Day 162: Three Dogs and William

The facts

“If the house is too good for Jumble,” William said coldly, “it’s too good for me. I don’t want to stay in a place that’s too good for Jumble. An’ let me tell you, Jumble jolly well doesn’t want to come into the house, so there! Not while that ole Rotten’s here, anyway.”

  • Number: 15.1
  • Published: 1933 (1932 in magazine form) – originally titled William’s New Dog
  • Book: William the Rebel
  • Synopsis: There’s a new dog in the Browns’ household.

Verdict

As with William’s Birthday, 12.6, this story is premised on Ethel receiving, from one of her admirers, a dog. Wotan the Alsatian does not take long to become a mortal enemy of Jumble’s – and, rather unfairly, Mrs Brown takes Wotan’s side because Ethel is the elder. So Jumble is evicted to a kennel in the garden (see also Gromit in The Wrong Trousers.)

“Get rid of that dog William,” said Mrs Brown, “I simply won’t have it here.”
Thoughtfully William walked away, followed happily, trustingly, by his new friend. Half an hour later he returned alone, wearing his famous expression of imbecile virtue.
“I’ve got rid of it,” he said.

When a skirmish between the two animals sends Jumble to the vet, William’s hatred grows yet more intense (“Hung for murder, that’s what he ought to be, ‘stead of havin’ indiarubber bones an’ suchlike given him!”) and he realises that something must be done.

Fortunately, fate provides just such a thing in the form of a third dog, a fighting dog, which takes a shine to William, a dislike to Wotan, and some sharp jaws to a burglar…