Shep’s Hobby | Four Levels | Adventures In English Vol I

SHEP’S  HOBBY                      

Author:James Heriot

The narrator in the story used to visit Mr. Baile’s house as a veterinary doctor for the treatment of Mr. Baile’s cow.Mr. Bailes had a large dog ‘Shep’. It was always kept by the gate of his house. Shep had a strange habit of frightening the people whoever came to his house. He suddenly used to bark in a frightening tone whenever they would be close to him. The narrator in the story too had been terrified by the dog for so many times. Once the narrator enraged with the dog pulled it by its chain and threatened it. Since then, the dog never barked at the narrator. The narrator seeing the changed habit of the dog was pleased with the thought that the dog might have changed his habit out of his threat. Later, once the narrator was passing by the house of Mr. Bailes, a tinker was before him by the wall behind which Shep had hidden himself. All of a sudden, the dog barked terribly at the tinker and so he ran away throwing his pans and pots. The narrator seeing the dog frightening the tinker was quite happy. He was confirmed that the dog had not lost its natural habit.

This story might be trying to tell us that any animal has the right to make fun and that there is not much different between dogs and men so far as recreation is concerned. The story teaches some important facts about the behavior of animals. It presents the certain moral aspects as we find in other stories. It is impressive so far it talks about the natural quality and the character of the animals. It strongly speaks on the continuation of natural character of the animals and states that they should be allowed to enjoy it, lest their life and existence won’t be happy. It supports the right of animals and advocates that people be sympathetic and kind to them.

As we go through the story, we find it quite impressive and appreciative so far it imparts the facts about animals. But still the story seems to be misleading and unconvincing in some points.  This lovely animal story has some points which might be unacceptable.

  1. How could a postman cure the cow which a vet could not?
  2.  Has a dog’s sense of timing so perfect as to frighten the people?
  3.  Is the story convincing enough? Perhaps we have raised such questions because we have not absence dogs as closely as a vet.
This story has changed by attitudes to animals completely. Before I read this story, I would run away if a dog comes close to me. I would think that it had come to bite me. But now I think that it has come to play with me. Now I love a dog and want to make friend with it.
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