the novels opening scene
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The narrator describes how, at seven minutes after midnight, he sees a dog 'lying on the grass in the middle of the lawn in front of Mrs Shears' house.' He sees that it is lying on its side, and that it has a garden fork sticking out of it. He wonders who could have killed it.
It is very interesting that from the outset Christopher is interested in understanding peoples’ moods, and that the novel starts by him feeling comfortable with understanding a dog’s mood. Beginning with a dead dog tells us something about Christopher’s loneliness and inability to communicate with the outside world.