Near to the Portland Bill lighthouse there is a hole close to the cliff edge called Cave Hole. During extreme stormy weather, it is advisable to keep well away from it as this is the lair of the dreaded Roy Dog! This animal is described as a shaggy black dog, as high as a man, with large fiery eyes, one green, one red, and entwined in his mane of dark fur can be seen the freshly plucked eyes of his victims. It is said that the creature emerges from the watery depths to seize any traveller passing by Cave Hole, and drags them down into his dark watery domain.
“It was larger than a mortal dog
With sharp fangs eager to rip and tear
Flaming eyes, one red, one green
And a black coat beyond compare.”
This is the retelling of a story as it came to me from the writings of Skylark Durston, great Stone Mason and one of the Mason Poets of Portland, Dorset.
Two friends had joined the Lighthouse keeper after work one evening for a spot of fishing near the Bill. This was a regular thing, they rarely caught anything but enjoyed the peace and quiet just the same, downing bottles of beer and watching the sun dipping down into the sea. On this particular occasion, dusk hung in the air and it would be soon time for the light to be lit so the two friends, who lived further up the Isle, started on their way back to their wives, leaving the keeper to spend a few more moments alone with the evening before he had to scale the lighthouse steps. As they continued on their way, the world slowly faded into gloom, their wives would no doubt be at them for their lateness.
One of them peered into the dark and spotted lights moving their way, two glowing forms, one red, and one green. He paused. He had heard of these things, but never imagined that he would witness it, suddenly he dragged his friend behind a bush. The lights were the eyes of a creature, " bigger than a dog fox, smaller than a cow."
A dark mass of fur and muscle lumbering across the land. Yet it stumbled, paused, hobbled as though in pain The two friends held their breath and watched in fear as the creature could be seen, taking water from a pool and licking a ragged paw. For one horrible moment, they genuinely believed that those orbs would turn their way, and they knew they would be lost, then the creature moved on into the night, limping as it went.
/One friend looked to the other. "Did you see it?" "Ey," came the reply. "Did you see the eyes, my friend, did you see those dead men's eyes woven into its shaggy mane?" "Ey, I saw them, staring back at me. But I have a thought of dread. I've a thought to our friend back at the Bill for it is from that way, the beast has come." They looked at each other briefly and turned and ran, through the night, stumbling and tumbling toward the darkness of the Bill, where, even now the light should be spanning the skies. Among the rocks, near where they had been fishing, the keeper lay, stone cold dead, dry as a bone, his line still swaying from the movement of the waters where it hung down. One man looked into the face of the dead man and saw terror; the other started to drag the line from the water. On it's end, a lump of stuff, and the claw of a huge hound.