A storoem about a country family in hard times and a wandering dog.
|Their whole family was country.
One day a young dog came around
seeking food. The father bluntly
said, “No food; no place to bed down.”
His wife said, “He’d be nice to keep.”
“We can’t afford another mouth
around. Feeding a dog isn’t cheap,”
he said. “Let him try the next farm south.”
No food or shelter was given.
Yet the dog stayed, present daily.
Numerous times he was driven
from the yard. He frolicked gaily
at the pursuit, quickly returned.
“Fool dog thinks I’m playing with him,”
the man muttered. “He won’t be spurned.”
Then one day the wife on a whim
let their two-year-old daughter pet
the mutt. The dog had found a home!
He lived on table scraps he’d get;
his warm bed meant he’d never roam.
Dog and daughter soon had bonded.
When she was outside, the dog stayed
with her. She’d play; he responded.
Deepening love they both displayed.
Months passed. The dog now earned his way.
Coyotes and foxes were kept
from harming chickens that would stray.
He stood guard; the family slept.
Came one night the father awoke
to loud barking, the house ablaze,
the hallway full of flames and smoke.
Man and wife escaped in a daze.
It hadn’t been possible to reach
their daughter’s room! The dog now raced
inside; they stood, incapable of speech,
all their hope on a dog now placed.
They watched, stomachs tied in a knot.
The dog, his hair aflame, dragged the child
outside. She’d live; the dog did not.
Crying, they hugged the child a while.
Turning to where the dead dog lay,
“He was Heaven-sent!” Both said the same.
This prompted the woman to say,
“I wish we’d given him a name.”
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