Monday, April 20, 2009

Four Footed Rhymes

Do you love you critters as much as I love mine? Here's our dog, Spike, in the center, surrounded clockwise from left to right, by daughters, Fern, Spring, husband, Fred (Wiz), and Jack Russell, Chloe. Lately, to rest my mind from the novel-in-progress, I've been playing with rhymes for my pets. I'm working on a collection of them. I adopted Spike, a handsome black and white Aussie with a Hollywood face, when he was less than a year old, after his owner's house burned down. He was tied outside in the early morning and saved three lives by barking. He's ten years old now and slowing down a bit, but he still has a thing or two to say about the salad spinner, young men jumping off docks, children fighting, my neice, Mindy, River Dancing . . . He loves excitement!

Speaking of salad, lucky me, my husband grows fresh greens all year round in his cold frame and we have salad almost every day. I can't remember when I last bought lettuce. Better yet, he likes to make the salad and his own special, incredibly delicious dressing, which he calls "Black Beauty" because the balsamic vinegar and powdered kelp he uses in it makes it quite dark. (If you'd like the recipe, I might be able to talk him into giving it out. We've talked about marketing it but I'm fairly sure he'll never get around to it.)

Lately we've been eating salads made of raw, tender young dandelion greens. which are absolutely delicious. He also digs and boils the whole plants--a good spring tonic and yummy with a tad of butter and vinegar. The best salad is arugula with toasted pine nuts and grated aged parmesan cheese. Indescribable! The only trouble is I am spoiled for salads at restaurants. I have yet to order one that beats those made by Wiz. And every one starts with a rousing one-dog-alarm when the salad spinner goes into action! Things would be pretty quiet here on Toad Hill without Spike.

I have to explain that the refrain for the following was stolen from something our friend Jim Lucey once told me that his daughter Alison used to say as a tiny girl: "Nevah evah evah evah evah evah evah!" It has a lovely cadence to it and I constantly find myself telling Spike that there was nevah evah evah a better dog then him. Oh, and I forgot to say that he is Spike-number-two, named after the Border Collie I grew up with.


When the flames were licking red and the people were in bed
He sounded the alarm and nobody came to harm!

If the little girls are fighting and there’s scratching and there’s biting
Spikey nips it in the bud before someone spills some blood!

Did you evah know a dog quite as noble and as clevah?
Why, nevah evah evah evah evah evah evah!

When Mindy came in prancing, doing kicks from Riverdancing
Spiky, bolting from his nap, stopped that rumpus in a snap!

It was Chris’s sad mistake, when he leapt into the lake
That he didn’t watch his back and Spikey launched a rear attack!

Did you evah know a dog quite as canny and as clevah?
Why, nevah evah evah evah evah evah evah!

When the dreaded salad spinner whirls and wobbles before dinner
There’s a loyal Aussie waiting to arrest that wild rotating!

And if you have a notion to create a wild commotion
He’s a self-appointed cop who will bark until you stop!

Did you evah know a dog quite as handsome and as clevah?
Why, nevah evah evah evah evah evah evah!

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