Sunskriti’s Animal Character Exploration: Buster from the Five Find-Outers Series


By Sunskriti, age 10.

You might wonder why I haven’t chosen Timmy for my first blog post. The reason is simple, while Timmy seems an extremely intelligent dog; Buster is an excited little Scottie who often stumbles upon the right clues just by chance. This seems more natural to me, somehow, than good old Timmy. Of course, I’ll be writing soon about Timmy for the blog. For now though let’s focus on Buster.

Buster seems still like a little puppy. He is overly excitable, and loves his master more than anything. Buster wouldn’t live without Fatty if he was paid to. In The Mystery of the Invisible Thief, we see Buster as a sad little puppy when Fatty is downcast. This shows the bond of emotions between dog and master. Also Buster is shown to frequently dance around snapping at Mr Goon’s ankles and basically annoy him. I think that the reason he does this might be that Buster knows Mr Goon detests Fatty and vice-versa. As well as not liking Goon himself he probably wants to please Fatty by annoying Mr Goon. Mr Goon tries to get Buster into serious trouble by blaming him for killing sheep in The Mystery of Holly Lane. This shows that Mr Goon doesn’t like Buster either, trying to blame him for something he doesn’t do.

Buster annoying Goon on the front cover of “The Mystery of the Invisible Thief”, drawn by Jean Main.

The Five Find-Outers Series is a series with suspenseful yet humour filled mysteries that a group of children solve, largely thanks to Fatty, their intelligent and big-headed leader. Most of the time the Five Find-Outers and Dog are not in dangerous situations needing their brawn, but their brains are needed quite a lot to solve the mysteries they stumble upon. Buster rarely barks or growls at the villains, giving the children time to run, but he is quite useful in sniffing out clues! Like turps, yuck! In The Mystery of the Disappearing Cat, little Bets sniffs out the smell of turpentine in the cats’ cage, and Fatty thinks it might be a clue. Indeed, it does turn out to be, but I won’t disclose how! The Find-Outers wouldn’t have been able to crack the case if it wasn’t for old Buster, as he sniffs out the bottle of turps and a few other essential clues too.

I wouldn’t classify Buster as ‘intelligent’ that would be Timmy. In her stories, Enid Blyton sketches this little Scottie’s nature beautifully. At times, we see him as someone who accidentally gives away things, affecting the Find-Outers badly. For example, in The Mystery of the Secret Room, while Larry, Daisy, Bets and Pip are snooping around a house, Mr Goon happens to sail by on his bicycle. The children hide in bushes, hoping he’ll go right past. But Buster, who is on guard outside, gives the game away by barking at the policeman. He then comes to investigate which sets him on the track of a mystery the children themselves are trying to solve. But at times he proves useful finding things with his doggy-sense that the Find-Outers wouldn’t have otherwise found. The children don’t have quite as good noses, though Bets might have come quite close in The Mystery of the Disappearing Cat.

When Buster does something wrong, Enid Blyton makes us feel sad for him, and we yearn to comfort him. Though he isn’t as praised as the popular Timmy, Buster is an important character in the series, and readers feel for him.

Basically, I would sum up Buster as a lovable little Scottie who loves his master and is loyal towards him. He doesn’t have much of an intelligent brain, but he proves useful in mysteries, and is an active member of the group. Lovable and excitable he is happy just where he is, surrounded by people who love him. I can’t imagine this innocent creature any other way!

Buster presents a clue in “The Mystery of the Strange Bundle” illustrated by Treyer Evans, Buster and the Find-Outers in “The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage”, illustrated by Joseph Abbey and Buster chases a Tramp in “The Mystery of the Missing Man” illustrated by Lillian Buchanan.

You can click on any of the images to see them larger. All images are taken from the ‘Cave of Books’ at http://www.enidblytonsociety.co.uk.

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3 Responses to Sunskriti’s Animal Character Exploration: Buster from the Five Find-Outers Series

  1. momo1954 says:

    Great work Darrel and beautifully described,the way you described Buster reminded me of the movie ” Greyfriars Bobby” a loyal little doggy!!

    Like

  2. Sarah (Spitfire) says:

    Sunskriti, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog. I think you have summed up Enid’s portrayal of Buster just right. He’s much more dog-like than Timmy, who – though wonderful – is almost too good to be true. Buster seems more real, somehow, and that makes him especially loveable.

    Good work – looking foward to your next blog!

    Like

  3. Buster is the most lovable dog ever. He is cute, smart and lively. His loyalty to Fatty is touching as he makes his masters friends his own and does likewise with his masters enemies. The way he annoys Mr. Goon, nips his ankles is simply wondeful. He is also very goodmannered and friendly. One just does not like to punish him for anything as he is so sweet and looks even sweeter when he is made to go in a corner for his little wrong doings or is deprived of anything. The guilty look he gives out when caught in some mischief is priceless. The Five Find Outers and Dog series woulf not be the same without Buster who is as much a Find Outer as any of the others. I just love Buster and though I do not have a dog and have never had one, my soft toy dog is named BUSTER. I am 74 years old. I sometimes fret wondering who will look after my toy dog Buster after I am gone.

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