Thoughts, topics of interest, points of view, stories and poetry. Some posts also feature my own photographs - here, as well as on the 'valleyguardians' blog. While I don't mind my material being used, I would ask the courtesy of acknowledgement by name or link. A thank you would then follow.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

A sad story of bravery

"How cruel is fate to take a life so young and rip it from this world, even if that life is given to protect another."

The sun had been baking all day. It was still hot at four in the afternoon but it was the time when new seedlings were checked. It was important because it was day three since the transplanting and some of the lettuce and spinach looked borderline. Today was make or break!
Although he was the youngest in a pack of 13 Jack Russells, Dogmatix firmly believed in his right to do everything first. He took pride in his chosen position and the passion with which he attacked every moment of his life adventure could be quite contagious, hurrying everyone along.
The knowledge that all the chores would be done by early evening when the best time of day started…FOOD…ensured that Dogmatix was insistently first again on that fateful day.
I took a short-cut through a patch of weeds; earmarked for clearing the following day, and had to make a quick sidestep as the ‘pointsman’ in the protection squad charged past, ready to be the first to identify and eliminate any threats.
The snake had managed to stay alive for many years, its almost orange-brown colour, size as thick as my forearm and length of about a metre, attesting to its maturity. The definitive markings and not having moved away at our approach identified it as a Puff Adder!
The strike, swift as an arrow, struck deep, penetrating the fleshy part above the eye-bank. Not quite one year old, the short legged, wire-haired Jack Russell known as ‘Dogmatix’, knew no fear. Shaking off his attacker, he followed through with an attack of his own…and suffered three more strikes to the head before the pack descended.
The riot that followed left behind the tattered and torn body of what had been the proudly muscled Puff Adder, who had not managed to cheat death this time…but neither had Dogmatix.
In living the life of my self-appointed ‘protector’, a role he adopted from the time he opened his eyes at about 10 days old, Dogmatix had managed to ensure his place in Paradise by giving his own life in defending and protecting my own life. The agony I helped ease him through that evening, was denied me by this brave young animal friend and I waited with him, watching helplessly as he lost his fight against the snake poison.
I pay tribute in verse to a friend who deserves it:
You chose me as your playmate
And your friend
You were magnificent and brave
till the end

You supervised the garden work
Watched and learned about hunting
Practised on geckoes and lizards
you even caught a rat and made your first kill
And in between…PLAY of course!
And insisting on being and doing everything first.

Thank you for choosing me
to be
part of your life and
for choosing
to be part of mine.

This post is part of the contest Ten words to a Story(or Poem).. on


  1. Why thank you kind sir. Much appreciated.

  2. Ah! You motivated me to take part in the competition. :)

    1. Great stuff JJ - read your entry and enjoyed the style - almost as if you were a reporter on scene...

    2. Thanks Helen. Do go through my other stories also if you find time. It would be great to have your views.

  3. great.. enjoyed reading the post..

  4. Beautiful ...and infact Nostalgic for me. When in school. my essays use to be different, only because- i generally adopted the style of Prose followed by Poetry.

    Your post has an excellent flow. Glad to be here.

  5. Sad story of a brave soul. Really, pets are worth to be a part of our lives. Lovely poem at the end. :)

  6. Beautiful Helen.. I loved the way you narrated and the poem in the end.. Wow.. :-)

    Someone is Special

    1. Thank you SiS, your words give my words wings.

  7. Enjoyed the read ,Helen :)
    Keep writing!

  8. Thanks so much Simran - you too!

  9. Nicely written especially the poem at the end. :)
    All the best!

    1. Kind words always lift my spirits and inspire me to write more - thank you!