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Epistle Tae Rock ©

Patrick Scott Hogg
Cumbernauld, Scotland

The Author's Pet Labrador -
after he was killed by a car driver at a shoot on Logan estate, Portlogan, Stranraer.

By Loch Inch's gruns, green wuds amang,
Whar foxgloves scent the forest sang,
An' timid creatures coo'er;
Whar clappie doos flee o'er the sheugh,
An' brock the badger, in the bught
Keeks oot at gloamin' hour:
Aye, there I'd roam a while away
Wi Rock, ma black lab dog.
I'd let him aff the leash tae stray
Thru bracken, ditch or bog.
Quick wis he, wi' happy glee;
Snoakin' thru the wud;
Waggin tail, on the trail;
His paws black thick wi' mud.

His forehead it was proud and strong.
His shooders broad, his neck was long.
Attentively he sat.
Wi' poundin' paws an' flashin' een
He'd russle, rummage fast an' keen
The smell o' ony rat -
The fox, the pheasant and the hare
The bonnie mallard duek:
Got off their mark when he was there,
One step behind their luck!
I shout sit! He did it...
Obedient, sae weel train'd!
Why ae lead? There's nae need!
The chain is ne'er strain'd.

Ye'd no' believe whit he could dae.
Sine a' his work wis but his play,
Fast, fast on hairy legs!
Paw-to-paw, in trott'd hurry,
O'er the Devil's Arch he'd scurry,
Gath'rin' seagull eggs!
Aye, weel I min' his muted yelp,
While at the Fishpond door;
He'd f'und ae lobster 'mid the kelp
At low tide on the shore!
He carri'd fast; tae the last,
The scourge o' every mog;
At the shoot; sniffin' oot,
There wis nae better dog!

Then, ane day he ran o'er keen,
Across a road, but ne'er seen
The fast approachin' car:
He leapt the dyke, carrying game,
Prompt to his duty, his fixed aim:
My Dad watched from afar -
The crash it stole my dog frae me -
A crunch o' steel on bone;
The driver stoppt and lookt tae see
Poor Rock, dead, bar a groan.
A' his care, wis his car!
Nae thoughtfulness had he -
"I'll sue you; I'll do you!"
As Rock's warm blood ran free ....

Sad noo he's gang an' is nae mair,
An' though I've no' a wisp o hair,
I fondly reminisce:
My mind's ee sees my fond frien' Rock,
His cheery smile as we did walk
Enjoyin' life's ain bliss.
He'd scatter thru some tattie shaws -
He'd sprint aff up the hill;
He'd skid on gravel wi' his paws -
He'd show aff wi sic skill:
Life wis glee; him an' me,
Ran wild across the sand;
My treasure - his pleasure!
"Come Rock! Up tae ma hand!".....

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