A languid, sultry Sunday afternoon, the family relaxes after a chaotic week. Some nap, some read, a few bright ones toil over homework. When out of the blue, from the front porch, the sound of a man in distress.
We all thought the gigantic magnolia had at last fallen onto the barn and annihilated it, or worse, my spanking new car.
Perchance the greenhouse was being consumed by flames?
Possibly the breadwinner was out of smokes, heaven forbid.
But no, nothing as horrifying as that.
Hector had been one busy dog.
Hector viewing his 'handiwork'.
There were two orchids on the front step, sunning themselves after a bath of fresh rainwater. The second orchid has yet to be found, is missing and presumed dead.
(Changed ever so slightly from 'Dharma' a poem By Billy Collins)
The way the dog trots out the front door
without a hat or an umbrella,
without any money
or the keys to ‘his’ doghouse
never fails to fill the saucer of my heart
with milky admiration.
Who provides a finer example
of a life without encumbrance—
Thoreau in his curtainless hut
with a single plate, a single spoon?
Gandhi with his staff and his holy diapers?
Off he goes into the material world
with nothing but his black coat
and his modest red collar,
following only his wet nose,
the twin portals of his steady breathing,
followed only by the plume of his tail.
If only he did not shove the cat aside
and eat all his food
what a model of self-containment he
what a paragon of earthly detachment.
If only he were not so eager
for a rub behind the ears,
so acrobatic in his welcomes,
if only I were not his god.