Sit And Stay
When the levee broke, the water came,
And flooded the entire town,
To save the folks, men came in boats,
So not a soul would drown.
"Not any room," the rescuer said,
"For dogs, or cats, or pets,
Men, women, and children only,
Sorry," he expressed regrets.
"You can't go, girl," her master said,
As, with tears, he turned away,
"I promise I'll come back for you,
But for now, girl…sit and stay!"
So Princess sat on the front porch steps,
While the dark waters swirled below
Her doggy heart nearly broke apart.
When she saw her master go,
She could have jumped into the water,
And dog-paddled after him,
But sit and stay were the words she heard,
So she made no effort to leap in.
Always an obedient dog,
She listened to her master's voice,
And his command still fresh at hand,
Gave her no other choice.
She had water, she had food,
Enough to last for several days,
But her doggy appetite left, too,
When her master's boat got under way.
The first night on that dampened porch
Princess felt fearful and alone,
She whimpered nearly all night through,
She missed her master and her home.
The next day came, and then the next,
With no boats approaching her,
She saw a few rush by her porch,
But most of them were just a blur.
One night the house began to shudder,
The porch shook and broke away,
Then, like a raft, it floated off,
While on it, Princess sat and stayed.
In the morning, far from home,
The raft was caught in tangled weeds,
Back and forth poor Princess paced,
A pathetic sight, indeed.
She stared up at a cloudless sky,
Her eyes too tired to really see,
But she thought she saw a rainbow,
Up above the flooded trees.
It started near the porch's edge,
It seemed like a bridge high in the sky,
Perhaps if she could reach it,
It would lead to some place dry.
She stretched to reach the rainbow,
She stood tall on her hind legs,
She lost her balance several times,
And almost fell into the dregs.
If it truly were the Rainbow Bridge,
She knew it would lead to Heaven's Gate.
But…what about her master,
Who had commanded her to wait?
She could not forget his orders,
And always she obeyed his words,
So she'd sit and stay and wait for him,
No matter how absurd.
Limp, exhausted and resigned,
She fell asleep on the old porch floor,
Then she awoke, surprised to find
The rainbow closer than before.
Easier now for her to reach,
She wouldn't have to stretch at all,
But then across the murky waters,
She heard a sweet, familiar call,
"Princess! Princess! Where are you, girl?"
Her master's voice rang loud and clear,
She stood and weakly wagged her tail,
While whining softly she was here.
A reunion to end reunions!
Wet kisses, wags, and hugs!
Tears of joy and happy howls!
Heart strings pulled and tugged!
The Rainbow bridge no longer seen,
By the loyal dog who had obeyed
Nor would it reappear for years,
For the dog that chose to sit and stay.
By Virginia (Ginny) Ellis, 9/23/05
Photos from Kinship Circle post-Katrina animal aid in New Orleans. (c) Kinship Circle