Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Desperate Hound

image borrowed from bing

The Desperate Hound

Try not to be influenced by other’s opinions, because
too often it is tragedy that mantles the temptations of
this world.”--Sneaky.

Max was getting old,
just another useless Labrador Retriever
forced to retire, no longer able
to go bird hunting with the Master.

One morning Max was lying 
on the back porch talking 
with Slick & Sneaky, 
a pair of Siamese cats.

Max: I’m really troubled by my infirmities, &
I must find a way to feel better.

Slick: I hear you, old fellow. It must be painful
to have the grouse & quail, the ducks & geese
taunting you.

Sneaky: You were once a prince among retrievers,
& now the Master is training Molly, your silly
Labradoodle daughter to hunt with him.

Max: Who could have guessed that a one night stand
with Colette would turn out this way?

Slick: Life can be cruel, for sure. Every bird in this area
makes fun of you--you should hear some of the things
they call you.

Max stood up, & shook himself, his ears flapping
& his collar jangling:
--Believe me, I have heard them, & it gives me fits
& nightmares.

Sneaky: So, what can you do about it?

Max: I have a plan.

Slick: Oh, tell us all about it, maybe we can help.

Sneaky: Yes, Maxie, what’s up?

Max sat back on his haunches, & pointed
over at the long whitewashed chicken house.
--Those wild birds are now too fast & feisty, 
but those dumb chickens would be easy pickings.

Sneaky: Bad idea, old boy, those tame fowl are
the Master’s pride--not only do they provide tubs
full of eggs daily, they also win him blue ribbons
every year at the State Fair.

Max: I just don’t care any more. I need to taste
bird in my mouth, to spit out wet feathers, to suck
a mess of eggs.

Sneaky: Are you talking about just being an egg raider,
or actually killing some chickens?

Max: Both.

Slick: Wow, that’s heavy, man--when were you planning
on doing the dirty deed?

Max: This very night.

Sneaky: What makes you think you could get away with it?

Max: I have seen Fritz, the fox, hanging around again--I’m
sure he’ll get the blame.,

Slick: Now that is smart! Can I come too?

Sneaky: Please, Slick, don’t get involved in this
dangerous folly.

Max: Come to think of it, I could use some help--
you could jump through a window & unlatch the door
for me; that would be cool.

Slick: I could easily do that. Count me in--I’m down
for this caper.

Sadly, Max & Slick did get into the chicken house that night.
Max leaped upon some plump hens, and tore them to pieces,
while Slick kept Ralph the rooster at bay.

Help, help, oh someone help us, Max is killing our sisters;
came the loud squawks. 

Max did not stop once the murderous mayhem
began, he went into a killing frenzy, mesmerized
by the dark deed--slaying dozens more of the
helpless poultry, and it made him feel glorious.

Just then the Master appeared in the open doorway
with a bright lantern in one hand & a shotgun in the other.

Max stopped his terrible tirade, looking up at the Master
with pitiful sad eyes, his muzzle smeared with blood.

Sneaky was outside standing on a tractor when he heard
two deafening blasts--the first shot like the bang of Thor’s
hammer, followed by Max’s piercing dying yelp, & the second
shot that thundered out across the barn yard.

Slick had miraculously escaped, but he never returned to
the farm--spent the rest of his life as a feral cat out in the
forest. Sneaky had heard from Sid the squirrel that a badger
had killed him last winter. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets Poetics

Would you like to hear the author read this Fable Poem to you?


brudberg said...

Ah.. love the take here.. I think there's a strong moral here, I think he could have been a loved old hound for his master... but his pride rose to his head... really sad. I thought the cat would be sly enough to turn into an innocent bystander.

Mary said...

Oh, this is a sad fable, Glenn. Hopefully the moral is not that the old and infirm will turn murderous. If only he had allowed himself to be a lap dog or sit by the fire & enjoy his last years in peace!

Anonymous said...

Glenn it's so tragic. An interesting thought but so tragic for the dog. >KB

Anonymous said...

Sneaky is one smart Siamese (that epigraph is stunningly apt), and Slick plays the archetypal part of Loki setting up Max for a fall. (One which, as co-conspirator, sets him up for his own). Pride and peer pressure and folly mid the fowls is poured out by the bucket here -- a perfect fable. Stellar stuff. The storyline was both archetypal and wholly unique.

avalon said...

How I loved hearing you tell that story. What imagination you've got. One could really anthropomorphize that even further and think of gold watch time and the sadness that causes many people.

Scarlet said...

Very creative take Glenn ~ He got what he deserved though sad for that ending ~ Would it be better if he was just contended to just fade away as the way of old dogs ~ Excellent take on the prompt ~

Brian Miller said...

everyone is dead in the end...i like the almost footnote of the badger taking him...really well spun sir, not content e reached beyond and not only met death himself, but for his master as well....

kaykuala said...

It could have been nice and well. But some are just too foolish with uneasy pride. It can end up in untold damage on innocents in fact! Great write Glenn!


Anonymous said...

wow. supple yet brutal. sort of an dark alternative universe Disney, here, Glenn ~

vivinfrance said...

My reading of this allegory is that when we get old and feeble (like me) we should have one last glorious fling and go out with a bang!

Claudia said...

oh heck... desperation or the feel of being useless or overlooked or made fun of can turn someone into doing terrible things... well penned glenn

lynndiane said...

A violent but worthwhile tale, well told. Your dialogue is aces, Glenn.

Atreyee said...

Wow!What a wonderful take on the prompt Glenn!Loved the moral-if only we could learn our lessons and be content with what we have,rather than running after the unattainable just to stroke our ego,life could be so much better!