Bingo, the story of my dog
BINGO, The Story of My Dog
IT WAS EARLY in November, 1882, and the Manitoba winter had just set in.
I was tilting back in my chair for a few lazy moments after breakfast,
idly alternating my gaze from the one window-pane of our shanty, through
which was framed a bit of the prairie and the end of our cowshed, to the
old rhyme of the 'Franckelyn's dogge' pinned on the logs near by. But
the dreamy mixture of rhyme and view was quickly dispelled by the sight
of a large gray animal dashing across the prairie into the cowshed, with
a smaller black and white animal in hot pursuit.
"A wolf," I exclaimed, and seizing a rifle dashed out to help the dog.
But before I could get there they had left the stable, and after a
short run over the snow the wolf again turned at bay, and the dog, our
neighbor's collie, circled about watching his chance to snap.
I fired a couple of long shots, which had the effect only of setting
them off again over the prairie. After another run this matchless dog
closed and seized the wolf by the haunch, but again retreated to avoid
the fierce return chop. Then there was another stand at bay, and again a
race over the snow. Every few hundred yards this scene was repeated, the
dog managing so that each fresh rush should be toward the settlement,
while the wolf vainly tried to break back toward the dark belt of
trees in the east. At last after a mile of this fighting and running I
overtook them, and the dog, seeing that he now had good backing, closed
in for the finish.
After a few seconds the whirl of struggling animals resolved itself into
a wolf, on his back, with a bleeding collie gripping his throat, and
it was now easy for me to step up and end the fight by putting a ball
through the wolf's head.
Then, when this dog of marvellous wind saw that his foe was dead, he
gave him no second glance, but set out at a lope for a farm four miles
across the snow where he had left his master when first the wolf
was started. He was a wonderful dog, and even if I had not come he
undoubtedly would have killed the wolf alone, as I learned he had
already done with others of the kind, in spite of the fact that the
wolf, though of the smaller or prairie race, was much large than
himself. I was filled with admiration for the dog's prowess and at once
sought to buy him at any price. The scornful reply of his owner was,
"Why don't you try to buy one of the children?"
Since Frank was not in the market I was obliged to content myself with
the next best thing, one of his alleged progeny. That is, a son of his
wife. This probable offspring of an illustrious sire was a roly-poly
ball of black fur that looked more like a long-tailed bearcub than a
puppy. But he had some tan markings like those on Frank's coat,
that were, I hoped, guarantees of future greatness, and also a very
characteristic ring of white that he always wore on his muzzle.
Having got possession of his person, the next thing was to find him
a name. Surely this puzzle was already solved. The rhyme of the
'Franckelyn's dogge' was in-built with the foundation of our
acquaintance, so with adequate pomp we yclept him little Bingo.'
The rest of that winter Bingo spent in our shanty, living the life of a
blubbery, fat, well-meaning, ill-doing puppy; gorging himself with food
and growing bigger and clumsier each day. Even sad experience failed
to teach him that he must keep his nose out of the rat trap. His most
friendly overtures to the cat were wholly misunderstood and resulted