Thursday, May 10, 2012

The loaded dog

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Australian literature, Henry Lawson (17 June 1867 – 2 September 1922) was an Australian writer and poet. Along with his contemporary Banjo Paterson, Lawson is among the best-known Australian poets and fiction writers of the colonial period and is often called Australia's "greatest writer". 

He was the son of the poet, publisher and feminist Louisa Lawson.

By far one of his funniest pieces, imho, was the "The Loaded Dog". It is a humorous short story. The plot concerns three gold miners and their dog, and the farcical consequences of leaving a bomb cartridge unattended. The story was first published in the collection Joe Wilson and His Mates in 1901.

Here is the synopsis:
Three gold miners named Dave ReganJim Bently, and Andy Page are sinking a shaft at Stony Creek. The trio own a young retriever dog named Tommy, described as "an overgrown pup... a big foolish, four-footed mate." Andy and Dave, fishing enthusiasts, devise a unique method of catching fish using explosives. The dog picks up an explosive cartridge in its mouth, and runs the fuse through the campfire, prompting the three men to flee. 

It is a "Mark Twain-style" piece of work. Here is the hotlink to the story: The loaded dog


AstridsSoapbox said...

Henry Lawson was good but who can really compare to Banjo Patterson and his 'Man from Snowy River' or (my favorite) 'Clancy of the Overflow?' Smiles - Astrid

JohnD said...

Oh so true - but Paterson was more of a 'balladeer' and his writings took on a semi-serious overtone. Very enjoyable reading, yes! but for sheer "fun" you cannot go past "The loaded dog!" imho - it is so typically Australian male!

Annmarie Pipa said...

thanks...I have never heard of this author...I love Mark Twain!

JohnD said...

Oh! Believe me, it is well worth taking the ten minutes to read it.

I would also take the time to read "The Man from Ironbark by A.B. (Banjo) Paterson OBE - read it at

The Elephant's Child said...

The Geebung Polo Club also by Banjo Paterson has charm as well.

I agree wholeheartedly with you about the loaded dog. I have a feeling that Mark Twain had a similar story with a cat. Not at all certain though

JohnD said...

Either way - they were good yarns!

Doc said...

I just printed it off for a good read at tea this afternoon.

JohnD said...

Enjoy- the yarns make for some great 'light reading'.