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The Collies Lament. By Viv Billingham Parkes

I am a well- bred collie dug,

Born tae herd yon’ hill;
Tae rin tae heid jeukin’ yowes,
Yet ne’er do them ill.
Alas, the worst tae me’s occurred,
Ah’ve been sell’t intae a toun,
And ‘cos I chase baith weans and cars,
They’re gaun tae pit me doon.
If I could talk I’d tell them,
I wasna’ born tae be a pet -
But they dinna appear tae care nor ken,
Jist drag me tae the vet.
I don’t know what he did tae me,
‘Cept t’was a mortal sin,
That made me proud tae be canine,
Not human likes o’ him.
How I wished that he’d explain,
An’ mak’ them understaun’,
That a collie dug born an’ bred,
Belongs only on the land.
But alas, he only sighed
And shook his woolly heid,
Carried out the heinous deed,
And then pronounced me deid!
I feel mysel’ ascendin’
Towards some pearly gates -
I’ve been telt a Shepherd dwells up there
Who waits for collies sic- like me.
I tak’ ma place beside his knee,
Feel his kind hand on ma heid,
"Forget the past, put it behind,
Come bide with me instead.
There’s sheep to guide and sheep to shed,
The work here never ends."
He led me tae a dry-stane dyke,
"These are the ones ye’ll tend."
I stood and eyed in mute surprise
across the heaven’s deep,
As what I deemed where wisps o’ cloud
developed intae sheep.
And no’ the sort ain wad expect -
For I couldna’ fail tae see-
the sheep the Guid Shepherd tended o’er
Were o’ the human variety.
On observin’ ma perplexed gaze he enquired,
"Do ye stand firm as the proverbial rock?"
I wagged ma tail - so wi’ a quiet wheep,
He sent me off in hot pursuit, tae educate His flock!
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