Angus McBride’s Famous Pets
This page is just a bit of fun – it contains a selection of Angus McBride’s series of “famous pets”, which appeared in Finding Out magazines published in the early 1960s.
Most pictures are copies of pages I’ve picked up from the Internet over the years so the quality is a bit patchy, but the illustrations play beautifully with the light, and the anecdotes are often amusing. Enjoy!
→ For more Angus McBride, see his Legendary Beasts series…
→ For more Finding Out artists, see Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone’s series of world folk tales, Greek myths and legends, Arthurian Legends and Robin Hood tales…
Rosetti’s Bull from Finding Out magazine, Volume 13 No 3.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti was a poet and a painter who lived in England in the middle of the 18th century. He made a pet of a rather bad-tempered Indian white bull, which he kept in the back of his house.
Mailie the Ewe from Finding Out magazine, Volume 13 No 6.
Robert Burns was Scotland’s greatest poet. Hi bought a farm, and his favourite animal was a ewe, whom he called Mailie, who followed him everywhere.
The Actor’s Puma from Finding Out magazine, Volume 13 No 9.
Shakespearean actor Edmund Kean had a puma who followed him around like a dog.
The Roman Crow from Finding Out magazine, Volume 14 No 1.
Long ago, in the days of the Roman Empire, a young crow hatched out of its egg on the roof of a temple. He became the pet of a cobbler of Rome, who taught the bird to say a few words, including the names of some of the most important men in the city.
Peacocks for a Princess from Finding Out magazine, Volume 14 No 3.
Here you see a young Mogul princess playing with her pet peacocks and trying to get them to display the gorgeous colours of their tail feathers.
A Greek Dolphin from Finding Out magazine, Volume 14 No 6.
There are stories of the boys of ancient Greece who would take a lift from a passing dolphin in order to get to school on a neighbouring island.
The Emperor’s Elephant from Finding Out magazine, Volume 14 No 7.
The Emperor Charlemagne was gifted an Indian elephan named Abul-Abbas from the Caliph of Baghdad.
The Snake Killer from Finding Out magazine, Volume 14 No 4.
In India, some families keep a mongoose as a working pet and a watchdog against pest intruders, especially the killing of its natural enemy the snake.
Farm-hand Johnnie from Finding Out magazine, Volume 15 No 2.
Johnnie, a ten-year-old Rhesus monket, is a farm labourer owned by a sheep and wheat farmer in Victoria, Australia. He can start and drive a tractor, open and shut gates, and round up sheep.
Rat and Cat from Finding Out magazine, Volume 15 No 4.
A woman living in a cottage in England’s West Country had a rat and a cat for pets that were good friends.
The Man with the Donkey from Finding Out magazine, Volume 15 No 5.
John Simpson Kirkpatrick wan an ANZAC who found a stray donkey at Gallipoli that he used to carry wounded soldiers from the battle are to safety behind the lines.
The King’s Falcon from Finding Out magazine, Volume 15 No 7.
Richard the Lion Heart kept a falcon as a pet that rode on his glove when he joined the Third Crusade in 1191.
Dog of the Mountains from Finding Out magazine, Volume 15 No 8.
In medieval times, the Pyrenean was widely used as a war dog. When Louis XIV of France was Dauphin, he brought one back to guard his chateau and they became very fashionable pets.
Dick Whittington’s Cat from Finding Out magazine, Volume 15 no 9.
Tradition says that Dick Whittington was a poor boy in London when sent his cat to be traded abroad, where a foreign ruler paid a fine price for the animal to clear his palace of mice and rats. This paved the way for his good fortune and ended up with him becoming mayor of London.
Beavers were sometimes kept as house pets by American Indians, helping them transform uncultivated woods into fertile meadows by damming rivers, felling trees and digging canals.
Dog on the Tuckerbox
An Australian drover went to Gundagai and left his dog to guard his provisions in the tuckerbox. He was killed in a brawl, but his dog waited for his master’s return by the tuckerbox until he died.
The Pigeon Winkie
Winkie was a pigeon who won the Dickin Medal in 1943 for assisting in the rescue of an aircrew forced to ditch in the North Sea during the Second World War.