Exemplar

by Marjorie Brown
Finalist 1996 Poetry Competition Top Dog Journal


"How long have you been with dogs?"
I asked this old chap at the show.
"Forty odd years and more," he replied
"Then there's not much you wouldn't know."

"I'm still learning," he said. "I'm still learning".
And it made me [ponder a while,
On those who know it all in three months,
And I gave him the ghost of a smile.

You could tell he'd have none of the 'new fangled',
He was old fashioned right down to the core,
But I'll bet when judges gathered together,
His name would rank up in the fore.

He would have hunted and shot over dogs,
Before most of us had been born.
He'd sat with his dogs in the brush
And with them had scented the dawn.

He'd bred, shown, paraded and judged,
He knew it all, ouside from in,
But, "I'm still learning", he said
With his quiet , unobtrusive, small grin.

So, we ringside 'Johnny-come-latelies,
All we experts who own just one pup,
Remember that old guy's forty years of "still learning",
And for goodness sake , learn to shut up !

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