The Great Play Hunt

(notes edited by John McGivering)


First published in Cassell’s Magazine for September 1930, and collected in Thy Servant a Dog told by Boots (illustrated by Stampa) the same year, together with two other stories, “Thy Servant a Dog” and “Toby Dog”; it later appeared in various anthologies, including Collected Dog Stories (also illustrated by Stampa), the Sussex Edition, Volume 16, page 273, the Burwash Edition, Volume 14, and Thy Servant a Dog and other Dog Stories (1938), from which we have taken the page and line references for the Notes on the Text in this Guide. This collection includes:

The story

This is the second part of the trilogy related by Boots, which. as the title implies, concerns a hunt devised by Ravager, Tags the lame fox, and the two Aberdeen Terriers, Boots and Slippers, to introduce the child Digby to hunting which, although out of season, is a great success.


See also the notes on “Thy Servant a Dog” (The Story) for further observations and Themes in Kipling’s Works under “Dogs” and “Horses” on this site; and “The Supplication of the Black Aberdeen”.

In the United Kingdom hunting foxes or stags is now banned under the Hunting Act of 2005, which criminalises something called ‘hunting with dogs’, but the Act does not define either the crucial word ‘hunting’ or the equally significant term ‘with’. There is therefore a real question as to whether the Act has succeeded in banning anything that a Hunt does. There is lively opposition to the ban by the hunting fraternity. There is also a vociferous and active anti-hunting movement.

[J H McG]

©John McGivering 2008 All rights reserved