Green Hills Literary Lantern



Primer: A Giant Dog Snarls and Readies to Leap at You



Do not stare into the snarling beast’s fixed eyes or you will be leaped upon

as if you are moist, breathing and tasty prey or even a challenging intruder

since the canine’s code sees eye-balling as your interest in further fighting.


Try to peer at said canine from the distant corners of your eyes plus stop

making sobbing sounds which might agitate your would-be attacker. Dogs

may possibly smell the terror oozing from your pores. Try to keep calm.


You are very likely yelling your lungs raw and screaming at the highest

pitch possible and this is not very useful either as it will aggravate the dog

more than ever. Exude a sense of being the top dog who’s in control.


But you can holler "STOP" or better yet "NO" at the dog and pray that

this dog has had a little education in this vocabulary. Try yelling "NO"

in several languages if the first does not bring about cessation of the assault.


Excellent tricks: you should carry a ball and toss it when the huge growling

creature confronts you. Yes! He chases the ball and all's well. Nevertheless

he may still wish to continue to attack. (He’s not interested in playing catch?)


Try to keep chunks of steak handy and toss them to the dog, he will run to

the treat, therefore away from your warm flesh! However this might train him

to wait for the human who comes bearing steak, and then to attack until rewarded.


If these academic methods fail to halt the charging dog then:

you must quickly curl into your finest fetal position, wrap your arms to protect

head and throat, hope for the best and think about not taking any more walks.








Judith Cody, poet, composer and photographer, is published in over 110 journals and anthologies and has won many national awards; a poem is in the Smithsonian’s permanent collection in Spanish and English editions. Books include a biography of composer, Vivian Fine: A Bio-Bibliography as well as Eight Frames Eight, poems and Woman Magic. Cody was editor-in-chief of the first Resource Guide on Women in Music, published by San Francisco State University. She also edited the PEN Oakland anthology Fightin’ Words. One of her poems was selected by Centre College's Norton Center for the Arts to be featured in an exhibit on relationships between literature and photography. Cody loves hiking, also teaching organic gardening. She received the University of California Master Gardener lifetime achievement award.