cattails
September 2016
Haibun
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UHTS collected works


ATAVISM
Barnabas I. Adeleke
Nigeria


To Ajegunle...He had always taken the fenced perimeter of my apartment as the limit of his world. I rarely took him out. I remember the first day he ventured out of the apartment. He chased every moving thing in the alley. I then chained him for the first time. Now in this slum, where there are no fenced houses and all there is are a vast expanse of filth and slimy gutters and human dunghills, and a plethora of moving targets, Major hardly stays at home. Frustrated, I chained him down for days but he freed himself and since then seldom returns to me.

Whenever I am out searching for him, he only acknowledges me from a distance with a wag of his tail. He then hurries off with a 'platoon' of four or five stray dogs. Recently, a neighbour told me he bit her young son. Another said he stole from her shed. Rumors of a rabid dog on the loose are rife in the neighborhood. Stray dogs are being hunted down.

picking wild berries
she wanders past the reach
of father's call