One day when I was little, my father let me wheedle him to name three pups Squiggly, and Wiggly, and Brim that the bitch had whelped too commonly to keep, as he ruled.
So best they got was four spare weeks reprieve for proving false Pa’s hound-breeder’s experience, and in which time, they grew to fat and furry favorites of everyone, lapping and licking and wagging for homeboy and stranger alike, craving for scratchings of their silky ears and strokings that made them purr; all part of a popular cheeriness for which Pa’s meager charity loaned them an even fortnight more.
Until that sultry day I got his call, “Fetch a bag, boy!”
At my unready look, he cast a neutral eye and said, “Get a rope!”
Then while he held, I tucked the clumsy trio in, tied fast their pouch of whimpers.
I took that walk and, from the swift ravine’s sturdy span, I sent the wriggling bundle off to briefly fly.
Then never forgetting the bitch would whelp again, with breath held tight as a futile fist, I waited for the splash.