The Big Black Dog in the Yard

The Big Black Dog in the Yard

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

They’d gone to live in an old stone house

On the further side of a hill,

‘You’ll come to enjoy the countryside.’

She said, ‘I never will!

I’ll miss my friends and the city streets,

And where will I go to shop?’

‘You shop too much as it is,’ he said,

‘Perhaps it’s the time to stop.’

 

He’d taken a job on a local farm,

He wanted to get away,

Away from her supercilious friends,

The ones that had made her stray.

He’d caught her necking with Edward Jones

At the Carlton, out for a drink,

The booze was seeping into her bones,

She needed to stop, and think.

 

She said it was only harmless fun,

He didn’t mean much to her,

‘He’s just a friend that I’ve known since when,

It was just a peck, I swear.’

‘Your friend’s been after your skirt too long,

He drinks you into a fog,

He’ll take advantage, so you beware,

I’ve heard that he’s called ‘Black Dog!’

 

She wandered around the house alone

When he went to work at the farm,

Scoured the house for a bottle of gin,

Or something to keep her warm.

She looked out over the countryside,

Was suddenly on her guard,

For bounding over the garden stile

Was a big black dog in the yard.

 

His coat was sleek, and his body lean

And his tongue lolled out of his jaw,

She took a slug of the Gilbey’s Gin

Found hidden behind a door.

The dog lay panting, and stared at her

With its eyes of grim intent,

While she stared back through the window pane,

And trembled until it went.

 

A week went by, and it came each day,

And stared at her from the yard,

She couldn’t move while the dog was there

But she kept the windows barred.

When Ben came home from his daily toil

He could see she was most upset,

‘You’re pale and shivering, Gail,’ he said,

‘What seems to be wrong, my pet?’

 

‘I can’t go into the garden, Ben,

I’m stuck in this house all day,

It’s cold and lonely within these walls

Each time that you go away.’

‘You need to open the doors,’ he said,

‘And open the windows too,

You should be letting the sun shine in

With the fresh air blowing through.’

 

She didn’t tell him about the dog,

She thought that he’d think her mad,

‘It’s only a dog,’ she thought he’d say,

And suddenly felt quite sad.

‘I’ll try,’ she muttered, but shook inside

At the thought of an open door,

With a big black dog come wandering in,

And slavering at the jaw.

 

It came each day for another week

Then she threw the window wide,

The breeze rushed in and it calmed her down

With the scent of the countryside.

The dog came up to the window then

And it placed its paws on the sill,

Its eyes had gleamed, turned red it seemed

And it almost broke her will.

 

She seemed to hear in her inner ear

What the dog, in its gruff, low tones,

Was beaming into her mind, so clear,

‘Come back to Edward Jones!

He’ll keep you clear of the countryside

And you’ll have your friends as well,’

But reflected back from the black dog’s eyes

Was a scene from the depths of Hell!

 

That night, she spoke of the dog to Ben,

But he laughed, and shrugged it away,

‘It’s probably just a farmer’s dog

That comes over here to play.’

‘It’s more than that, I’m afraid of it,

For its eyes are cruel and hard,’

Then Ben leaned over the window-sill,

The black dog stood in the yard.

 

It stayed a moment and then was gone,

It leapt back over the stile,

Then disappeared in a darkened field

While Ben just stood for a while.

His face was pale when he turned to Gail

And he said, ‘I’ll buy a gun.

He won’t come worrying you again,

By God, I’ll make him run!’

 

He came back home the following day

To a house, so cold and still,

He placed the gun on the table, then

Looked over the window-sill.

The black dog stared, and its eyes were red

As it sneered its disregard,

For a b***h went following on behind

As they both took off from the yard.

 

David Lewis Paget

© 2014 David Lewis Paget


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Featured Review

I enjoyed the tale. I like how you can take me to ancient places and people. You bring them to life. I like the way you led me to the surprising ending. Some woman cannot be controlled. Thank you for sharing the excellent poetry.
Coyote

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

another great tale.......

Posted 6 Years Ago


a good story told in verse. I've always said it, it's quite a feat. beautifully told. great rhyme Mr. Paget.

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A journey that relates to many times and places, well done, good read.

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

You are an incredible story teller.
Excellent.
Claire

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wonderful tale... excellently written! ;)

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Clapping !!! I was wondering how it would end ! Love it Mr. Paget (( :

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Well. I never saw that twist coming.

If I were cooped up in a farmhouse I wouldn't like it at all. I like the city streets and the city noise and the city shops all around me. That's why I live where I do.

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I enjoyed the tale. I like how you can take me to ancient places and people. You bring them to life. I like the way you led me to the surprising ending. Some woman cannot be controlled. Thank you for sharing the excellent poetry.
Coyote

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Getting into the werewolf side of things? Very good story.

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

The image of the black dog is powerful, and reminiscent of many a creepy tale, but with a twist. A good story within the poem.

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on April 14, 2014
Last Updated on April 14, 2014
Tags: countryside, necking, gin, beware

Author

David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia



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