When she was dying, an old collie bitch
Came to a white clad man.
He took away all that remained of her life,
And another life began.
She glanced at the black and white body,
Set free from its burden of pain.
It seemed to have nothing to do with her,
For she had grown young again.
A shepherd stood by the still faced vet.
Weeping he bowed his head;
Paying no heed to the bitch at his heels,
Believing that she was dead.
She had lived her life by his single will
Moved to his least command.
Now he could not see when she wagged her tail,
Nor feel when she licked his hand.
A faraway voice was calling her name,
She knew that she must not stay,
But the sorrowing man was quite unaware
When she quietly trotted away.
She came to a place made ready for her;
A valley with flocks at grass,
Where she tended her sheep in the Heavenly fields
And waited for time to pass.
The years sped by in this peaceful place,
Where the sunlit flocks gleamed gold;
Long years when a bitch was eternally young,
While a shepherd grew tired and old.
One night in his chair by a dying fire
An ancient man fell asleep;
To wake in a green and enchanted vale,
Where a young bitch worked with sheep.
He called her in with a joyful voice,
Tenderly stroked her head;
While his relatives gathered and wept for him,
Believing that he was dead!
Poem used with kind permission of Barbara Sykes.Thank you.
Photograph by Lucy Alice Smith.