Gordon G Hall
Writer and Neo-Philhellene

Short Stories about Greece
The Second Dog

Perhaps we should not have been in Vrakades. Indeed the whole idea of going to Lagkada had lost much of its appeal along the rough dirt-track that had brought us this far. The road map had declined to consider it a route worthy of mention and Mr. Google had long since gone into a signal-less sulk. Let’s face it my three female companions and I were lost.

Salvation appeared in the form of a stooped figure dressed entirely in black.

“Stop, Gordon,” cried my Harpies, speaking as if to the victorious Banquo and Macbeth. Car widows descended and Greek pleasantries were exchanged, pleasantries that, as is the way on Ikaria, lasted some ten minutes.

“Let’s go”

“Which way?” I said.

“The lady said turn left,” said Rena, “then right at the second dog.”

“Don’t be stupid.”

“No, that’s what she said.”

It is entirely within the realms of my knowledge of Greek for such a linguistic error to occur, but Rena and her two friends were native Greek speakers. They assured me the lady had said just that. We proceeded.

Three minutes later the car turned a sharp bend and there, much to my surprise was a dog kennel. Chained to it and lying in the shade of a nearby tree was a brown and yellow dog.

“One,” said Rena, then after a moments pause added, “I think they must use them to deter goats from wandering back down the road.”

Just over a kilometre further and the car breasted a rise. There, also chained to its kennel, was a brown and white version of the same.

“Two,” said Rena, “Turn right.”

Goat deterrent or not this island had devised a unique form of canine signposting.


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