castle’s central room even though Dog was not Isobella’s, Isobella in trust asleep on a divan, Dog slung low on the giant sandstone blocks that made the floor interesting. Between the blocks had not been filled with grouting and sometimes one of Dog’s paws dropped into a chasm in her sleep. Dog re-accommodated herself with a deft twist of her leg.
Dog sidled in like a comma into Isobella’s room in the evening. She had a way as if worried what would happen to her tail if she stopped watching it. She was a break in a sentence, but the opening announcement of a trial by jury, fearful and hopeful. She was a squat dog and showed her hard life by her habits, devoted and pessimistic, intelligent and naive.
The owl native to New Zealand, Ruru, the Morepork, Ninox novaeseelandiae, a Bobuk was out all night long almost entirely silent. Ruru has special feathers.
Etia anō āku mata me te mata-ā-ruru e tīwai ana
Me te mata kāhu e paro noa rā kai te tahora!
My eyes are like morepork eyes turning from side to side,
Like the eyes of a hawk who soars over the plain! 1
Margaret Orbell, Birds of Aotearoa. Auckland: Reed, 2003, p101.
PAST EPISODES, READERS
Episode 1 – November 2010 – is here https://pigsarms.com.au/2010/11/22/the-castle-episode-one-the-florist/
Episode 2 – April 2011 – is here https://pigsarms.com.au/2011/04/02/the-castle-episode-2-wooden-%E2%80%93-it-%E2%80%93-be-%E2%80%93-nice-%E2%80%93-to-%E2%80%93-get-%E2%80%93-on-%E2%80%93-with-%E2%80%93-your-%E2%80%93-neighbours/
Episode 3 – February 2012 – is here https://pigsarms.com.au/2012/02/16/the-castle-episode-3-fruhlingsrauschen/
Episode 4 – October 201 2 is here https://pigsarms.com.au/2012/10/29/the-castle-episode-4-lessons/