"The Castle Pilots" by Heathcroft ()
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Digby left our earthly realm last August exactly a year ago, aged 15. For some months before he died, he would, at the same time on each evening, stare intently for 30 minutes or so at a spot on a wall in our house, beyond which lies our garden, the sea, and further away, about 2 miles across the bay, Gorey Castle, which has become the focus of these stories.
Whether you believe in an afterlife or not, it is strange that he looked in that exact direction so long and so regularly each night before he died.
So allow me to let the venerable Count Tyrannus tell you about Digby (he does it so much better than I ever could.)
"Ah - My Children, so you wish to know more about The Castle Pilots?
Here they are up close and personal and also in the new Hind Gunship which brought them to our rescue in the last post. Digby (of course) is on the left.
Things are now quiet, the slaves are sleeping, chained to their iron bunks for their own safety, and the warriors are off duty (somewhere recreational no doubt.) So I will, if I may, tell you more about The Castle Pilots.
Pilot Officer Digby (First Class, C.D.M. with bar) is our link to the World of Men. He brings Dr. Cannibal Spectre to the Castle each month at the time of the full moon, when I rise from my crypt and prepare for the monthly feast.
Digby had a fine career in the S.A.S. and was known as 'The Shadow' as he was never seen by the enemy before he struck. He travelled widely and secretively in the World of Men and excelled quietly in theatres of war such as Bosnia, Croatia, Iraq and Afghanistan, stopping off on leave to acquaint himself with the prettier lady spaniels in the various cities en route to his destinations.
Digby sired 4 litters (that he admits to, anyway) and has a total of 38 pups, many of who now are pilots in the Russian Air Force. You can see two of them in the picture.
Whilst in Russia, Digby made a commercial killing by finding a source of cheap perfume and exporting it in vodka bottles to the West, where its was repackaged in fancy bottles and flew off the shelves in its new branding of 'Moscow Nights'. The ingredients are a well kept secret, but I can vouch that before it was bottled it had to be diluted by a factor of 1000 before it could be sold to the Western market. One whiff of the powerful yellow 'essence' would made one's eyes water, and could induce hallucinations.
Having finished two tours with the Regiment, and by then a multi-millionaire, Digby went freelance, just to keep his paw in, and that is when my spies heard of his covert skills and contacted him in his villa in St. Moritz. He immediately agreed to be the link between our world and yours, and also agreed to visit us each month with our special visitor, the good Doctor Spectre.
It was on one of these visits that the dragons of Garnsea attacked us and Digby decided to obtain the Hind gunship and trade in the Castle Sikorski, which was a bit old and knackered (rather like me.)
And Barnaby? Well, Digby has a soft spot for his dopey son, and tries as best he can to accommodate the soppy spaniel. So, useless as Barnaby is as a navigator, when passing his Island home, Dad picks him up for the ride out to the Castle.
So there you have it My Children. Now to business: " Seaglemus, fetch me that haunch of peasant and a flagon of wine. I am ravenous!"
All comments welcome! Thanks for dropping by!
"Digby And The Dragons"
Image Comments (94)
photostar () 5:07AM | Thu, 07 August 2008
This made me a bit glassy eyed this morning, Dave. Great presentation and glad you shared this with all of us. Oh, and I gave my two a pat on the head and a big morning hug, afterward.
flora-crassella () 5:34AM | Thu, 07 August 2008
....ich lache mich schief! Ein wunderbare Arbeit!!!!!!
RodolfoCiminelli () 5:42AM | Thu, 07 August 2008
Funny, fantastic, original and very creative work......!!!!
magnus073 () 7:18AM | Thu, 07 August 2008
Dave this is a wonderful dedi to Digby and I truly am so sorry for your loss my friend. For me I believe in a after life for not just people but animals and I know Digby is in heaven waiting for you. This dedication and the story are both wondrefully done my friend.
frymarkdesign () 7:29AM | Thu, 07 August 2008
Such a touching story and I love the little tale of Digby and it was written so well. The artpiece itself is so adorable, sorry to hear that Digby has past, he will live on is his offspring and your art.
allnaydi () 7:41AM | Thu, 07 August 2008
Excellent composition and beautiful story. Marvelous work Dave.
barryjeffer () 7:55AM | Thu, 07 August 2008
I do believe in the "after-life"... Your image and the tale of Digbys' passing are both touching. Excellent way to wake up this morning...
sylki () 7:57AM | Thu, 07 August 2008
What a wonderful humorous story. Digby was gorgeous and yes I believe in the afterlife big time!!!
rawdodb () 8:07AM | Thu, 07 August 2008
Great story!!! Springers?????? Reminds me of our Freckles, a Springer we had while I was growing up... She was a great little lady...
mikeerson () 9:56AM | Thu, 07 August 2008
That's pretty cool Dave. I read your writings. I have witnessed Dogs doing the same thing. Their later years, they seem kinda lazy because the hips are shot, but through out the day in their height of laziness they become alert for a half hour and stair at what seems through the walls. It's like they are being summoned and are awaiting further orders. I thank you for that, because I've been without a dog living with me for little over a year now. I am middle aged and have had a dog living with me throughout my entire life but 3. Lately, my best dog that I had live with me has been on my mind. He's been gone for a few years now... I didn't get to spend the last couple years of his life with him because of a divorce. The x kept the house and I moved into an apartment - dogs not allowed. He was my dog. I got first pick of the litter. I knew a month before my family did he was going to come live with us. He was very special. When I left, it was very hard on him too. I watched him become lazy - that just wasn't him. when I'd stop over at the house, he tried to become his happy self and muster up energy to walk up to me as if we could go to the park one last time and play catch. I miss him. This is your avatar, cool... I've always wanted to see the "larger image" YOU HAVE BEEN FAVORITIZED!!!
kitzie21 () 10:29AM | Thu, 07 August 2008
I like what you did with this image. Great hommage to your lost friend.
shadownet () 11:02AM | Thu, 07 August 2008
Awesome! Love the picture, love the story, and I find myself wondering about the why - the 30 minutes stare at the wall. Very interesting. 10+
knightlovingwench () 11:33AM | Thu, 07 August 2008
No wonder Digby had a girl in every port... a pilot, shrewd business man and lovable rogue, plus a very handsome fella indeed! Love the images.. crisp, clear, and gorgeously dedicated. Awesome!!!!
stevey3d () 12:04PM | Thu, 07 August 2008
LOL! Excellent! Superb narrative and images! Wonderful dedication too! 5+
OrphanedSoul () 12:17PM | Thu, 07 August 2008
This is so great! I love the whole dog pilot concept! Superb image now how do they work the stick and rudders?
clam73 () 1:42PM | Thu, 07 August 2008
Excellent composition and beautiful funny story.....great dedication for a true friend.....lovely done Dave!
dburson () 3:08PM | Thu, 07 August 2008
Your images and stories always put a smile on my face! When I was younger, I actually got a bad grade in my one and only drawing class because I did pictures that had a narrative. But I LOVE the stories that you write to go with the pictures, they are a real kick! Keep up the good work and damn the critics, full steam ahead!
twingo () 3:28PM | Thu, 07 August 2008
I really believe that dogs are more intelligent than given credit for, to easy it is called instinct when they do something. I have a labrdor and she's really smart and does things for a reason, so maybe Digby knew more than we do. Excellent image and story Dave.