Beware of the Dog (short story)

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"Beware of the Dog"
Author Roald Dahl
Country United States
Genre(s) war, adventure
Published in Over to You: Ten Stories of Flyers and Flying
Publication type Short story collection
Publisher Reynal & Hitchcock
Publication date 1946

"Beware of the Dog" is a 1944 World War II story by Roald Dahl which was originally published in Harper's Magazine and later appeared in his Over to You collection. It was made into the movie 36 Hours in 1964.[1]


Peter Williamson, a Spitfire pilot, is flying home injured after he loses a leg to a cannon shell when he begins to feel light-headed, and decides to bail out of his plane just as he starts to pass over the English Channel. He then wakes up in a hospital, his injuries are treated, and is told he is in Brighton. However, he soon begins to notice that the hospital is not quite as it should be. The water is hard, but he remembers from his schooldays that water in Brighton is soft. He also hears the sounds of German Junkers 88s flying overhead, when in Britain the German bombers would be quickly shot down. Finally, he looks out of the window and sees a sign which says 'Garde au Chien'—French for 'Beware of the Dog', and he realizes that he is in France. Shortly after this, the nurse tells him that someone from the Royal Air Force is here to see him. However, knowing he is in German-occupied France, and a prisoner of war, Peter refuses to tell the man anything more than his name, rank and number.


  1. ^ Laurie Collier; Laurie Collier Hillstrom; Joyce Nakamura (1992), Major authors and illustrators for children and young adults, p. 619