Topic: Carlo

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Carlo is a story by Lial Bredin

Carlo

 

Carlo is Dick's dog.  He is not named after a person.  He is named after the way he behaves.  Dick travels a fair distance each day to look at cattle on his numerous leases.  He has to keep an eye on the amount of grass available and the condition of the stock.  He drives around his leases in his old Austin 12.  Carlo thinks that it is his Austin 12.  Where that car goes he goes.

 He has done so since he was a puppy.  One day a family member said "That dog just loves the car."  The name "Carlover" was shortened to "Carlo."  It didn’t matter whether the car was going or not.  If a door was open, Carlo was in the back seat.  If the car was moving Carlo had two positions.  With the drivers window’s shut he curled up and went to sleep.  The driver’s window open, Carlo stood behind Dick's shoulder with his nose out the window.  Great to have wind around your nose and ears without having to do any running.

 Carlo earns his keep and enjoys his hobby of driving.  When Dick calls in at a lease the stock are usually at the other end of the paddock.  Carlo, who is a heading dog rounds up the cattle and brings them up in front of Dick.  He holds them there while Dick checks them for health and condition.  As soon as some are fat enough they will be off to the works to make a quick profit.  If the boys are there on their ponies it is an easy job to pick out those fat cattle.  When there are enough of them they can be started down the road on their way to the works.

 When Dick is at a sale Carlo knows to stay in the car.  Dick leaves a door open so that Carlo can get a drink out of one of the cattle troughs.  Sometimes Carlo trades smells with one or more of the drover’s dogs.  He knows to keep away from the pens and not to move cattle if Dick is not there.

 One day Dick and Carlo went to a Stratford sale.  Dick partly opened the back door of the car for Carlo.  Dick went off to have a look at the cattle in the pens.  There was nothing there that looked if it would make a profit.  The buyers from two works were bidding and prices were very competitive.  Dick returned to his car in disgust.  He drove back to his home in New Plymouth.

 When he got out of the car he noticed that Carlo was not in the back seat.  He hadn’t stopped at any of his leases.  Carlo must have been out of the car when he left Stratford.  He didn’t have the petrol or the time to make a special trip to Stratford to look for Carlo.  Petrol was rationed and his special ration was based on the number of sales he had to attend each week.  He was going to Inglewood Sale the next day.  It was not far to go on to Stratford to look for Carlo.  Carlo should be able to look after himself for one night.  He might even enjoy a night out.

 Next day as he drove into Inglewood he noticed a rather bedraggled dog limping along the side of the road.

 He thought "That dog looks as though he has walked miles.  Oh, he has walked miles.  It is Carlo."  He stopped and whistled "Heel Boy".  A very tired Carlo limped back to the car and jumped into the back seat.  He curled up in the corner.

 Dick had to wait for the lunchroom at the Inglewood Sale to open.  He bought three pies.  Carlo ate two of them and went off to a cattle trough for a drink.  Dick ate the other and returned to the lunchroom for two cups of tea with three teaspoons of sugar.

 

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