Sunday, April 25, 2010


In Spring when the world is full of fresh smells and new critters
And Magic and John and Judith and I go walking
Even before the sun comes up.
And a rabbit goes scurrying across the pathway
In great terror for its life.
And I bark and bark.
And Magic barks and barks.
And all the neighbors wake up and turn on their porch lights,
Admiring our Early Morning Courage.

And late in the afternoon,
Something comes running from under the deck.
And I catch it in my Strong Jaws and give it a shake,
And bring it, triumphally, into the kitchen
To show Judith that I am not just a Very Fast Racer, but, indeed,
A Mighty Hunter....

And Judith, I must add, was rendered speechless and motionless. I have never seen Bingley happier or prouder. He was about to toss the rat into the air, just as he does his stuffed toys. I managed sufficient breath to emit a hoarse "NO!".

Shocked and puzzled, Bingley dropped the rat on the kitchen floor.

I finally managed to call my version of 911--the retired police officer down the block. He was at the market, but his wife arrived, dispatched the rat as I stood frozen, holding Bingley and Magic by their collars.

The next day, the county Rat Man arrived, inspected the property, found no signs of infestation, but left a humane--quick kill--trap which requires no poison that might threaten Bingley and Magic.

Bingley was crushed and wouldn't speak to me for ages. He DID, however, repeatedly investigate the location where he found the rat, ever hopeful that it would return.

He has finally forgiven me, but is still On Alert, whenever he is in the backyard.

Last week, Bingley and Magic also sighted a juvenile coyote on an early morning walk, alerting other sleepy neighbors.

We've had opossums and raccoons in previous years. If there are any around, I can be sure that Bingley will let us know. I just pray to be spared skunks and snakes!

Meanwhile, the resident lizards are still abundant. But Bingley and Magic apparently think they require Bigger Prey.


  1. Bingley is a dog of many talents. But he does lack nuance. He began his poem with the intention of emulating e.e. cummings, but his enthusiasm took over.