The Dogs' Welcome

A poem by R. C. Lehmann

Hush! We're not a pack of boys
Always bound to make a noise.
True, there's one amongst us, but
He is young;
And, wherever we may take him,
We can generally shut
Such a youngster up and make him
Hold his tongue.

Hush! Most cautiously we go
On the tippest tip of toe.
Are the dogs expecting us
At the gate?
Two, who usually prize us,
Will they jump and make a fuss?
Will they really recognise us
Where they wait?

Hush! I hear the funny pair
Softly whimpering - yes, they're there.
Dane and Pekinese, they scratch
At the wood,
At the solid wood between us;
Duke attempts to lift the latch;
It's a month since they have seen us -
Open! Good!

Down, Duke, down! Enough, enough!
Soo-Ti's screaming; seize his scruff.
Soo-Ti's having fearful fits;
Duke is tearing us to bits.
One will trip us, one will throw us -
But, the darlings, don't they know us!

Then off with a clatter the long dog leapt, and, oh, what a race he ran,
At the hurricane pace of a minute a mile, as only a long dog can.
Into and out of the bushes he pierced like a shooting star;
And now he thundered around us, and now he was whirling far.
And the little dog gazed till he seemed amazed, and then he took to it too;
With shrill notes flung from his pert pink tongue right after his friend he flew;
And the long legs lashed and the short legs flashed and scurried like anything,
While Duke ran round in a circle and Soo-Ti ran in a ring.

And last they hurtled amongst us, and then there were tales to tell,
For all of us seemed to be scattered and torn, and all of us shrieked and fell;
And John, who is plump, got an awful bump, and Helen, who's tall and thin,
Was shot through a shrub and gained in bruise as much as she lost in skin;
And Rosamond's frock was rent in rags, and tattered in strips was Peg's,
And both of them suffered the ninepin fate to the ruin of arms and legs;
And every face was licked by a dog, and battered was every limb,
When Duke ran round in a circle and Soo-Ti ran after him.

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