Laika Goes To Hell Part 1

a bit of doggeral by LAIKA PUPKINO


My name is Laika and this is my canto
And you might think it’s some strange mad-dog rant though
If you’ll lend me some indulgence and hear this tale out
You’ll see just as plain as the nose on your snout
That every last word of my grim account’s true,
And be glad this all happened to me and not you…

Now I’m not a puppy what’s prone to go roamin’
But somehow I found myself far from my home and
In some big weird forest ugly-smelling and dark;
Not a soul within earshot to answer my bark.
I was real scared I’ll tell you, and plenty confused,
And not one teensy weensy little wee bit amused!

‘Til I came to a clearing and beheld a sight
That made this old pup’s heart well right up with delight.
I was dumbstruck with wonder, agog with sheer awe
At that glorious vision of caninehood I saw.
From his proud noble carriage I just knowed it was him-
Yep, every dog’s hero- the great Rin Tin Tin Tin.

Well there was only one thing I could think of to do
In devout genuflection to this prince of virtue,
Which he bore with good nature as I savored his musk,
‘Til he at last cleared his throat and bespoke to me thus:
Your obeisance is noted. You honor me, Mutt.
Now kindly dislodge your cold nose from my butt!

So I withdrew my sniffer from that good shepherd’s wazoo
And said, “Tell me oh Hero,” (‘cause I was hoping he knew…)
“How I’ve come to be here in this weird hinky space,
When last thing I knew I was home at my place?
Doin’ somethin’ or other, my recall's a bit hazy.
I was chewing on something, and by gosh it was tasty!”

Said he: “It’s no surprise that your memory’s blocked;
This quite often happens when a critter gets shocked.
You had chew toys aplenty that your owner had bought you,
But there was one thing he told you that you never had ought chew;
Yet his pleas and entreaties you steadfastly ignored,
And kept on going back to that electrical cord…

“Your Master had warned you time and time again,
And for us dogs disobeying our Human’s a sin.
So now you are here in this place that’s positioned
‘Tween the green fields of Heaven and the pits of Perdition.
You’re not quite yet dead dawg, but you’ve been knocked right out cold,
So you yet have a chance for to reclaim your soul…

There are things I will show you, a sort of a tour,
Of what awaits bad dogs beyond Death’s great black door.
You’ll view torments eternal which merely to see,
Could cause you to piss yourself involuntar’ly.
Youl’ll hear wails of such anguish, of such despair and fear,
That they shall haunt your dreams for the rest of your years!

“But all dogs go to Heaven, least that’s what I’ve heard…”
He shook his great head. Said, “Dawg don’t be absurd!
There’s no up without down, no black without white,
No laid back n’ mellow without stressed and uptight,
It’s all Yin and Yang, friend. So know this as well:
There’s no Pet Paradise without Animal Hell.

“What you have here’s a chance that but few beasts are offered,
A lesson, I warn you, that had best not be squandered…
If I’d thought I could do so I would have run and hid.
Instead I joked weakly, “Let’s not and say we did.”
He said, “You’ve no choice now, the only way out is through it.”
“Then to quote Cole Porter,” I grimaced, “Let’s do it!”

So we set off down the old forest trail a few clicks,
Until we came to a river, a river of sticks.
It’s a visual pun,” sighed my guide, “And quite hoaky.”
I said, “There’s no way to cross that. Those sticks look real pokey!”
And yet soon enough across them we’ll be faring,
We need but await here for the great barque of Charon

The sticks undulating as they passed was hypnotic,
And watching them found me soon growing very seasick;
When trotting up the bank came a dainty Chihuahua
No greater in size than some Bull Mastiff’s right forepaw.
She told us, “I’m Charon. Chew guys here for a ride?
You chur man? It’s all chitty on that other side!

Make it so,” spake Rin Tin Tin, so she let out a yip
Of such hurricane force that our feet lost their grip
On the bank’s barren soil and we flew up in an arc,
High over that river t’word a vast region real dark.
“What a bark!” I did marvel, “That Charon’s quite a lady.”
Yes she gets the job done,” grinned my Virgil, “Next stop …………….. Hades!”

AUTHOR’S NOTE:This poem came to me yesterday in one inspired (?) rush when I thought I was going to be working on my THE ABATTOIR prequel. The 5 or 6 cantos of the complete poem will be 99% non-t.g., so I was more comfortable posting it as a blog than as a story. If this sounds a bit like cowboy poetry, that’s intentional. I figured this would be the kind of verse a dog would write. Also it freed me from having to get really anal about rhyme and meter, rather than trying to match Signore Dante’s elegant precision (or so I recall, having read the Ciardi translation 10-15 years ago…). Parts 2 and 3 will depend on my coming up with appropriate punishments for the various canine sins. I have Circle One: Beggars, nippers, chewers. Circle Two: Poopers & piddlers, all-day barkers, leg humpers. Circle Three: Biters and Berzerkers. I’m not doing nine circles, Doggy Hell being a much smaller place than the one for humans. I don’t want most of these punishments to be too horrible (real animal abuse being about as funny as child abuse, which is to say not funny at all...), but more or less silly ones, like big robot fire hydrants with legs that chase the damned dogs around whizzing stinky perfume on them. I have most of these punishments figured out, but the one that has me stumped is the one for leg humpers. Are there any sick puppies out there who might have some suggestions?
~~~hugs n' belly rubs, Laika.

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