Location: marengo, il, United States

Friday, September 08, 2006

A Story of Many Tails

I have no recollection of where this came from, but it keeps rattling around inside my gourd, possibly encouraging a future lawsuit for telling lies. (I mentioned the word tail in my last post. That will always make a man think. Or maybe it’s just me.) But if I do get a summons (a man can sure hope), who among you knows of a good lawyer? I would be delighted to entertain emails (or Instant Messages) on the matter, for I have no real life to look forward to for the rest of this week, and could use the excitement.

It seems that all of the dogs wanted to get together and have a meeting of some sort. Was it for educational purposes? Did they form committees? Were journalists or cameras allowed in? Who was in charge of flyers?

Look, these were dogs. Dogs live in the moment, like Cesar Milan says. They simply gathered together to meet.

But here is the unknown thing that occurred, the gist; the untold part, the legendary thing that happened which you will never read about in history books.

Dogs, at one time, were civil creatures.

Yes, and polite too. I mean Southern-hospitality polite, not that fake, Yankee-style, smile-at-your-brother nonsense. Straight-up mint julep-polite. Whew. Can’t you just imagine?

So word got around there was a need for a big meeting, and so all breeds showed up punctually.

No phone calls. No time wasted with who might host, or who needed directions. No out-of-state howls of handsome excuses were heard, for the assembly happened smoothly and without a hitch. The event convened inside a cavernous building, and it all seemed to unfold as natural as seasonal changes.

First the Poodles arrived to set up chairs. Then came a pack of German Shepards, who all agreed to line up the folding tables, which they did with great precision. A contingent of Coon-dogs soon trailed behind a slew of Chihuahuas. Their small group skittered about, yapping among themselves in rapid Spanish as a squad of Saint Bernards took up positions near the entrance, nodding balefully to the Dalmatians, Terriers and Bulldogs who trotted through the door. Whippets breezed by, silent and ghost-like, while Sheepdogs assembled to one side, commenting and nodding among themselves on all the hubbub. The noise must have sounded dreadful to any local cat, for none were ever sighted or reported that afternoon.

Now, civility demanded one strict requirement from each of the dogs: one by one, every mannered mutt in the crowd must stop and hang up his or her tail on hooks provided just inside the entrance. All obeyed this unwritten and orderly edict without question, and so in short order, all sat expectantly, waiting for the pack leader to speak, sans tails. A hush soon fell across the great room.

And that is exactly when the unfortunate incident took place, although the details are still questioned, even today.

A jolly Cocker Spaniel, who had taken command of the rotisserie (dogs did enjoy their barbeque as well), became distracted by a low Basset Hound, and somehow they knocked over a temporary wall. The loud noise frightened everyone within earshot, but the flames that arose from the (supposed) accident sent the entire mob into a panic. As the fire quickly spread, dogs of all sizes began to bolt for the door.

Tails were hastily grabbed on the way out, but in the mass confusion, mistakes were made, which explains why dogs today take time to stop and sniff each other.

Could that one be mine, they wonder?


Anonymous Ned said...

I will refrain from the expected comments: "Who let the dogs out?" or "It's a great tail" - but that's not going to leave me with much.

Instead let me defend my fellow northerners, known for being cold and aloof. What needs to be understood is just this: Southerners have a reputation for hospitality, it's nearly a mandate and you can have your southernship taken away for a cross word in an elevator to a stranger. But Northerners have no such reputation, which actually makes it easier to tell if they like you. If a Northerner strikes up a conversation or treats you well, remember, they don't have to...

So back to the post... Note that I am not going to say "this blog is going to the dogs" or any such thing as I promised at the outset of this comment. I am simply going to say "Harry, when it comes to story-telling, you're a master".

3:16 PM  
Blogger The Fractal Cat said...

A torid, tenuous tall tale telling of terrible tribulations that
transpire. A transitory trailer for a trilogy?
A topic tossed together to titters that typify triumph.
Told teasingly too.

3:19 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

See why I like exact Ned?

3:30 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

And, well...thanks.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Gone Away said...

The telling of this tale is timely, for reasons that may or may not become clear, depending upon whether I can summon the energy to write a canine tale of my own that has been rattling around my own gourd (and it's been nigh on thirty years since I last heard that word applied in proper hippy fashion) these past few days. I shall take this as a sign, Harry, for you remind me of my duty to dogdom.

And you have given a most excellent explanation for the traditional doggy greeting. A tale well told indeed!

3:55 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

Were I a dog, I would lift a leg to salute you, Gone (to encourage the mustering of summons, naturally).

5:05 PM  
Blogger Janus Torrell said...

This also explains why you see a dog that looks like it stole someone elses tail by mistake.

I am actually relieved, because I thought they were just having needless cosmetic surgery

10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cassius Marcellus Coolidge would have loved this story as it describes his paintings to a T.Check out this website to find out more.( As far as sniffing tails,it's a male-looking-for-female thing.(bad eyesight)They certainly should have hung up their hats rather than their tails.That was definately a guy dog thing.All in all,a wonderful tail, i mean, tale,for someone so wiped out.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Sweetpea said...

Yall just would not believe the tall tales I got from Harry for 9 years..........rofl

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way(no pun intended),they didn't start the fire.

5:49 AM  
Anonymous Ahndhi said...

I like this one. It's the kind of story that I associate with you. However, I stopped by to tell you I've started blogging again. This time it's about Italy though. My Blog.

5:25 AM  
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8:21 PM  

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