Sitting underneath the street sign is the national animal of Malta, a Pharaoh hound (kelb tal-fenek, literally: rabbit[-hunting] dog) (unfired, coloured liquid clay, 23x7x16cm). Via Egypt, these regal dogs came with the Phoenicians to their colony in Malta around 800BC (for Phoenicia read Box back, 4♦ and 2♥) and then went feral roaming the countryside for millennia feeding on wild rabbits (→4♠). The canine breed has a naturally occurring whitish ♦ on its chest, pointy ears and reddish fur. Viewed together, as with the opening 2 of this sparkling suit, the closing card also alludes to the republic’s flag. At the start and the finish, this precious suit is well protected.
Half upright and with alertly pricked ears, the guard dog is watching over all the ♦s, herded them in like the Ace♠ tucked in hers, and the upper half of the set is safe. She is the first to get wind of and spot the next suit coming into view, therefore she is left-turned.