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From: THE BOOK OF COLINIUS CHAPTER 56. BEGINNING AT VERSE 43:

THE PROLOGUE.

Members of at John's Parish Church, Pewsey, whose Rector is Colin Fox, decided to recycle' Christrmas cards for re-sale at the Bouverie Hall, Pewsey at a pre-Christmas Bazaar. It is perhaps unfortunate that one had to be careful where one signed these cards as the legend 're-cycled in aid of St. John's Pewsey', appearing immediately below the signature, could lead to misunderstanding, although true in the case of John and Mavis Green.

We eventually received one of such cards from Colin & Family, a copy of which is enclosed, with a request for interpretation of the meaning of the three dogs.

It is perhaps fortunate that the card was recognised as the missing icon to which a fragment of ancient literature refers.

At the Carol service at Pewsey there is a tradition that the lighting consist of innumerable wax candles. The origins of this tradition are now also revealed.

43. And in the twelfth month of the forty-third year of Elizabeth the Queen, when Colinius was High Priest of the the Puseyites which be a rebellious tribe dwelling in the Valley of Avon the great river, 44. The Lord spake unto Colinius the High Priest in a dream, saying, 45. "Go and search diligently amongst the books and the writings which are in the great hall which is in the city of Bouverey and thou shalt find what thou shall find among the recycled."

46. Colinius the High Priest pondered on the wisdom of the Lord, and perceiving that the will of the Lord could be obeyed without inconvenience, left all that he had; his wife, his children, his ox and his ass, his manservant and his maidservant, his dog, cat and dicky-bird, 47. the spiders, wood-lice and earwigs which dwelt in his chariot-house, and in due time arrived at the great hall in the city of Bouverey which lies above the great river.

48. There he found the books and the writings which had been exposed for sale in aid of the treasury of the temple.

49. Then the Lord called unto Colinius the High Priest again a second time saying,

50. "Go up to the stall whereon is the icon of the eighteen and a half stars, the three dogs, the three angels and the four weird beasts which thou shall find offered for sale with the recycled and buy it with money and thou shalt learn many things of wisdom.

51. "And when thou hast purchased the icon of the eighteen and a half stars, the three dogs, the three angels and the four weird beasts, thou shalt bring it privily to thy house and await further instructions."

52. And Colinius did what the Lord had commanded; everything which the Lord had commanded him to do, that he did.

53. Then Colinius considered what the meaning of this vision should be. 54. And behold, he took the the icon of the eighteen and a half stars, the three dogs, the three angels and the four weird beasts which he had bought and took them to his house which lay beside the temple of the Lord as the Lord had commanded, and pondered deeply.

55. Being much troubled in mind. Colinius said to himself, 'What is the meaning of this message from the Lord which has been vouchsafed to me, and wherewithal shall my mind be relieved from pondering upon the deep mystery wherewith the Lord hath afflicted my soul ?

56. Then the Lord spake unto Colinius a third time and said,

"Take the the icon of the eighteen and a half stars, the three dogs. the three angels and the four weird beasts which thou hast purchased with money at the great hall of Bouverey which lies above the great river, and send it to the prophet Johannis who dwells in the wilderness of Upavon beyond Woodbridge on the great river, 57. and with it send a message saying, What meaneth the the icon of the eighteen and a half stars, the three dogs, the three angels and the four weird beasts which the Lord hath commanded me to purchase with money in the great hall of Bouverey which lies above the river ? 58. For I am the Lord's servant and would do whatever it is his will to command provided it does not cause me inconvenience and that I know what the ****** **** it's all about. (****** **** meaning obscure.)

59. And behold, Colinus did so, being obedient unto the word of the Lord.

60. And so in due time the the icon of the eighteen and a half stars, the three dogs, the three angels and the four weird beasts was received into the hand of Johannis the Prophet who dwelt in the wilderness of Upavon beyond Woodbridge,

61. and the Lord guided the mind of Johannis the Prophet that he might interpret the meaning of the icon of the eighteen and a half stars, the three dogs, the three angels and the four weird beasts which Colinius the High Priest had purchased with money in the great hall of Bouverey which lies above the river.

62. And Johannis the Prophet who dwelt... (I' m not going through all that again! Baruch the Redactor.)

63. And Johannis the Prophet (etc. etc.) sent messengers unto Colinius the High Priest, saying, 64. "I am thy servant, 0 Colinius, and the Lord hath directed thy course and by thy hand hath sent unto me the icon of the eighteen and a half stars, the three dogs, the three angels and the four weird beasts which thou hast purchased, being directed in so doing by the hand of the Lord.

65. "The interpretation of the vision which the Lord hath vouchsafed unto thee by way of the icon of the eighteen and a half stars, the three dogs, the three angels and the four weird beasts is that thou shalt be afflicted with eighteen persons and half a person who shall call themselves the Parochial Church Council, 66. they being eighteen in number with one who is only there for half a time. 67. These are signified by the eighteen and a half stars which thou mayest observe, most eminent High Priest, and the temperaments of those who sit upon the Council are signified by the three dogs.

68. The first dog hath a wise and sagacious mien signifying unto thee those who, with thee in wisdom, shall cause things to happen and to prosper.

69. The second dog hath a vicious and angry mouth, and from the appearance of his front legs hath come to a grinding halt and hath dug in his heels. 70. This dog signifieth unto thee those of thy council who shall obstruct anything which thou proposest be it good or evil.

71.The third dog hath a vacant and far-away expression which signifieth unto thee those of thy council whose thickness may verily be compared unto two planks hewn from the cedars of Libanus which is in the Land of Ham, and who sleep through meetings. 72. Nevertheless, O Colinius, such may be made a boon unto thee as their votes can be manipulated in thy favour by prior calling upon them and partaking of their cakes and ale."

73. And the prophet Johannis who dwelt in the wilderness of Upavon continued his interpretation by writing,

74. "Thou seest, O Colinius, that each of the three dogs, the sagacious dog. the vicious dog and the apathetic dog are all led by angels, each is led by his own angel. Each dog is led on a very slack rein so that guidance is gentle but ultimately inevitable. The first angel leads her dog with a confident expression, being sure of the leadership of the wise.

75. The second angel is inattentive to her charge, being more interested in tickling the foot of her leader. This accounts for the vicious appearance of the second dog who is getting thoroughly brassed-off with being messed about. (Moral never trust angels who wear pigtails!)

76. The third angel has a motherly, or patronising gaze wherewith she looketh upon the third dog, such as can be seen upon the face of a doting aunt, being full of years, when a four-year-old fails to understand the difficulties caused when it vomiteth in the temple.

77. "Thus, your eminence, by the sign of the three dogs and their angels, each being led by his own angel, shall thou understand more fully the nature of those who make up thy Council, and, as the Lord hath revealed unto thee, all are heading in the same direction but with varying degrees of enthusiasm and with mixed accord, each according to his temperament.

78. Thus saith the Lord."

79. And lo, having thus, as he supposed, delivered the prophecy and the interpretation thereof as vouchsafed unto him by the Lord unto Colinius the High Priest, Johannis the Prophet, who dwelt in the wilderness of Upavon beyond the Woodbridge, sat back and took his ease.

80. But the Lord said unto him,

8l. "UP! Thou hast not completed thy task and until thou do, peace shall not be granted unto thee, neither shalt thou lay thee down and sleep. What of the weird beasts which Colinius the High Priest hath shewn unto thee in the sacred icon purchased with money at the great hall of Bouverey which lies above the river? 82. Shalt thou not interpret to him as I command thee this day that thou shalt do ? Take up thy pen again and write as I shall command thee!"

83. So Johannis the prophet took up his pen and wrote concerning the weird beasts which were contained in the icon which.. (Yes! Yes! we know which! - Redactor.)

84. "P.S. *" He wrote, "The former treatise I wrote unto thee, most god-fearing Colinius was lacking in its ending which has now been revealed unto me by the Lord.

85. The weird beasts which thou hast observed in the snow which forms the background to the icon of the dogs which (Not again! R. ).......  are not as thou hast supposed, the timid and woolly sheep which thou hast come to associate with the legends of lowly cattle sheds in Judean hills, but are in very truth those weird and ferocious beasts from the snow-bound hills of the Himalaya which in ancient times were named 'Yak' by our forefathers. 86.Truly I say unto thee, these are the signs of the sufferings with which thou shall be afflicted in thy council chambers by a super-abundance of Yak which thou must verily endure for a time, two times and half a time until the day of release shall come, but he that endureth until the end shall be saved."

87. When Colinius heard this he rejoiced greatly and going forth from his chambers offered a burnt offering unto the Lord, an advent sacrifice of paraffin wax which was burnt before the Lord in great quantity, the like of which had not been known before in the land of the Puseyites which be a rebellious tribe which dwelleth beneath the downs of Marl, and which is renowned unto this day.

(* The exact meaning of this acronym has been lost. Certain scholars maintain that it means 'Please Sir', a form of address suitable for a continuation. Others hold that its meaning is 'please shut- up', in which case it is now largely ignored.)

WJG. 1996

The Estate of William John Green, 2004