Friday, 4 October 2013
Maureen Clifford © The Scribbly Bark Poet
You laughed when you saw him, this tiny wee scrap
of black and white fur edged with straw.
He sat on the grass and he hadn’t a care
for he knew that’s what gardens were for.
He’d dug up the mulch ‘neath the roses of red
and he’d buried there the biggest bone.
So now he sat guarding his dirty great prize
which he’d found and now claimed as his own.
On the wooden verandah where everyone left
their work boots, muddy wellies, and shoes,
were some chewed plastic forks, and a moth eaten toy
and a broken strap – all his to choose.
Each one was a treasure and precious to him
though he certainly tried to ignore,
the rag in the bucket along with the mop
used to wipe puddles up from the floor.
He was only a baby and mad as a snake
and quite often he chased his own tail.
Just give me a minute and catch it I will
though he circled to no great avail.
Then he saw up the driveway a big shiny Ute
approaching at ponderous speed.
He was spitting the dummy right there at the fence,
fur erect, though there was no great need.
It was only a neighbour just, coming to call
and hoping to chat for a bit.
And she gave him a scratch and a pat and a treat
which was an immediate hit.
At the back of the house was his Mum’s studio
she was there right now throwing a pot.
With the wheel going round in slow time as she worked
on the clay, placing pattern and dot.
It was time for a break anyway, so they walked
up the path to the old cottage door,
where his treasurers were strewn in a tasteful display
on the worn boards of the timber floor.
He sat there and gazed at her with loving eyes
that were brown and would just melt your heart.
She noted the pair of shoes chewed round the edge
and the broken strap – now torn apart.
She could have gone crook but she’d had pups before
and she knew he’d abandon one day
his wilful destructiveness, once he was working.
It was such a small price to pay.
She gave him a cuddle and rubbed his pink belly
he wriggled and squirmed in great joy
and his little tail wagged when he heard her voice say,
‘Bob you’re Mums really beautiful boy’.
And everything then was just right with his world
Oh it was just as right as could be.
He knew that she loved him and he was secure
this was home – she was his family.
And this story ends happily as some do
and ‘Tuggalong Bob’ became feted
at local dog trials – he was known far and wide
for his genes many a bitch waited.
And the world went full circle and time moved along,
the sun rose, the moon set cross the land.
Bob fathered a litter with Tuggalong Bess
a pregnancy somewhat unplanned.
But each little Pup found a home, fetched good prices,
the demand for these pups was quite keen.
But they kept one, a tiny wee black and white scrap,
who bred true to the Tuggalong gene.