Who Gets the Bully?

A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down. ~Robert Benchley

Recently, I found myself tuned in to Cesar Milan (you know, the Dog Whisperer), and he was promoting an upcoming show in which a couple needed his help with their bulldog mix who’d bitten their 3-year-old child.

The couple trained horses for a living, and the mom — despite the boy’s scars, despite her husband’s pleas to get rid of the dog — prided her abilities and refused to admit defeat. Even if the dog bit the boy again.

What was she thinking??

Continue reading

Only Child


Only child, all by yourself,
Who will teach you to share?
Only child, all by yourself,
How will you learn to care?

No sibling in sight to share with or fight,
No one to compete with, it’s true.
No closet to plunder, no sister or brother,
No one but your parents and you.

Imaginary games played by just one.
Imaginary friends who listen
And speak what you want, when you want them to talk,
Then depart with nary a squeak.

Before you know it, school begins
And then you will see, I fear,
The grappling and clawing, commotion and jawing
Of others you won’t want too near.

Only child, all by yourself,
Who will teach you to share?
Only child, all by yourself,
How will you learn to care?

Watching and listening are strengths that I have,
Don’t fret over me, mother and dad.
“Only” doesn’t mean lonely, you know,
And who misses what he’s never had?

I’ve chosen my pals with knowledge and care,
They like me in spite of my flaws.
They know when to talk and refuse to balk
If I’m grumpy or down with the blahs.

I’ve courted kindness, rightness, and humor
To bring people into my sphere.
I’m comfy alone and can hold my own
Whether folks are away or right here.

‘Tis better by far to have peace when alone
Than discord with a sibling, you see.
Anger, bitterness, silence, and hate
Are nothing I want around me.

Only child, all by yourself,
Of course you are learning to share!
Only child, all by yourself,
Your heart teaches you to care.

NOTE: This, according to my research, is written in Ballad Metre, a variation of Common Measure. Four lines alternate between iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter in the rhyming pattern of a-b-c-b. If any of you experts know otherwise, please educate me!

Writing Conference Wrap-up

Because some of you asked me to share a few nuggets I gleaned from the writing conference I attended recently, here goes (and remember, back to “regular programming” next time!):

Continue reading

Spring is Coming…Really!

“The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.” — Gertrude Wister, horticulturist

Yes, the calendar still says Winter, but some of us (including me) are longing for Springtime. And despite Juno, Linus, and all those ridiculously-named winter storms, Mother Nature is preparing for a new season.

Here, take a look:

Continue reading