Fable of the Dog and Cat

by Hervey Allen

Hervey Allen

A pup and kitten raised together
For some time found the social weather
Salubrious as one might wish
And ate together from one dish.
But later on they realized that
One was a dog, the other cat;
And their enlightenment was such
The weather altered very much.
The dog, in short, grew large and larger;
Snapped at the cat and tried to charge her.
Still small, although she grew aloof,
Puss took to dwelling on the roof.
To compensate for fortune's arrows,
Slaughter occurred among the sparrows,
And while below the dog would whine
The cat upon the roof would dine.
For puss, though passing eloquent
When big with earthly discontent,
Shrank heavenwards when words were spent.
Thus always taking higher ground
That needs no argument in sound,
She sate, and learned to contemplate
The dog upon his lowly round.
Whether it was his discontent —
Or an ironical intent
In feathers wafted down to him —
The dog, and not the cat, grew thin.
Almost a lifetime thoughtfully spent
In gazing at the firmament,
And cats, revealed in nature's laws
No reason for the saving clause.
Moved by no heavenly dispensation
To grounds of doglike compensation,
Puss kept the roof and with the stars
Smoked metaphorical cigars.

Last updated September 05, 2017