A Dog, a Cat and a Mulberry Tree
by Oliver Thomas
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An old man's answer to raising children. This poem is in my latest book of verse, "Around the Campfire"
A Dog, A Cat and A Mulberry Tree
The old man tied his camel
To the ancient split rail fence
And watched the kids all lining up,
Their pockets filled with pence.
He took each child with gentle care
And placed them in the seat,
Then guided them along the track,
Their happiness complete,
And when the last child had her ride,
He bid them all ‘Good Day’,
Then sat down on a blackened stump
To pass the time away.
‘Y’ know’ he said, ‘There’s kids and kids,
But this lot’s pretty good.
They minded everything I said,
It’s clear they understood.
It isn’t hard to raise a child,
Providing you’ve the skill.’
And then he gave me this advice,
It’s well remembered still.
‘To raise a child there’s just three things
Important as can be;
One’s a dog, two’s a cat
And three’s a mulberry tree.
A dog will teach them loyalty
And if they treat him right,
They’ll always have a constant friend
Who’ll keep them in their sight.
They’ll think they’re caring for the dog,
But if the truth be known,
The dog will mind the children well
Until they’re fully grown.
As parents you will have concerns;
Of that there is no doubt,
Be sure they will be guarded well,
While Rover is about.
A cat’s an independent sort,
Yet full of feline grace.
She won’t think twice to give a swipe
To put you in your place.
She’ll wash herself from dawn ‘til dusk
With attitude serene.
She has no competition when
It comes to being clean.
She’ll curl up in a cosy nook
Or on the fireside mat.
You couldn’t do much better than
To give your child a cat.
A mulberry tree is there to climb;
And sometimes skin their knees,
But with some practice, up they’ll go
As sprightly as you please.
It gives them confidence and pluck,
So wipe away that frown.
They’ll burn up excess energy
As they climb up and down.
Now you may say most any tree
Within your yard will do,
A mulberry tree’s much better,
For it feeds their silkworms too.
So give your child these simple things
And they will do the rest.
They’ll need some supervision,
But they soon will pass the test.
Then off they’ll go upon their own,
The old dog close behind.
Before you’ll know, they’re twenty one
And making up their mind
To start their own young family,
With one or two or three.
They’ll prob’ly have a cat and dog
And plant a mulberry tree.
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|Reviewed by Karen Palumbo
|A beautiful circle you have painted with your words. A dog, a cat and a mulberry tree all to keep your kids in line.......Enjoyed.
|Reviewed by Mr. Ed
|So give your child these simple things
And they will do the rest.
The simple things are truly the best, and a wonderful poem, Oliver!
|Reviewed by Connie Faust
|A beautiful, fascinating poem! Although I'd add a few elements to his simple child-rearing philosophy, "A Dog, a Cat and a Mulberry Tree" is wise and charming. Well-written, too. I like it so much, I need to read more of your work.
This one actually made me say, "awwww, how sweet," as I read.