“You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed.”
from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince
Though he yapped and whined,
I still loved him so.
He was my dear friend.
He'd turned old and blind
when we let him go.
How can my heart mend?
Written 10/15/14 by Andrea Dietrich
For the Design Your Tableau Contest of nette onclaud
THEY WOULD NOT BE FUSSY
AND TALK BACK YOU SEE.
SIT BRAVE AND LOYAL NOT
TRY TO RUN AND HIDE. AND
MY SIDE. BUT
MAYBE HIDE YOUR CLOGS
AND IF CHILDREN WERE PUPPIES, THEN WE’D ALL BE DOGS!
Written by Brenda Meier-Hans
Ballad of a hero.
There was a man, he had a dog
A Rotty, Broad and tall
With shiny fur and healthy eyes
Oh, he was beautiful
No matter where the good man went
The dog was sure to follow
They often went down to the river
And sat in a little hollow.
One day the man, he slipped and fell
He was swept off by the river
The poor man he had never swam
But the dog, he did decipher
That his master, he was drowning
He knew what he must do
He’d save the man he dearly loved
He jumped in the river too.
This dog called Bear, swam to the man
Who, was just about to drown
He grabbed the man’s coat in his jaws
As he was going down
With Dan, our man hugging his neck
Bear swam him back to shore
Then laid there tired, and panting too
Hero, was he, for sure.
Our Bear became a legend, then
Of this little country town
And everyone did make of him
A dog of much renown
They made up songs about the dog
Spoiled him in every way
So like a king, old Bear he lived
Until his dying day.
18 February 2014 @ 1440hrs.
Bob had been a lonely man ever since
His wife of fifty years had passed.
“Lord, let me join her.” he would pray.
“Let this day be my last.”
Each day, he went to the cemetery,
Just a short walk down the street.
After their talk, he would water her flowers
And hear passers-by whisper, “How sweet.”
One gray and misty morning,
He had hoped for sunnier skies
To plant fall bloomers at her graveside;
But, there, to his surprise…
Stood an old dog beside her stone;
Thin and dirty, but he struck a handsome pose.
He whined as Bob approached, as if to say,
“I could use a friend, you know.”
He sat calmly as Bob planted flowers,
Carefully sniffing each one Bob put in place.
Then, after the last one was planted,
He sniffed it; then turned and licked Bob’s face.
Bob smiled. “I had a dog when I was young…
Pal…he was a mighty good one too.
So, if you don’t mind old fella,
That’s what I’ll call you.”
Pal may have been an old dog,
But he was smart and handsome in his way;
So they made a deal, Bob would give him a meal
And a bath, if he decided to stay.
Pal loved his bath, then rolled in the grass.
He slept on a blanket in the den.
In the night, he dragged it next to Bob’s bed.
He intended to be Bob’s best friend.
Pal was such a good dog, housebroken too;
Never made a mess or got in trouble.
He knew about newspapers, slippers and Frisbees;
And when Bob called, he ‘d come on the double.
Yes, Pal gave Bob’s life new purpose.
A special bond of friendship was cast.
And never again did Bob pray,
“Lord, let this day be my last.”
For twelve years, the very best of friends,
Together night and day;
And so it was, until one night,
Bob quietly passed away.
The next morning, an old woman,
Tears welling in her sad and lonely eyes,
Brought flowers to her husband’s grave;
But there, to her surprise….
Stood an old dog beside the grave,
Thin an dirty, but he struck a handsome pose.
He whined as she approached, as if to say,
“I could use a friend, you know.”
He sat calmly as she took old flowers
And put fresh ones in their place.
He carefully sniffed the fresh ones,
Then turned and licked her face.
She smiled. “I had a dog when I was young….
a good one too. His name was Pal.”
Who would believe your slim elegant body would win my affection,
when you gracelessly step on toes? Your soft doe skin of cream
spotted brown, floppy ears I threaten to turn into gloves as a joke.
Through many chain jangle calls for walks where you race and lunge
and bark fighting for the right to be with me, how could I turn you away?
When you almost die I am ready to give you away to death, hating the sick
green puke, you become skinnier despite the surgery until finally
one simple shot brings you back to us alive, slurping our hands and faces.
Busy days of science and humanities and government tucked up in a chair,
I forgot you, but you begged let me even eat your apple. let me sit in your lap
but you’re so big now you don’t fit and don't like apple. Chocolate chips cookies, though, a whole batch scarfed from the table and then you wiggle and wag tail,
snarl, your teeth clenched when I offer just one more. We all know who is guilty,
not you, your innocence, your steadfast defense, says it is our family who has forgot.
Finally, it is too late. You hurt too bad, spine enflamed, barely able to walk
or eat. Tomorrow your last day. I pick up the chain, you race happy to join me
down the row of maples losing their last autumn leaves, where my brother and I lead you plodding like an old man, stopping to breathe, and I see stars in my eyes,
saying goodbye. Goodbye to the lady of our family, the Dalmatian Duchess
who loved us best, walked beside us through our childhood days like a guardian.
I know a little dog.
His name is Smilin’ Jack.
He is white all over,
But his right eye… it is black.
For sure, he’s not a big dog;
But much more than a mite.
He’s very sweet; but, for a friend,
He won’t hesitate to stand and fight.
And you should see him in the park
Where all the children play…
So much love for one pup to give
Each and every day.
He has such a personality,
Like no dog I’ve ever known;
But I’ve not seen him for several days,
And I’m afraid he’s gone.
Smilin’ Jack, he has no master;
Tho’ I count him my best friend.
I’m so concerned he may have met
His untimely end.
So, I walk the streets and call,
“Smilin’ Jack, where can you be?
I need to see your happy face
Smilin’ back at me”.
I turn and look at every bark.
I’m alert to every cry.
The thought of losin’ Smilin’ Jack
Brings tears to my eyes.
Oh, my lonely heart is heavy.
It’s rainin’ now, the sky is black.
I’m hopin’ that he’ll be alright
And prayin’ he’ll come back.
As I trudge the squeaky stairs
Up to my lonely flat,
I hear a bit of sympathy
In the meows of my neighbor’s cat.
My door is shadowed by my gloom,
But there stands Smilin’ Jack.
He's wet and cold and now I'm cryin’.
My best friend has come back.
the father sees a neighbor
screaming with child as she runs
out the front door to shelter
he hustles his own to shelter
and turns to see other neighbors
with their two dogs come running behind
the shelter's too small to hold everyone,
the father says climb in but we can't fit the dogs
the neighbors hesitate - then pull the dogs
back to their house as father shuts shelter door
in a few seconds jets and trains and
bombs overhead shiver into steel and
time stops or stretches to infinity
as flotsam shoots through cracks
father opens shelter door sure he will
witness haunting fears he knows
and runs to the pile that was
minutes ago, the neighbors house
throwing pieces of piles aside
he digs to the small space that
two hundred and ten miles per hour
had enclosed to free friends and dogs
both men shudder at their fortunes
the father, immensely glad to not
have to bear witness and grief,
the owner, who couldn't
do that to his beloved dogs
© Goode Guy 2013-12-26
The Ballad of Tich Tomas
A dog was howling in the night
Perhaps she knew the truth
That Tich would not be coming home
This dog needed no proof
That the man who she loved so
He’d come to her no more
Because Lance corporal Thomas was
A victim of the war.
Now Tich, he was a country boy
His farm it was his life
A boon to his community
He’d give in times of strife
He learned his trade in farming school
With honours he’d come through
Then settled down to work his farm
That’s what he planned to do.
But then, one day it came to him
The news he did not need
He’d been called up for army life
He went off without heed
To do his time in Puckapunyal
To get him set for war
He soon made it as Infanteer
So he joined a fighting corp
He worked real hard and gained a stripe
This showed he had potential
He earned his skills in jungle fighting
And then there came the call
For he to go to Vietnam
To five RAR he was sent
Charlie company was his unit
When off to war he went
It was in April sixty six
Our man went into battle
There in the Phuc Tuy provence
Those guns did roar and rattle
Our Tich he fought real gallantly
So brave was he, but then
The shrapnel done it’s evil job
He joined the fallen men.
They brought his body back to those
Who were waiting for him there
The whole town came to welcome him
And helped with grief and prayer
They buried him with all the honours
That came to fighting souls
Who died to keep their country free
Courageous in their roles.
More honour it was placed on him
By the country where he’d fought
They built a statue in his name
And his likeness it was caught
By the sculptor who did honour him
And carve him into stone
And now Tich Tomas guards the park
As he stands there all alone.
If you’re ever down in Nannup town
Go to the park that’s there
You’ll see the statue of young Tich
As his spirit everywhere
Will fill the souls of those who see
This fighting man, so brave
Who’s body lies so peacefully
In his own town, in a grave.
Such a nose had Ol’ Blue.
Best in south Missouri... everybody knew.
Could smell a pheasant across the plain.
Could point a covey in a hurricane.
That’s the way the legend goes.
Ol’ Blue had a “magic nose.”
As Blue got older, his master’s mind would drift away
To a place where he and young Blue used to play.
In the mornings, sitting over his coffee cup
He found it sad there were no pups.
He thought it would be such a shame
If the only memory was Ol’ Blue’s name.
So, Jim was compelled and full of pride;
He made a search, far and wide,
To find Ol’ Blue a suitable mate.
No doubt, his offspring would be great.
It seemed likely, he supposed,
At least one pup would have his “magic nose.”
She was a Champion Miss from New Orleans,
A beautiful “red” named Cajun Queen.
But Blue suddenly passed away, before the pups were born.
Jim was broken hearted. He and “Queenie” mourned.
Then came the litter, but there was only one.
Jim struggled for hope; after all, he was Ol’ Blue’s son.
Dappled and lanky, a handsome little cuss,
He looked just like Blue. Jim made such a fuss.
Naming this pup would require no ado.
It was obvious. Officially, he would be “Blue Two.”
Oh yes, these were mighty large tracks to fill.
“Can he?”, folks asked. Jim would say, “Heck yes he will!”
So his nickname became “Two” and he seemed to be smart.
Soon it was time for his training to start.
The basics went well, but Jim’s outlook grew very dim
When, instead of pointing, Two would wag and jump and bark at him.
Oh, Two seemed to be trying; but try as he might,
He just could not seem to ever get it right.
“Blue’s son or not, he’s got to go!”
Jim found Two a “pet home” far away, in Tupelo.
On his way back, he stopped in Texarkana.
Been too long a time since he’d seen his sister Hannah.
Six days and six pounds later, he was back on his way.
Work at the farm was callin’ and he’d be drivin’ all day.
He thought about Ol’ Blue and wondered if and when
He’d ever have a birddog as good as Blue again.
Oh, he knew another “magic nose” was just a far off dream;
After all, it wasn’t something any man could scheme.
A “magic nose” was a gift from God, only given to a few;
And he was proud and very lucky just to have known Ol’ Blue.
As he turned into his drive, he broke into a smile.
“Why… I can’t believe it! It…It must be 300 miles!”
Two was on the porch, thin and dirty; but he struck a handsome pose.
Jim ran and hugged Two hard. “How’d you get back? Lord only knows!”
Suddenly Jim realized; and struck with awe, he slowly rose.
A tear trickled to his smile. “Why Two… you have a “magic nose!”
Two and Jim are best of friends, together everywhere.
From milkin’ cows to bedtime, Two is always there.
Jim doesn’t hunt much anymore, now Two’s a rescue dog.
Just last month, he saved a little girl lost in Cooley’s Bog.
Jim struts and tells proud, heroic stories;
While Two wags and jumps and barks, and shares his glory.
Jim boasts, “Like father, like son!”, then speaks fondly of Blue;
But all know the largest tracks to fill are those of Two.
His deeds are known far and wide,
And fill Jim’s heart with love and pride.
For with every rescue, the legend grows;
About a dog named Two, and his “magic nose.”
A green sweaty swampy land
Maybe no place for a man
But it is a home to many creatures
Such as our friend's the alligators
Now not so long ago,
In their steamy mysterious habitat
There was a fog so dim it almost made it black
and it had large limb's that hung low on the trees
And each slim blade of grass went an inch above your knees
All gators that lived here
seemed to be very ornary and mean
And it was considered ordinary
To attack their peers With bone crushing teeth
One could ask,
Why are they so mad?
But it's not their fault
It's just the way they were taught how to act
Ever since their speckled eggs hatched
And learned how to make their jaws snap
However, not all gators were like this
There was one who was filled with happiness
He wore a blue hat and a bright orange shirt
Everyone reluctantly called him Albert
Because Albert happened to be completely different
All the other gators kept him at an arm's distance
They called him names and spat in his face
But his joy just never seemed to fade
See Albert had a huge dream
His dream was to be with the humans
As they yelled and screamed
For the local school's winning football team
Out of nothing but sheer excitement,
Albert shared this with the others
But they all laughed even his brothers
So Albert decided right then
to not care about what anyone said
And to pursue his only dream
No matter how long or tough it may be
The next day Albert left that dreary swamp
On mission to prove the nay-sayers wrong
And when he left that dim fog grew so dark
You could not see or hear a big dog's bark
So he made his way to the nearby school
Where he saw not no one, not a single soul
Every building was empty
From the top to bottom floor
The all of a sudden, Albert heard a thundering roar
"Romp!, Stomp!, Chomp!, Welcome to the Swamp!"
He rushed to the football stadium
Where he was met with open arms
He finally felt accepted, safe from abuse and harm
So with his new friends, he rose up in exultation
His life was anew, he was the love of Swamp Nation