You all, no doubt, remember Gracie, the nudist pug, from my story of her sweater, or, more specifically, her refusal to wear it. For those of you newer to this blog, the short version is that I sent an e-mail to Contrary describing my valiant efforts to clothe my pug, Gracie, in the dead of winter with a sweater, and of the… less than satisfactory outcome that ensued. Contrary thought it humorous enough to post on her blog. I think this was on her old site, so the actual text has probably been lost. (Ed: Oh, ye of little faith)
Gracie, when she is hungry, has a very destructive habit of tearing at the screen door. Now, the glass door behind the screen is always closed, so she has no hope of getting through it, but it does usually does grab somebody’s attention, thus getting her fed. Over time, this has ruined the screen door, destroying it completely from about knee-height down.
Recently, when we grew tired of staring at the ruined screen door, we decided to purchase one online that was advertised as “indestructible”, much in the same way the Titanic was advertised as “unsinkable”. See, the thing about these “indestructible” screen doors, is that, like the Titanic, they take a lot to destroy, but when they do go, they go spectacularly. At first, everything appeared fine. Gracie scratched and bit and chewed at the door, all to no avail. Yet one day, while I was sitting watching TV and eating a turkey sandwich (the door is right behind our couch), all of a sudden I hear a very loud ripping sound. I turned around, and almost half
the screen, in one piece, had come off the door.
Gracie and Dixie (my other pug) were busy having a fine game of let’s-chew-each-other’s-faces-off, as they are prone to do, right in the middle of a pile of what just moments before had been the lower half our screen door. Gracie was promptly yelled at, which sent her into some kind of doggy-funk, and she sulked off to her doghouse. Dixie chased her tail for five minutes and the ran in circles for awhile.
Below is what I imagined happened to Gracie after I went back inside, and the thought process she had while committing the heinous act. It is slightly more poetic form than is my normal style, but nonethless I believe it still gets the point across. Oh, and in case you had any doubts, yes, it is shamelessly plagaraized from The Raven, and no, I don’t care.
Once upon a pug so dreary, as she pondered, fat and weary
Over many a quaint and curious day of yonder lore
While she lay there, only napping, suddenly there came a tapping
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at her house’s door
‘Tis my Andrew,’ she muttered, ‘tapping at my house’s door-
only this and nothing more’
Ah, distinctly she remembers, though she really ought have not,
As each seperate dying thought wrought its ghost upon the ground.
Eagerly she wished she wished the morrow; – vainly she had sought to borrow
From her Andrew to his sorrow- sorrow for the lost screen door –
For the new and costly mesh whom he’d only, only called ‘screen door’ –
In tatters now for evermore.
Presently her soul grew stronger, hesitating then no longer,
‘Andrew,’ she said,’For only thine forgiveness I implore;
but the fact is I was starving, and I saw you that turkey carving,
and so now here you come tapping, tapping at my house’s door,
O forgive me, for thine mercy’ -here she pushed open her door-
Her bone there, and nothing more.
Deep into her bone peering, long she stood there, wondering, fearing,
Doubting, thinking thoughts no poor pug had ever dared to think before
Yet the silence was unbroken, and the bone, it gave no token,
And the only word there spoken were the whispered words, ‘Screen door!’
This she whispered, and echo mumered back the words, ‘Screen door!’
Merely this and nothing more.
Back into her doghouse turning, all her thoughts within her burning,
Soon again she heard a tapping somewhat sharper than before.
‘Surely,’ she thought, ‘surely that is something at my door;
Let me see then, what there is, and this mystery explore –
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; –
‘Tis the wind and nothing more!’
Open her she flung her door, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
Came that way a stately pigeon of the wonderous days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made it; not a second stopped or stayed it;
But, with the mein of Andrew it sat, perched next to her doghouse door –
Perched upon her bone of rawhide just beside her doghouse door –
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this smoky bird beguiling her sad tail, oh, into wagging,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
‘Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, though,’ she said, ‘art sure not smidgen
Ghastly grim and ancient pigeon wandering from the daily yore
Tell me what thy business be here beside my doghouse door!’
Quoth the pigeon, ‘Nevermore.’
Much she marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning – little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living canid being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing this bird beside its doghouse door
Bird or beast upon a rawhide bone, beside a doghouse door
With such a name as ‘Nevermore.’
Startled at the stillnes broken by reply so oddly spoken,
‘Doubtless,’ she said, ‘what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore –
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
But the pigeon still beguiling the pug’s sad, sad tail into wagging,
That she nudged her cushioned bed in front of bird and bone and door;
Then upon the plastic sinking, she betook herself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore –
What this grim, ungainly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking ‘Nevermore.’
Then, she thought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls muffled on the grassy ground.
‘Wretch,’ she cried, ‘thy God hath lent thee – by these angels he has sent thee
Respite – respite and nepenthe from my thinkings of screen door!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget the lost screen door!’
Quoth the pigeon, ‘Nevermore.’
‘Prophet!’ said Pug, ‘thing of evil! – prophet still if bird or devil! –
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee at my door,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this grassy land enchanted –
On this house by regret haunted – tell me truly, I implore –
Is there forgiveness for his pug yet in Andrew, I implore!’
Quoth the pigeon, ‘Nevermore.’
And the pigeon, never lifting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the rawhide bone of Gracie’s, just beside the unhappy hound;
And its eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the sunlight o’er it streaming throws its shadow on the ground;
And Gracie’s soul from that shadow that lies floating on the ground
Shall be lifted – nevermore!