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Piddler's Green

A story that needs tellin'.

There's a wide place on the road to Hell where warriors stop to sit a spell.
They wet their whistle and rest a bit before Satan rings the closing bell,
they then ruck up and go to Hell.

This place is called Fiddler’s Green.

Some clever Sergeant built a bar, then stuck the bell inside a jar.
Then working with a clever Warrant, they sucked the air out in a torrent.
No one can hear that cursed bell.

Now warriors never go to Hell.

They rest and wait at Fiddler’s Green, hanging with soldier, sailor, airman, Marine.
They talk shite at the bar, hands low and high, for “There I was about to die…”
Or at the tables, eating pie.

But somehow no one hears the bell, at that wide place on the road to Hell.

On the other side of that road to Hell, there is a green and leafy dell.
It’s reached by a tunnel that goes under the road.

This place is called Piddler’s Green.

Fire hydrants everywhere, lots of toys and the scent of kibble fills the air.
The mice are fat, sassy and slow, always a warrior with a Frisbee to throw.
A knotted rope for tug-of-war and tennis balls by the score,

And always, always a warrior who wants to play, until your own warrior comes, on that sad/glad day.

As most surely he or she will.

No one minds if you cross the path, and take a nap and not a bath.
You can always swipe a scrap from a table, every warrior there's watching sports on cable.
There's ear skritches, face skrunches and bellyrubs aplenty.

Most important –and mark this well – for only you can hear The Bell.
The Bell that rings not for Hell, but the one that rings and makes you yell,
and causes your heart to swell with joy.

The one that says your warrior has come, the one that says you can be at peace.

So my friend who has four feet and is gifted with that special sight,
at that wide space along the road there are two clearings, left and right.
One's a bar, the other a glen, and no one spends a lonely night not knowing if much less when.

For just over there, when the moon is just right, is a place on the corner where you can catch a sight...  of your warrior, asleep at night.

‘Tis the Watching Place.

So you know that they are safe, and if they should stir, oh, just a bit,
it's because a tongue, ever so gently, on their cheek just alit.


             -John Donovan, with a liberal sprinkling of Bill Tuttle.

18 Comments

*woooooooooof*   from da best *sluuuuuurper* in the world.  (My mum says so.....)

Thanks for this one.
 

 Damn, fellahs.  That's good.

  I miss having a dog. Hell, I miss my own dog Gabby. He was a mix of Black Labrador & Cocker Spaniel. Beautiful, glossy black curly fur with a patch of whiye under his chin that extended down to his chest.  Lovely dog and the best friend this old sailor ever had. He was a warrior at heart, too, at least a sheepdog because he was always ready to defend the family.  Never strayed off the property unless someone was with him.

  But yeah, I'll see him again. Thanks for that poem. It's a good reading for a sunday.

   V/R
 
Damn dust!
 
sigh.
 
I'm with Tim (AW1),  I miss having a wet-nosed quadruped in my abode.
 
Butler the Wonder Dog went to Piddlers' Green about a month ago.  He was fourteen years and could no longer stand up.  My 22-year old son and I took him to the Vet's office and we pet him and talked to him as the sleep shot took effect.

He was the best dispositioned dog I'd ever known, but he would defend his family with bright sharp fangs.  We keep his ashes in an urn on a bookcase overlooking his favorite space on the rug.

Never thought I'd miss him this much.  I hope I make the cut to see him again in that next world.
 
Wow,....Thanks, uplifiting an poetic :)
Jerry
 
MajMIke - ya shoulda said something - you know we always howl the 4 foots to Piddler's Green!
 
Don't forget the loyal kitteh who, until he retired, never failed to provide a rat carcass before the front door more mornings than not, who played stalk and pounce with one, went on walks, advancing by successive rushes in the neigbors's yards while you walked steadily at the curb, and consoled both your Mom and your Dad in their dying months by getting up on their beds and laps, and bumping heads, and purring at them; the kitteh who stuck with his human when we both spent a month sleeping in the truck,
 

He's eligible, JTG.  The rules are really pretty lax in that regard.  We'll take you, too - but you have to stay on the Piddler's side...  ;^)
 

 
Oh...

Jeeze, guys...

That is a beautiful tribute... I remember my Good Dogs and Cats, long departed, and at my two current Good Dogs and four Good Cats, and you guys make it just a smidge easier to accept the fact that they will all join the Advance Party all too soon, that I will not only see Those Who Go Before, but my beloved furfaces too.

Thank you...
 
Oh, to John at 9:16. Would y'all mind terribly if I snuck across the road to the take-out window from time to time?
 
Whoever is throwing the ball for Sassy, she likes those pink rubber balls far better than Tennis Balls.
 
Qm, it's probably Acidman. He's an expert about the pink rubber balls.  Convinced atheist that he was, he's prolly following the lower path in the afterlife.  If you've read Niven and Pournelle's "Inferno", or even Dante's, you'll see that there are all kinds of interesting people in Hell, or on the way to there.

I am trying to be a Christian, but most descriptions of Heaven sound like something only an old woman would like. I am afraid to admit it, but it seems all the cool folks are in Hell.  If only it didn't hurt so much...
 
Well, I have an agreement with the Big Guy, but I could handle being exiled to Piddlers' Green.  The dogs I've known in life have been better "people" than the majority of humans I've met
 
Yep, MAJ. Interestingly, cats are more like humans in this respect.  There are some right awkward good-for-nothing ones,  and some downright angelic ones, and everything in between. I have one of the angelic ones, and he is even named after an angel. His name is Uziel, or Uzi, for short. (Yes, he purrs loudly)
 
P.s.  Robert Heinlein was an ailurophile, and an excellent pistol shot. (He competed on the Navy pistol team in the '30s.)  During most of his lifetime, anybody who wanted one could have a pistol, but mostly didn't need to, because anybody who wanted one could have one.

Well, anyway.  He kept a small piece, a Mauser .32 I believe, but kept it disassembled. He only assembled it on two occasions.

Once was when he heard about the Tate-LaBianca murders, and that one of Charly Manson's bastards was named Valentine Michael Smith. (Cue the "What have I done?" clip from "Bridge on the River Kwai.")

The other time was to shoot a cat, a bad cat, who was terrorizing and beating and chewing on his cat.  Some cats are just bad. Some humans are just bad. I do believe that dogs are generally innocent folks.
 
P.p.s.  Dogs have been bred for virtuousness since the memory of man runneth not to the contrary, whereas kittehs and humans do it with anybody they fancy at the moment.
This is why dogs are more virtuous than the general run of humans, IMHO.