Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Let's call them social workers, these two women who stood in the office of one of them. The office was a place of acquainting, dispensing, love.  The one whose office it was had rescued a dog, a German Shepherd, 'King', condemned to a suffocating death by law.

The Shepherd had failed to adjust to its foster homes.

The one woman whose office this was kept wristing-back, from time to time, the chain holding King in a muscular show of who-leads-whom.

They loved animals, these tall, strong two.

The office had a burnt-brick northern wall, an architectural allusion to industrial times.  Contrasted to that Dickensian surface were the other three walls, each with thin strips of chrome and large, broad panels of moon-bright light.

The post-modern shine contrasted with brick, the venerable, rough rust-and-char, but, also, now with the dark swirls on the coat of the jittery King.

Woman Number 2, a sturdy gal, had cloaked herself in an all-weather, quilted, down-stuffed, rain-proof jacket of red.  And when she got down on all-fours, encouraging a rub with  Hi, boy!  Hi, boy! no one foresaw or could stop King's wild move.

So fast was its lunge and the retraction of its muzzle.  So much was the sound of an ice cliff falling.  So much was the umbrage in a nature without reason.



  1. Sounds like this woman should have read Blink - Or, What the Dog Saw....she obviously was unware of the humans inferior mental capacity to any dog crowned King....bkm

  2. Barbara,

    Insofar as this has a basis in fact, Woman Number 2 was very much a 'big dog' lover and understander.

    Sometimes, 'nature isn't pretty'.

    (Except the view in my backyard when the temp is in the 70s or 80s and I'm off work).


  3. A raw and powerful write, TF. Great textures and juxtapositions woven through. True, nature can be scary.

  4. Tess,

    Your visual prompts put me on 'deep search'. As I've likely said before, I try not to touch the image literally. This one 'found a fit'.



  5. Intriguing indeed. I love dogs like crazy, and i love wildness in all its forms, but I also respect them. They will usually tell you what their intentions are, and it's best to listen and not impose human thinking, because they are not, after all, human.

    What a marvelous touch you have, TF, weaving together the office, the bricks, the contrast, the women, and the doomed dog.

  6. Intriguing read - all things are rarely equal. Nicely written!

  7. Fireblossom,

    Thank you! I, too, respect animals. Talk with all kindly. Like people, some get deeply hurt early and pass on the pain.


  8. Tumblewords,

    When I 'feel mystery', I'm prompted to convey it. What exactly is going on in this (surreal?) piece I'm not quite sure. I'm just glad I'm not part of that floor action!


  9. When I was an actor during the last
    bloody gasps of the war in Viet Nam,
    I attended a cast party for some Noel
    Coward play, and the actor had a large
    beautiful Afghan. Another actor got
    down on all fours and leaned in to
    pet him. The dog lunged forward and
    bit the man's nose off. There were
    thirty of us watching. It happened in
    a half second. The dog coughed and
    spit out the severed septum. This
    cured me of petting dogs I did not
    know, and putting my face down for
    doggy embraces. Your piece was
    good too; better than that, it was
    very good. Deju Vu all over again.

  10. Glenn,

    Afghan + Noel Coward + bloody spit = wow.

    I respect a dog's space. Love 'em. Give 'em their room.