Enjoy reading this kinda pink, humorous poetry just like a puppy’s tongue. I do hope it will please most dog and nature lovers too, as it is accompanied by square photos of pink roses we are lucky to enjoy in our garden.
“I hear children laughing in the yard today,
I hear puppy barking, I hear a horse’s neigh.
The chickens are peeping, “all is good!
“It’s a birthday party; we’ll get bits of food.”
And puppy’s tail wiggles;
He sees IT… It is loose!
It’s oval, it bounces, it floats away,
It’s pink like his tongue, it wants to play!”
“I’m coming!” barks pup and off he goes.
Down the hill the pink shape flows
And puppy follows suit. It’s just within his reach,
Just above his nose.
As pink as a rose, yet as light as snow,
While puppy’s paws drum on the ground below.
Floating shape and furry dog, they’re one with the day,
It’s summer, I hear a donkey bray, “let’s play!”
“I’ll catch you! Just wait!”
And puppy jumps once more.
“Whoosh!” blew the wind, just as pup’s mouth came near,
And up flew the pink ball, as fast as a spear.
While puppy lands with a loud “splash”
Right in the pond, in the green, slimy marsh.”
“A drippy, green form comes out.
Where is pup?
The green form just drips, his ears lay low,
He stands on his feet, yet his heart sinks below…
The green form sighs twice, then looks up at the sky
Where the pink balloon flies away, its tail saying “bye-bye.”
And puppy whimpers.
And sneezes, once.
The children still play, up on the hill, all the way up.
How will he climb all the way back? He’s but a pup.
“Come here, you silly boy,” Mom picks him up;
She’s got a blanket; she gets him all cleaned up.
“The balloon might fly up with the wind,
But I’ve got my Mom to cuddle with.”
The above poem is titles As Pink As a Puppy’s Tongue and is an extract from my poetry book for dog lovers (and not only) As Good As Gold.
Kinda Pink, Poetry Like a Puppy’s Tongue is a contribution to Becky’s incredible October Squares#KindaSquare blog feature.
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Die Fennek of Woestynjakkals, or the Fennek or Desert Jackal, is the second story in die babadiertjies van Afrika, baby animals from Africa series, and for your reward you can also read The Jackal and the Lion, a Khoisan folktale, down below.
Die Fennek of Woestynjakkals, babadiertjies van Afrika
Hierdie woestynjakkalse is wilde diere, maar hulle maak steeds vriende met die honde van die Arabiere wat in die woestyn woon. Nogtans word woestynjakkalse nooit heeltemal mak nie, en raak hulle ook nooit ontslae van hulle sluwe, agterdogtige natuur nie. Die geringste verdagte geluidjie laat hulle halsoorkop op die vlug slaan.
Vir die jong jakkalsie is dit van die allergrootste belang dat hy baie gou vyande soos gevaarlike insekte, skerpioene en dies meer moet kan uitken en vermy. Dan moet daar ook aan hom geleer word hoe om ‘n grondverskuiwing te laat plaasvind. Dit is baie belangrik dat hy moet weet hoe om sy eie grondtonnel blitsvinning te laat intuimel as die een af ander giftige slang of ongedierte hom probeer volg.
Om in die barre woestyn te kan bly voortbestaan, moet hierdie dier feitlik alles eet. So bestaan sy dieet uit klein knaagdiertjies, insekte, voëltjies en selfs voëleiers as hy dit in die hande kan kry.
Water is skaars, en daarom leer die klein jakkalsie baie gou dat hy die bloed van sy liggaam te verskaf.
As hy eers volgroeid is, staan die woestynjakkals ongeveer veertig sentimeter hoog. Sy pels is dik en het ‘n goudbruin kleur. Sy ore is spits en hy het twee donker vlekke naby sy oë.
Hierdie diere is nagadiere. Soms sal die klein jakkalsies, terwyl hulle wag dat hulle ouers vir die jag gereed moeet maak, heerlik saam vir die maan sit en tjank. Vir alle ander jakkalse in die omgewing is dit dan die teken om by die jagparty te kom aansluit.
Die woestynjakkals, of fennek, word heel selde buite Afrika aangetref. Vroeër jare is hulle gevang en na dieretuine oorgeplaas, maar hulle het nog selde die koue oorleef. Hulle treur hulle letterlik dood or die warm, sonnige woestynwêreld waar hulle vandaan kom.
The Fennec or Desert Jackal, baby animals from Africa
The fennec or the desert jackals are wild animals, but they still make friends with the dogs of the Arabs who live in the desert. Yet desert foxes never get completely tamed, nor do they ever lose their cunning, suspicious nature. At the slightest strange sound they get spooked and make a run for it.
For the young Fennec it is of utmost importance that he learns from a very young age how to identify and avoid his enemies, such as dangerous insects, scorpions and the like. Then he must also be taught how to cause a landslide… This skill is very important during his defense, as desert jackals hide in underground tunnels if a poisonous snake or vermin attempts to follow him.
In order to survive in the barren desert, the Fennec has adapted by eating virtually everything. So his diet consists of small rodents, insects, birds and even bird eggs if he can get his paws on them.
Water is scarce here, therefore the little fox learned quickly to make use of any resources that will increase the liquids his body needs.
Once fully grown, the desert fox stands about forty centimeters high. Its fur is thick and has a golden brown color. His ears are pointy and he has two dark spots near his eyes.
These animals are rodents. Sometimes the baby desert jackal, while waiting for their parents to get ready for the hunt, will sit and howl together at the moon. This is the sign to join the hunting party and all the other foxes in the area know it.
The desert fox, or Fennec, is rarely found outside Africa. In earlier years many were captured and transferred to zoos around the world, yet they rarely survived the cold weather. In the zoos the Fennec literally feels homesick, missing his African lifestyle and the warm, sunny desert world he come from.
The Jackal and the Lion, a Story from the Khoisan Folklore
Once upon a time, long ago, when humans still foraged for food, Jackal was scurrying through a narrow, rocky pass in the Omatako Mountains, today’s Namibia.
He was half laughing at himself over how silly humans were to give this mountain such a hilarious name, for its two tops, looking like buttocks, gave way to its name, Omatako Mountains. Snickering and sniffing Jackal was, trying to find something juicy to eat, perhaps caught underneath a rock or burried shallow, to fill his growling stomach and quench his thirst. When his eye suddenly caught some movement ahead of him, in the pass.
Something that shouldn’t have been there.
Jackal froze in his tracks. And swallowed hard, his tail already tucked between his hind legs. The mighty Lion, his mane glowing under the setting sun, was coming straight toward him. Had Lion gotten bigger since I last saw him? thought Jackal to himself.
Out of the corner of his eye Jackal looked left, then right. There was no way of escape! And his hind legs trembled a little. Jackal cursed his streched muscles, not allowing his fright to steal into his mind. But a claw clutched at his heart already.
Alas! He’d lost count of all the tricks he’d played on the king of animals over the years… Was this it? Will he pay today, of all the days? Will Lion prove to be just a beast and use this sudden encounter to get his revenge?
A breeze tickeled Jackal’s nose, carrying with it the scent of open planes, of the Namib desert. Of freedom. That Jackal loved above everything else. So he thought of a plan.
His tail left its place of safety and swiped the dirt behind its feet, sending it up the cliff. When it rolled down, Jackal howeld.
‘Help! Help!’ cried Jackal and crowched, half crawling half sliding down the cliff, looking back at every other step.
Lion stopped, an eyebrow lifted. Annoyance? Surprise?
‘Help!’ Jackal yelled again and looked over his shoulder at the boulders piling high. ‘The rocks are about to tumble over and crush us. Oh, great Lion, I am but a mere wild dog, but you, the king of animals, with your great strengh, you can save us! And all beasts will learn of your bravery and praise you.’
Then he looked back again and yelped for help again, covering his head with his paws.
On hearing this and seeing how destraught Jackal was, Jackal who was always laughing and joking, Lion looked up at the towering rocks, feeling most alarmed. But pretending he is as cool as ever.
‘Oh, great Lion, put your shoulder to the rock and prevent the mountain from tumbeling over, for only you can do it,’ yelped Jackal further.
So Lion, without giving it a second thought, put his strong shoulder against the rock. To heave and stop the mountain from rolling over.
‘Oh, great king, thank you!’ yelped Jackal, ‘for you have saved us. Let me fetch that spear over there and we will use it to prop the mountain.’
And with that he sprang out of sight.
Lion waited and waited, shouldering the mountain and trying his best to chase away the flies, but he had only his tail as a weapon. All the time listening, waiting to hear Jackal’s footsteps.
When the last rays of the setting sun became blunt and their heat turned to a gentle embrace, Lion felt as if the weight of the mountain was resting on his shoulders. So much so that his hind legs were trembling and heat grew inside his chest, ready to erupt in his throat.
While Jackal was already reunited with his folk, all laughing and admiring his cunningness and bravery.
Now in Afrikaans: Drie populêre kinderboeke, nou beskibaar in Afrikaans. Helder en kleurvolle illustrasies en beminlike karakters wat opwindende avonture deel. Vir kinders en ouers om saam te geniet.
The enchanting history of bookmarks spans more than one millennia, a living proof that readers tried every little trick in the book not to lose their place, in return coming up with some of the most innovative place-marks.
Bookmarks are inherently linked to the very appearance and spread of the books, but not only written or printed books, papyrus documents too since some reached length of 40 meters.
1st century classical poet Martial wrote a poem advertising a new edition of his works, specifically noting that it is produced as a codex, thus taking less space than a scroll and being more comfortable to hold in one hand. Surely it was accompanied by a bookmark? For residue of bookmarks discovered in the earliest Coptic codices(belonging to the Christian Church that started in Egypt) indicate without a doubt that bookmarks have accompanied codices since their first emerged during the 1st century AD.
The oldest known bookmark dates from 6th century AD and is made of ornate leather with a parchment sheet on the back. It was attached to the cover of an ancient manuscript found under the ruins of monastery Apa Jeremiah in Egypt during 1912 excavations.
An Incredible Medieval Bookmark
During the Middle Ages, especially between the 13th century to the 15th century, many interesting bookmarks were used in manuscripts and incunabula in European monasteries. These were generally made from leather or parchment left after the book covers were created. In medieval monasteries, bookmarks had a variety of shapes, from a simple thread to triangles.
Rotating bookmarks were a creative kind of bookmark indeed. They were attached to a string that got pressed between the pages and they had a marker attached to it, that could be slid up and down to mark the precise level on the page. To take things further, attached to the marker was a rotating disk with numbers, 1 to 4, this indicating the column (1, 2 on the left page, 3, 4 on the right page) where the reader stopped.
Some Innovative Bookmarks throughout History
The Royal Museum of Brunei has an ivory bookmark, made in India, adorned with a geometric motifs and perforations dating from the 16th century.
And some 15th century bookmarks as seen in Van Eyck paintings, The Rolin Madonna and Annunciation. Do you notice the metal pin with a round metal head placed in the open books?
It is known that Elizabeth I was presented with a special fringe silk bookmark depicting her portrait by her printer Christopher Barker in 1584 as a thank you gift for bestowing upon him exclusive rights to print the Bible in 1577.
A common pattern between bookmarks of 18th to 19th century was the narrow silk ribbon, not more than 1 cm wide, glued to the book at the top of the spine and long enough to protrude beyond the lower edges of the tome.
The first detached and therefore collectible bookmarks appeared in the 1850s and become of interest for cultural historians. In the Victorian era, ladies from the high society taught their daughters the art of embroidery, and to show their skills in this field they would often craft a bookmark. This meant that many bookmarks were embroidered, often attached to a hand drawing, and used in bibles or prayer books and given as gifts to family members or close friends.
After 1850, bookmarks began to be made of a variety of materials. Whether they are made of gold, bronze, brass, tin, leather or ivory, they also have different sizes and shapes.
Below: a Japanese Maple leaf iridescent copper bookmark, a Pallache (Sword) with Scabbard Bookmark, a 3D origami bookmark, a wooden bookmark.
Around the 1860s sewing machines began to be used to make bookmarks, so silk ones became highly prized gifts during the Victorian era. Woven pictorial bookmarks produced by Thomas Stevens, a 19th century English silk weaver, starting around 1862, are called Stevengraphs. Woven silk bookmarks were very appreciated gifts in Victorian days and Stevens seemed to make one for every occasion and celebration. One Stevengraph read:
All of the gifts which heaven bestows, there is one above all measure, and that’s a friend midst all our woes, a friend is a found treasure to thee I give that sacred name, for thou art such to me, and ever proudly will I claim to be a friend to thee.
Since 1880, the production of this type of bookmarks declined in favor of paper or cardboard designs. At the same time, books became more and more popular and available to the masses. Insurance companies, publishers and other businesses saw an opportunity to use free bookmarks as advertisements.
Some bookmarks were next created in form of knives since in the early 19th century the pages in books were not completely separated, so the book signs were also used as paper-cutting knives.
The Infernal Bookmark
At the beginning of the XI century it s said that the Irish monk Coloman used a fly as a bookmark. Luckily, not everyone has such a serviceable fly at hand while reading. For whenever Coloman stopped reading his Bible, he would order the fly, which was always pacing back and forth on his page, to sit on the exact line he had stopped reading until he returned to continue his lecture. Which the fly did infallibly.
Only that Coloman was not the only one… I do remember reading Memories of Childhood by Romanian author Ion Creanga. Creanga, who grew up in a small Moldavian village in north-eastern Romania, recalls his school books, handed down from one generation to the next, and far from being in pristine condition. While they, as inventive school kids, would take a break from reading to wait patiently for as many flies as possible flies to settle on the page… only to smack the book closed. Well, perhaps not using flies as bookmarks…
Apparently bookmarks were even used for propaganda purposes by the 3rd Reich in Democratic Germany.
Today, there are no limits to the types of page-holders we can use. A strip of paper, a bank note, a blade of grass, train or bus tickets, even a feather can function of the bookmark. A loved one’s picture or an uplifting message are just as appealing to me, although my favorite bookmarks are the one my children made for me.
Shape-wise too, the sky is the limit. Triangular bookmarks that could be placed on the corner of the book page, magnetic page-holders and bookmarks that attach themselves to the page like a clip are also popular. Kindles or electronic readers have a build in bookmark, any reading experience is incomplete without a proper bookmark.
Regardless of the reason, a well-chosen bookmark can enhance one’s reading experience much better than other methods that are not as safe and as attractive such as… dog ears. A bookmark connects space and time, it joins the time spent reading with the real timeline of one’s life. It is the fingerprint of the time spent enjoying a certain book.
The Story of the Giant Radish sprang to my mind today, while I was seeing to our mini vegetable garden. It might be a children’s story, but it illustrates the power of many, when they are working together.
As a child I always wondered about this giant radish. How can it grow so big? And what meals can one possibly cook, since there is so much of it? Anyway, over here we eat radishes in salad, and we eat the leaves too since they come from our garden and I know they are, hmm, organic.
Before I share with you the story of the Giant Radish I must confess that, luckily for us, hubby has green fingers, mine are usually full of ink. But I can pull weeds, an addictive activity in case you were wondering.
The Story of the Giant Radish
Once upon a time there lived an old man who enjoyed tending to his vegetable garden.
One morning he decided to plant radishes. He prepared their beds, planted the seeds and watered them. Day after day he watered the seeds and pulled out the weeds, no matter how sore his back would get. And while he took a break from work, he’d pull out his whistle to play a song. Alongside his garden birds.
And every now and then he would stop from his work and from his music-making to look at the sky. And he would admire the blue roof of the world until his eyes grew full of it, and he couldn’t keep them open any longer.
And he did so day after day, while his radishes grew. And they grew. Until one morning when the old man stepped into his yard and couldn’t believe his eyes. One of his radishes was bigger than the rest. Much bigger. Much, much bigger.
The old man couldn’t believe his eyes. He couldn’t believe his luck. He walked around it once. He walked around it twice. The radish was almost as tall as he was and twice as wide.
Indeed, twice as wide.
He rubbed his hands and made up his mind. He was going to pull it out. So he took a good grip onto its long leaves, minding little that they pricked his hands, and pulled. And he pulled and then pulled some more. Yet the radish wouldn’t yield.
So the old man called his old woman to help him.
She was very proud of him for growing such a giant of a radish. She was already thinking of all the food she will be able to cook out of that one radish. So she grabbed his waistcoat, and the old man grabbed the radish leaves again. And they both pulled. And they pulled.
But the radish didn’t budge, so they thought and they thought and then called their grand daughter to help.
So the granddaughter grabbed the old woman’s waist coat, the old woman grabbed the old man’s waistcoat, and the old man grabbed the radish leaves again. Not minding that they pricked his hands. Wondering how spicy it will be, big as it had grown.
And all three pulled. And they pulled. Yet the radish would not yield.
So the granddaughter thought and she thought and she called their dog, who was snoozing under a tree, bored that there was nothing to bark at.
Dog grabbed the granddaughter’s jacket, the granddaughter grabbed the old woman’s waist coat, the old woman grabbed the old man’s back, and the old man grabbed the radish leaves once more. Not minding in the least that they prickled his hands.
And all four pulled. And they pulled. And they pulled some more, yet the radish wouldn’t move.
Eventually they stopped pulling and Dog, after panting a while, barked and called Cat. Who was sleeping on the window-sole, bored that there were no mice around for her to chase.
‘Come and help, Cat,’ barked Dog.
‘I don’t have time’, Cat complained. ‘I sleep.’
But Dog barked till Cat joined them.
So Cat grabbed Dog’s tail, Dog took hold of the granddaughter’s coat, the granddaughter grabbed the old woman’s waist coat, the old woman grabbed the old man’s back, and the old man grabbed the radish leaves once more.
Not minding in the least that they prickled his hands.
Yet the radish, still, would not budge.
So, when they all stopped pulling and grandma went to the well to fetch them all some fresh, sweet water, after the old man wiped his forehead with his handkerchief he kept for best, and Dog went to rest in the shade, Cat stretched, arched her back and called Mouse.
In his burrow at the end of the vegetable garden Mouse trembled a bit. Did someone wanted his cheese? So he gobbled it up before coming out.
So… Mouse grabbed Cat’s tail, Cat grabbed Dog’s tail, Dog took hold of the granddaughter’s coat, the granddaughter grabbed the old woman’s waist coat, the old woman grabbed the old man’s back, and the old man grabbed the radish leaves once more.
Forgetting all about their prickly leaves.
And they all pulled and pulled, never giving up till the radish gave up and came out of the ground. Whole. And big.
And they all cheered.
Only one individual might have no strength, but two have twice as more power and many are sure to be victorious together.
Why Is a Cat Not Like a Dog? ~ a poem from a dog’s perspective from the poetry book for animal and nature lovers ‘As Good as Gold‘.
“A cat has a heart-shaped nose above a mouth with piercing teeth, A cat has paws with soft, pink cushions hiding sharp claws beneath, A cat has pointy whiskers, to catch running drops of milk And a tail to play with, a tail that flicks, made of silk.
Why is a cat Like that?
A cat is playful, yet she loves to sleep. A cat drinks milk, but prefers raw meat. A cat will meow and shriek and spit when she’s upset with you, Yet curl and purr so softly, it will lure you into a snooze.
Why does a cat Act like that?
A cat will jump around like she has springs instead of feet, A cat will roam at night, her eyes turn “torches” in a beat. A cat will choose her home and master, it hardly chooses her And if she feels like doing so, you name it, and she’ll do it with a purr.
Why does a cat Act like that?
A cat will watch from high above, and jump upon her prey, She’ll hardly learn a trick or two, yet pantry’s door is play. She’ll never fetch or chew a shoe, She’d rather use her claws To let you know she’s made her mind, A cat will hardly joke.
I guess a cat is just a cat as I’m a dog myself. A cat can’t bark, she’ll spit; She can’t protect a home, like me, she’ll use her claws instead. A cat will lure you off to sleep by purring low and soft, Her body’s reassuring, warm, as I dose off at noon. I guess a cat’s a cat and could be good around the room.
I guess a cat is just like that, She’s different and that Is okay With me.”
Just over the meadow, just over the hill, Where the grass is greener and the stream runs slow, There’s a spot that many walk past and few really know. Here’s where puppy likes to go and explore.
He came here today, He’s here right now. Oh, puppy, Watch out!
Just over the meadow, were the trees grow tall And the shade is thick and the grass is soft, Puppy rolls all over then he lies dead, sloshed. This is his kingdom; he’s the King, the servant and the fool…
But something’s new in the grass today… Ouch! It pricked his nose And his behind.
Just over the meadow and right down the hill A puppy yelps and licks his snout; something’s amiss! His Kingdom’s been invaded, time for attack! The growl troops are summoned while the tail’s tugged for retreat…
Puppy tiptoes, Takes a peek. Sniffs carefully…. What IS that squeak?
Just over the meadow, hidden in the green, lush grass, A creature as small as a… ball wanders about. Not quite round, with pointy nose and… needles, no doubt! “What is the use of those?” barks puppy from afar.
Two beady eyes Smile at pup. “What is the use of a tail?” The creature asks.
Just over the meadow, right down the hill, A puppy and a hedgehog sit together, two chums. And chat of this and laugh at that, mostly insects and bugs, Then they both roll around, each one on his meadow half.
For a Kingdom at war is of use to none. Better share and make friends with your strange neighbour, Enjoy together a snack, there are plenty about And share the shade, lots of it to go around.
“A super sweet and poignant book of poetry about what a pup thinks of his world. As a cat lover I especially was tickled by his relationship to the cat. Any dog lover would adore this book. The photos were appealing. Haikus at the end were tiny diamonds.” (Kathryn Meyer Griffith, long time author)
“There is something truly magical about this wonderful collection” (Susan Day, Editor and Author)