Saturday, November 12, 2011

How Kai understands "The Hound of the Baskervilles"

Earlier this week Elizabeth got a yen to watch the 1959 Hammer production of The Hound of the Baskervilles starring Peter Cushing (as Sherlock Holmes), André Morell, and Christopher Lee. Thinking that I might do some Sherlockian blogging here ahead of the release of the new Robert Downey Jr. movie, I acceded with pleasure.

As usual, our dog Kai, a 90-pound Mostly Malamute, joined us in the movie room for the showing.

Afterward, Elizabeth mused about how Kai might interpret the story's famous climax through his own perspective and nature. She suggested it might go something like this:

Baskerville: "Help! It's a terrible great evil hell-hound come to kill me!"

Hound: "It's a human! I can get petted!"

Baskerville (running): "I must escape from this giant, evil creature!"

Hound (jumping up and knocking him over): "Stop! Rub my tummy!"

Baskerville: "Help! Arrgh! My heart!"

Hound: "Finally, I can lick your face. Oh human, I adore you. Here, I'll lie on your chest to get closer. I love you, human!"

Baskerville: "Hellllllp!"

Suddenly the villain Holmes, knowing nothing about dogs, appears and shoots the good boy instead of giving him a reasonable command such as "Off" or "Down" or "Greet." He doesn't even offer an ever-present pocket treat.

To Kai, it's one of the great cinematic canine tragedies.