In Memory of a Dog I Never Knew

I must have passed the spot a million times
In my boyhood and my youth.
Now in the twilight of my life, the time has come to tell the truth.
This dog, I know not what his name,
Nor have I ever seen,
Lies there in a bed of clay
Beneath that lonely field of green
It might have been a summer’s day
They untied it from it’s kennel home.
It must have thought of freedom in fields of new mown hay,
Oh, why did heaven let it go?
A short while hence, it would no more see the light of day.
Instead they went with rope and spade and also stake and gun,
It must have gone with wagging tail and eyes that brightly shone.
Out there was a world of light that it did seldom see,
It must have stepped out joyfully with little yelps of glee.
They took it off to Beak’s old field, next to Daniel’s well,
Found there their chosen spot, it’s lonesome place of hell.
Here it was they drove the stake,
With spade they dug the hole,
Then with rope, the dog was tied
To the unforgiving pole.
Then with gun, or maybe two,
The assassins took their aim.
One wonders what went through their minds
When in the sights there came
Those trusting eyes and tail that wagged
As if it were a game.
They fired, Then silence? I can but hope.
It fell into the hole, convenient at the side
All that was left for them to do was cover it with clay.
The task was done, the day well spent,
The poor unfortunate creature had been no us to them.
It asked of life a day of play, of love and happiness.
Quite useless to their trade, they locked it in a shed,
A hunting, shooting pair required a working dog no less.
And now my story is complete.
There is nothing left to say.
I knew the assassins oh so well
But name no names today.
I feel ashamed and bear some guilt
That as a boy, I ate his fare, fruit of that very gun,
It was an important source of food
In world of war and hate.
Yes still I feel a sense of shame as I reach the gate
That leads to Daniel’s Well.
And as I walk through Beak’s old field
With my contented two
I wonder where it’s grave may be.
To pay my respect and cast a tear
For the dog I never knew.

Brian Neal – c1990s

21 October, 2017
All images and written works by David Forward are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License