Jock of the Bushveld: A 100 Year Celebration
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The much-loved classic by Percy Fitzpatrick, available as a limited centenary edition. Jock of the Bushveld, published in 1907, has been read and enjoyed by millions of children and is now a classic among animal stories. It remains as fresh and exciting as it was when it was first written. Since its release in 1907 it has remained a firm favourite in South Africa and has been widely read abroad; it has been printed in many languages including Afrikaans, Dutch, French, Xhosa and Zulu. Jock's owner was a young transport rider in the rugged and colourful days of the Transvaal gold rush. Those were the days when big game roamed the land and each sunrise brought a new adventure. Fitzpatrick first told his children about his adventures with his dog at bedtime. It was his close friend Rudyard Kipling who convinced him to collect the stories and record them in a book. The story of the bull terrier who shared his master's life on the veld has been illustrated with lively sketches by Edmund Caldwell. Fitzpatrick searched for a suitable artist to illustrate the book and settled on the talents of Edmund Caldwell, and he went as far as to take Caldwell to South Africa to see the Bushveld to ensure the authenticity of his illustrations.
bundles. The last man was wearing a pair of Royal Artillery trousers, and I have no doubt he regarded it ever afterwards as nothing less than a calamity that they were not safely stowed away in his bundle. It was from the seat of these too ample bags that Jock took a good mouthful; and it was the miner’s frantic jump, rather than Jock’s tug, that made the piece come out. The sudden fright and the attempts to face about quickly caused several downfalls. The clatter of these spread the panic; and
close under the rock and then disappear. We watched for some seconds – and then, feeling the utter futility of waiting there, jumped off the rock and ran down the slope in the hope that the dogs would hear us call from there. From where the slope was steepest we looked down into the bed of the stream at the bottom of the ravine, and the two dogs were there. They were moving cautiously down the wide stony watercourse just as we had seen them move in the morning, their noses thrown up and heads
where the brave mother had stood between her young and death. Any attempt to follow the lioness after that would have been waste of time. We struck off in a new direction, and in crossing a stretch of level ground where the thorn trees were well scattered and the grass fairly short, my eye caught a movement in front that brought me to an instant standstill. It was as if the stem of a young thorn tree had suddenly waved itself and settled back again, and it meant that some long-horned buck,
kilometre on I drew closer and found them standing face to face among the thorns. It was the first of three or four stands. The sable, with a watchful eye on me, always moved on as I drew near enough to shoot. The beautiful black and white bull stood facing his little red enemy and the fence and play of feint and thrust, guard and dodge, was wonderful to see. Not once did either touch the other. At Jock’s least movement the sable’s head would go down with his nose into his chest and the
Fig Tree Creek 25 kilometres away, and left him with a prospector friend at whose camp in the hills it seemed he would be much better off and much happier. When I got back to Barberton that night he was waiting for me, with a tag of chewed rope hanging round his neck, not the least ashamed of himself, but openly rejoicing in the meeting and evidently never doubting that I was equally pleased. And he was quite right there. But it could not go on. One day as he lay asleep behind me, a loaded