Monday, 11 July 2016

THEY CALLED HIM 'RAGS' - EDMUND VANCE COOKE...

                                           

                                            We called him 'Rags'.  He was just a cur,
                                            But twice, on the Western Line,
                                            That little old bunch of faithful fur
                                            Had offered his life for mine.

                                            And all that he got was bones and bread,
                                            Or the leavings of soldier grub,
                                            But he'd give his heart for a pat on the head,
                                            Or a friendly tickle and rub.

                                            And Rags got home with the regiment,
                                            And then, in the breaking away -
                                            Well, whether they stole him, or whether he went,
                                            I am not prepared to say.

                                            But we mustered out, some to beer and gruel,
                                            And some to sherry and shad,
                                            And I went back to the Sawbones School,
                                            Where I still was an undergrad.

                                            One day they took us budding M.D.s
                                            To one of those institutes
                                            Where they demonstrate every new disease
                                            By means of bisected brutes.

                                            They had one animal tacked and tied
                                            And slit like a full-dressed fish,
                                            With his vitals pumping away inside
                                            As pleasant as one might wish.

                                            I stopped to look like the rest, of course,
                                            And the beast's eyes levelled mine;
                                            His short tail thumped with a feeble force,
                                            And he uttered a tender whine.

                                            It was Rags, yes, Rags! who was martyred there,
                                            Who was quartered and crucified,
                                            And he whined that whine which is doggish prayer
                                            And he licked my hand - and died.

                                             And I was no better in part nor whole
                                             Than the gang I was found among,
                                             And his innocent blood was on the soul
                                             Which he blessed with his dying tongue.

                                             Well I've seen men go to courageous death
                                             In the air, on sea, on land!
                                             But only a dog would spend his breath
                                             In a kiss for his murderer's hand.

                                             And if there's no heaven for love like that,
                                             For such four-legged fealty - well!
                                             If I have any choice, I tell you flat,
                                             I'll take my chance in hell.

8 comments:

Mark Carter said...

Are you drumming up work for the Samaritans by any chance??

Kid said...

Just adding a bit of 'culture' to the blog. (Not the kind you find on a microscope slide.)

Colin Jones said...

My father was bitten by next door's dog and my mother was nearly attacked by an Alsatian - luckily the owner was there to stop it. Not all dogs are sweet and cuddly.

Kid said...

Who said they were, CJ? (Not all humans are sweet and cuddly either.) Rags was 'though. As was my Alsation/German Shepherd, Zara. She was a big softie, who was friends with a neighbour's cat called Lucky.

DeadSpiderEye said...

That's one for the kiddies, I wonder how that'd go down at the birthday parties after the jelly and magic tricks?

BTW all dogs are cute and cuddly, they you go someone's said it now.

Kid said...

Hey, that'd be an interesting experiment, DSE. Set it up when you can and let me know the result. Another interesting experiment would be to put you and CJ in a room together to argue whether all dogs are cute and cuddly or not. Ding, ding - round one...

Mike said...

I so agree...if there are no dogs in heaven, or if my Macy is not coming too, neither am I.

Kid said...

Heaven wouldn't be Heaven if pets weren't allowed. In fact, maybe Earth would be Heaven if it weren't for us humans.

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