The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

Writers' Showcase

If—Doggerel By Junkyard Kipling
by Jon Sindell

If you can sheathe your fangs when that tiresome old human, “Grandma,”   
    is losing hers, and blaming her horrid life-choices on you;   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt there is food beneath the seat cushion,
    But make allowance for their pathetic sense of smell;   
If you can wait three extra hours for dinner while Genius Boy tries for the thirtieth time to level up in Minecraft, and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about by Genius, who tells his mother it was you who ate the leftover roast, and don’t pee on that loser’s legs,
Or being hated by the cat, not nudge the door open so that "Scrumpschelicious The Magnificent" can finally meet the neighborhood coyote,
    And don’t wear pink ribbons like that pseudo-dog Crumpet in the neighbor-lady’s purse, nor bark on command for a tasteless generic bikkie because The Queen is too cheap to buy the good stuff:
If you can dream of toasted-squirrel kebabs—and not drool on your master;   
    If you can think of making sweet, sweet love to His Highness’s plush pillow—and not give in to shame;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster,
The stuck-up show dogs,
    And growl at those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken—that the cat’s a brainless, sneaking brat—
    twisted by knaves—“She’s much too smart to beg for food!”—to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the toys you found at the park broken by Genius Boy
    And stoop and play with that loser, who drools:
If you can make one heap of your treats
    And risk it all in one daring effort to snatch the hamburger from the kitchen counter when no one is looking,
And get caught, and eat your crummy store-brand “food” while Genius eats
    And never drool at the smell of what's cooking;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘There’s a squirrel! Run!’
If you can bark with mongrels and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with the pedigreed—nor lose the common touch,
If neither subhuman vets nor clumsy humans who step on paws can hurt you,
    If all men with cheese or beef chunks count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the House and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Dog, my son!