Today, let us daydream together. Let us suppose that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had written “Terrier of the Baskervilles.”
Sherlock Holmes was recently back in the theaters. It was not only very popular, it makes us reflect on the many stories of Holmes and Watson. Personally, my favorite starred Basil Rathbone and was called: “Hound of the Baskervilles.”
You can image an English countryside and the baying of the hounds.
The movie was based on Doyle’s third Holmes novel and is dark, damp and dreary.
Hounds make good characters in a detective novel. If you were going to write a mystery with a dog as the sleuth, you would do well to use a hound. They are slow, methodical and seem introspective.
While they slobber a little, they seem sensible and caring.
You likely would not choose a German shepherd as a detective. A German shepherd would make a good patrolman or a member of a S.W.A.T. team, but there is nothing contemplative or pensive.
Detectives need to be all ears and eyes.
Now, consider the terrier. Terriers are not at all contemplative. Terriers are what one thinks about when one thinks about ADHD — hyperactive with a short attention span.
Detectives, it seems, need patience, and terriers do not have much of that.
In defense of terriers, they generally are quicker. They are able to cover more territory. They can search more ground faster and can dig like a mole.
People will say that the hounds of this particular novel have nothing to do with the main character, which is Sherlock Holmes. This, in a daydream, is beside the point.
Daydreams are wonderful experiences. They let us move from place to place, thought to thought, and make grand conclusions. They do not have to make sense.
One thought linked loosely to another leads to great creativity. Without a particular target, this kind of thinking is the raw material for all art and science. Artists, particularly writers, need time to look off into the distance and ponder the possibilities.
A good daydream might start with a dog chasing a cat and end up with a cure for the common cold.
You never know where your mind will lead you. And so, here we are thinking of medical discoveries, though we started with Sherlock Holmes.
Holmes thought like that.
• Mike McLellan can be contacted by calling and leaving a message at 830-4231 or emailing him at DrMikeM@sbcglobal.net.