Our dog Joe,
after showing no interest
in feathered ones
for two years or more,
recently,
chased a chicken,
captured it,
held it under his paw
until I chased him.
He released the hen,
chased her again,
and then another
before we tied him to the fence.
I reprimanded him (verbally)
and,
after loosening himself from the tie-down,
he hid the rest of the evening.
Next morning,
I put a collar on him
and the expression on his face,
his demeanor
seemed to express the humiliation
of dishonor.

The chickens have stayed closer to the barn,
since that episode,
and I’ve watched Joe watch them,
with nary a twitch to chase.
It seems the memory of humiliation
and dishonor
is greater than the allure of excitement.

Two days ago,
Joe was sitting in his wicker chair
on the front porch.
Visiting friends were sitting on the porch too
when Joe began barking.
He was looking out to the road,
but they couldn’t see anything on the road.
Joe kept barking
and they looked again:
the chicken flock was on the edge of the road.
Still barking,
Joe rose from his chair
and walked out in front of the house.
The chickens came running back
towards the barn
and Joe stopped barking,
walked back to the porch
and settled back into the chair.

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