It was one of those things. On one of the poetry planting excursions, in a balmy winter period several years ago now, I took my neighbour’s dog with me – a lovely, enthusiastic, black lab. I thought she’d enjoy the hike – especially as an early melt had obliterated much of the track, covering it with calf-high water. I also took a young friend with me – he happened to enjoy water and frogs. I also had my cell on me – normally I turn it off, but I was a bit distracted and forgot.
My young friend set off down the track; the water up to his waist, calling for frogs. I kept one eye on him, as there were deeper sections farther down and I’d need to stop him if he got anywhere near them. The dog set off after him. I put down Jamie Reid’s poem to dig in my backpack for the mallet, and then the phone rang, and I automatically picked it up and turned…and the dog stole the poem.
It was then, of course, a game. The person on the other end of the line wanted nothing significant. I was brief, and hung up, turning off the phone. The young friend was getting closer to the area I didn’t want him in, the dog was now halfway down the track – and then my young friend saw the dog with the poem and chased the dog, the dog chased through the shoulder high (for the dog) water, still carrying the poem — and it was a madcap game for a bit.
Eventually, sodden, I managed to get the poem back. The marine seal had held up admirably, considering. My young friend had found a frog (unbelievably). The dog thought the he was holding a ball above his head and wanted to play. I planted the poem, toothmarks and all. A picture of the poem is here.