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How the Feud Started
by
Arthur Guiterman


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Before there were Pineapples, Peaches, or Plums,
The Dog and the Cat were Companions and Chums.

(They lived in a Highly Respectable Grotto,
Where "God Bless Our Home" was their Favorite Motto)

The Dog had a Parchment, a Parchment had he,
Proclaiming his Right to be Happy and Free.

(This Charter was signed by the Patriarch Noah,
And Witnessed in Form by the Goat and the Boa.)

The Dog went a-hunting on Mount Ararat;
The Parchment he left in the Care of the Cat.

{His Trust in the Cat was Complete and Abiding,
The Dog, then as ever, was Much Too Confiding.)

The Cat, who was always a Rover in Soul,
Grew bored with the Cavern and went for a Stroll.

(Beguiled by the Song of the Birds in the Bowers,
He ambled and rambled for Hours and Hours.)

Then out from their Crannies the Mouse People crept,
And lunched on the Parchment that Puss should have kept.

(They flocked with their Children, their Nephews and Nieces.
They shredded the Charter and ate up the Pieces.)

When Home came the Dog near the Close of the Day,
The Last of his Freedom was whisking away!

(He Leaped! - but the Tails disappeared in a Flicker.
The Dog may be Quick, but the Mouse Folk are quicker.)

When Home strolled the Cat as the Twilight grew dim,
The Dog paid the Utmost Attention to Him!

(The Cat, who in Climbing was always a Leader,
Escaped by a Whisker and ran up a Cedar.)

So, seeking his Vengeanceand justly at that
The Dog, through the Ages, still chases the Cat.

(The Cat, with Equivalent Justification,
Has chosen the Mouse as his favorite Ration.)

From The Mirthful Lyre (Harper & Brothers, 1918).
This poem is now in the public domain.

 

 

Purchase a framed print of this poem.

 

 

Arthur Guiterman (1871 - 1943) was an editor, book reviewer, and poet. Born in Vienna, Austria, to American parents, he was a small man who talked fast and was well-liked. Co-founder of the Poetry Society of America, he was best known for his humorous poems and his entertaining, rhyming book reviews. Arthur published more than a dozen books and his poems appeared in major magazines such as Life and The New Yorker on a regular basis.

 

 


New comments are closed for now.
Dorcas:
Brilliant take on the mythology of the ark. Love it to pieces.
Posted 03/05/2015 05:04 PM
transitions:
Great rhyming, hope this brings it to mind again. Loved it.
Posted 03/05/2015 11:12 AM
dotief@comcast.net:
I love it!
Posted 03/05/2015 08:47 AM
Cindy:
so funny - thank you
Posted 03/05/2015 08:38 AM
JanetruthMartin:
lol!thank-you!
Posted 03/05/2015 08:16 AM
Joanne Turgeon:
i LOVE this poem. i've looked for it for YEARS (but thinking Ogden Nash wrote it) - "thank you, ' google'"! (-:
Posted 07/21/2014 05:45 PM


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