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This poem is taken from PN Review 5, Volume 5 Number 1, October - December 1978.

The Tales of Rover John Mole

108 Prizes for obedience

Rover, of these the proud possessor,
looks you squarely in the eye, unblinking.

His coat is sleek with ineffable goodness.
Stroke it. Feel how it helps your hand across.

You dream, perhaps, of walking on the water?
Yes, he could even do that if he tried.

He says: We could all do that if we tried.
If brilliance and virtue went together.

The dog it was survived

Mr and Mrs Prince don't like each other.
Rover, lately, has not liked them either.

Something in their voices when they say 'Good boy'
appals him, and the children oh the children

they grew up and left. He loved them
but they'll come no more, and now the bones oh

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