By Patricia Furstenberg

Down by the river, down the lane
Runs the dog with a golden mane,
And reds and browns and a leaf or two
Are usually stuck in his fur, it's true.
He's got it all, for he's a busy dog.
The world is his, from the hill’ top down to the logs.
He is the King.

The birds from the orchard, the chicks from the pen,
They all follow him when he runs down the lane.
For crumbs and food bits fall out of his fur
And big, juicy worms jump when he digs in the moor.
The hill and the plane and the pond are his.
Not to take, but to share and give.

Dog landed here one summer afternoon
And that very same evening he got lost and marooned.
Luckily mother duck just waddled by
And called him to follow, the wet, sad, dripping guy.
When they all reached home, under the moon,
It was dark and quite cool.
And Grandma was worried,
But she also had a bone.

Next morning, to thank duck for her rescue operation
Dog brought along bread and apples from the pantry.
And some cornflowers that stuck to his mane
And they all had a feast down the road, by the vast, open plain.
Then they went for a splash
Until dog crawled in the sun where he crashed.

A week went by, a whole week of fun,
Of swimming and splashing and lying in the sun.
A week of waddling after mother duck,
Even chasing a peacock through grass and dust.
Then one evening, a car
Brought mom. It was time to go home.

From the river, first the clatter.
Up the lane, then dust it followed.
Birds and chickens, ducks in tow,
They all came with dog, their king and friend, you know.
And even a peacock, at the back,
Came to say good bye to dog, with a quack.

That's if mother will allow
A bag of dirt into the car.
Of dusty fur, red, golden leaves
And even a few scales of fish.
Can mom resist those beady eyes,
Happy olives in a haystack of fur?

Patricia Furstenberg writes poetry, children’s literature, and historical fiction dipped in Romania’s folklore, where she was born and earned a medical degree. Today she resides in sunny South Africa with her family. To date Furstenberg has published 18 books while her work and articles appeared in various online magazines: Books by Women, Huffington Post UK, Biz Community SA, Secret Attic, Poetry Potion, Masticadores Rumania, and Gobblers Masticadores.

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