They called them the guard dogs.
They patrolled the perimeter wire;
But calling them dogs was like
Calling a match a small gas fire.
You would hear them in the darkness,
The steady pad pad pad of their paws,
Then when they set to run at you
The scraping of their claws.
Their handlers didn't speak English
But then neither did those hounds
And you could feel them getting closer
In large leaping straining bounds,
And you would set off running
And mutter a strangled prayer,
(Even blooming atheists sometimes
Like to think a god is maybe there).
The handler would dig his feet in
Hang on wildly to the halter rope
And if you'd both judged it right
There was more than just a hope
You'd turn and see this creature
Hanging there stopped dead
Straining to get to kill you till
The handler smacked its head
With a good old pick axe handle
Carried specially for that hit
And you'd stand there all casual
Scared, me, not a blooming bit.
Then you'd nod casually to the handler
Mutter a heart felt good night,
But never turning your back
Till that pair was out if sight.
Glasby once tried to tame one.
Tried to break in to their pen.
He only ever tried it once
Never never ever ever again.
He'd sobered up so quickly
As we dragged him down
I reckon it was fortunate
That day his kekks were brown.
Conan Doyle got his Baskerville Hound
After he'd visited Birgelen camp one night
We were all certain sure convinced of that
He got the blooming thing so very right.