Notes on the text
These notes, by John McGivering, are partly new, and partly based on the ORG. We have been grateful to Alan Underwood for advice on a number of points relating to hunting. The page and line numbers below refer to the Macmillan (London) Uniform Edition of Thy Servant a Dog and Other Dog Stories, published in 1938.
Then drink, puppy drink, and let ev’ry puppy drink[Page 12 line 5] at Walk hound puppies are boarded with local people to be reared until they are old enough to join the pack. See “Little Foxes” (Actions and Reactions, page 238)
That is old enough to lap and to swallow;
For he’ll grow into a hound, so we’ll pass the bottle round,
And merrily we’ll whoop and we’ll holloa.
When hounds take a sudden and much more active interest they are said to be feathering. They move more quickly and their noses seem to be glued to thr ground , their sterns moving from side to side. With any luck ,immediately afterwards you may expect sweeps away on the line.I do not know the origin of this word because foxhounds have short coats (except for Welsh ones) but a dog-breeder that I know thinks that it could come from a similar action of gundogs some of which do have long coats . Kipling’s use of the word is not , I fancy, used in the right context.
[David and Charles, 1980]