Friday, November 15, 2013

Poetry Friday - A Review of Wolf and Dog

We have coyotes in the hills around my house, and many evenings we hear them yipping and yowling. Not long ago I wondered what they must think of the domesticated dogs that they encounter. Do they know that they are related to the dogs? Today's poetry title looks at the relationship that exists between a dog and his wild cousin, the wolf.

Wolf and DogWolf and Dog
Sylvia Vaden Heede
Illustrated by Marije Tolman
Translated by Bill Nagelkerke
For ages 7 to 10
Gecko Press, 2013, 978-1-877579-47-9
Wolf lives in the forest at the top of the hill and his cousin, Dog, lives in a house and sleeps in a basket every night. Wolf is a rather uncouth fellow who bites when he is hungry. He is hungry when he visits Dog, but Dog reminds him that they are cousins and that cousins don’t bite one another.
   Being a hospitable fellow, Dog cooks Wolf some bacon. Dog might be willing to eat lettuce, but Wolf wants meat, and lots of it. Wolf, being the kind of creature he is, snatches the bacon right out of the pan, leaving nothing for Dog.
   Wolf comes to call on another day, when the boss is gone again, and Dog tells him that he has a flea bothering him. He accuses Wolf of being the animal responsible for giving him the flea. Wolf, being a sly and sometimes unpleasant creature, turns the tables on Dog and demands that Dog return his flea. Dog gets scared when he sees his cousin’s teeth and hears his growl.  Wolf may be his cousin, but Wolf is wild and “can’t be tamed.” Dog has no choice but to threaten Wolf. If Wolf harms him, Dog will bark for his boss and Wolf would not like that to happen. At all. To avert what could turn into a nasty situation Wolf decides that he is going to give Dog his flea. Wolf was given the bacon to eat, and in return he has given Dog one of his fleas, of which he has many.
   In this delightful, often funny collection of story poems, the author tells nine stories about the interactions between Dog and Wolf. Sometimes the two animals are competing or trying to get the better of each other, and at other times they realize that they have more in common than they thought. There are even times when they get along and help one another out.


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