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A short paper about a dog

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Chapter Summary

This is the story of Claas Holder and of my attempts to understand the circumstances of his lonely death. Claas Holder's death is mentioned only twice in the records left by the Dutch authorities at the Cape. The first entry covers only one page, but it is by far the longest. The second is no more than a scratch in the muster rolls of Drakenstein district. Each year from 1710 to 1713, ?Claas Oudom' was listed as a member of a burgher infantry division led by Captain Abraham de Villiers, but his name was crossed off the list for 1713 and someone had pencilled the word ?dood' in the margin. Leviticus 18:23 provides some insight into why it should be necessary to kill the animal: ?You will not have intercourse with any kind of animal; you would become unclean by doing so.

Keywords: Captain Abraham de Villiers; Claas Holder; Claas Oudom; dog; Drakenstein district; Leviticus



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