Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Only Dogs We Ever "Owned"

by Jim Rapp

The only dogs we ever "owned"
were of the mutt variety;
a little part terrier-type, honed,
(trained) by a part shepherd-type,  mainly
to roust rabbits from their homes
in brush piles or fields left stubbly
where once the picker creaked and groaned.

Daisy, the terrier, flushed the bunnies out
and Shep swiftly ran them down,
deftly snapped their neck and, without
claiming any as his own,
laid them at my brother's feet, no doubt
because he knew they were on loan;
he and Daisy would wait their "pay out."

One foolish bunny thought that he
could outsmart Shep and dash between
the sleeping dog and a pile of debris,
but scent or noise aroused Shep's keen
awareness, and to the bunny's glee
a race was on; a race he'd win initially;
Shep limped homeward, bleeding heavily.

A nail protruding from a board had gashed
his shoulder as he rounded the debris.
For days he lay, fevered and leashed
with Daisy waiting for him, unable to see
why they weren't headed for a cherished
chase, why things were not as they used to be.
And every day the bunny passed unblemished.

And then one day my father ventured out
to see how his patient, Shep, was faring.
What he found brought laughter and a shout;
Shep and Daisy were enjoying lunch – not herring,
but freshly caught and killed bunny; no doubt
the same as caused Shep's painful hemorrhaging.
Now he and Daisy were being "paid out,"

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