#WritePhoto ‘Lucky!’ #FlashFiction #101words

The following Tanka was written in response to Sue Vincent’s weekly photo prompt. Join in or read other entries here!

Alice’s Lucky Day

Alice wasn’t enjoying the picnic.
Her cousins giggled and whispered behind her back until her mother made them include her in their games.
They grumbled and Chelsea said, “Count to a hundred, you’re It!”
Instead of chasing them, Alice wandered to the old stone bridge by the river.
Climbing down between the rocks, she heard a puppy whimpering and scratching its way out of a plastic bag floating in the deep waters.
When she returned, everyone fussed around her, waiting for their turn to hold the puppy.
“She’s called Lucky,” Alice told them, “because I rescued her on my lucky day.”   


Photo from Pixabay

Happy weekend!



#Writespiration #52Words in 52 Weeks @Sacha_Black ‘The Impostor’ #FlashFiction

This week, our challenge is to write 52 words…. EXACTLY, no more, no less from the perspective of an animal.

Isn’t it amazing what can be done with just 52 words? Why not join in Sacha’s challenge?

The Impostor

I can’t imagine why she waves that thing at me.

She squashes me and holds it so close I can see the impostor, the other dog, who sits on her lap while I watch.

She looks happy posing with him.

I don’t like him at all, the smug impostor.

Here she goes again…


Jackie’s not with us any more, but when she was, she was never too fond of photos and was frightened by her own reflection. I wonder if this might be what she thought of my photos and selfies!

#AtoZChallenge ‘D’ #NationalPoetryMonth ‘Dog’s Death’ #NPM17 #amwriting #poem

This year to celebrate National Poetry Month and to take part in the April A-Z Blogging Challenge, I’ll be posting two poems a day, one written by me and another poem written by one of my favourite poets. The title or first word of both poems will begin with the corresponding letter in the Blogging Challenge.

Everyone who’s had a dog knows the intensity of the relationship which develops. We speak to them and even argue with them, hug them, kiss them, feed them, walk with them, cry with them, play and laugh with them, and miss them when they leave us.

Today, I present two poems, which will break your heart, about dogs who have died.

My poem, Farewell, Jacky, is dedicated to my pet dog, Jacky, who disappeared just over a year ago, at the grand old age of sixteen, in the hilly and woody countryside very near my house, and was never seen again. We were all heartbroken for a long time, and I almost shed a tear as I wrote her this poem, which is long overdue.

Farewell, Jacky

If she’d known we were parting,

She’d have said her farewell

With a hop, a lick and a bark,

But she didn’t look back,

Ran straight ahead. She fled

Alone, into the forest. 


I chased torch in hand,

Yet couldn’t keep up.

The night swallowed white curls

My fingers had stroked

Sixteen years. She disappeared

Alone, into the blackness. 


If I’d known we were parting,

I’d have wished her farewell

With a cookie, a hug and a kiss,

But she didn’t look back

When she left me. She departed

Alone, into the darkness.


Jacky’s last Christmas, on the left, and Harpo, my daughter’s dog, by my side.


The second poem, Dog’s Death is by John Updike (1932.2009), American poet, essayist, short-story writer, critic, and novelist. The poem  made me cry the first time I read it almost forty years ago. It has the same effect every time I read it. Updike’s dog is a puppy who is intent on pleasing her owners, even though she’s dying.

Updike wrote about ‘ordinary lives’, routine experiences, which he tried to transform into interesting and thought-provoking events. This poem introduces us to a typical American family with children and a puppy, going about their daily chores while coping with their pet’s sickness and death. Heartbreaking.

Dog’s Death

She must have been kicked unseen or brushed by a car.
Too young to know much, she was beginning to learn
To use the newspapers spread on the kitchen floor
And to win, wetting there, the words, “Good dog! Good dog!”

We thought her shy malaise was a shot reaction.
The autopsy disclosed a rupture in her liver.
As we teased her with play, blood was filling her skin
And her heart was learning to lie down forever.

Monday morning, as the children were noisily fed
And sent to school, she crawled beneath the youngest’s bed.
We found her twisted and limp but still alive.
In the car to the vet’s, on my lap, she tried

To bite my hand and died. I stroked her warm fur
And my wife called in a voice imperious with tears.
Though surrounded by love that would have upheld her,
Nevertheless she sank and, stiffening, disappeared.

Back home, we found that in the night her frame,
Drawing near to dissolution, had endured the shame
Of diarrhoea and had dragged across the floor
To a newspaper carelessly left there.  Good dog.


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