James Carter
Created: 21st July, 2017

betWeen the Dog & the WoLF (after Aesop)


A wolf once chanced upon a dog

outside the wild wood.

Cried Wolf, ‘And how are you today?’

Barked Dog, ‘Well, life is good:

I’m loved, I’m fed, and warm’s my bed.

So me, I’m doing fine!’

‘Fed?’ cried Wolf, and ‘Warm?’ he said.

‘I’d swap your life for mine.’

‘I’m starved,’ moaned Wolf, ‘I’m cold. Afraid.

My life is constant strain.

And every day I struggle on

through wind, through snow, through rain.’

‘But what,’ asked Wolf, ‘is that odd thing?’

‘Oh that!’ laughed Dog, ‘it’s great! -

‘My collar’s how they tie me up

so I will not escape!’

‘And that’s not all, it bears my name!

I run when I am called!

Or fetch a stick, or do a trick.

A dog is not ignored!’

‘A name?’ cried Wolf, ‘Have you no shame?

A beast must keep its soul.

You’re better dead than tame.’ he said.

‘You have been truly sold…

However hard my life may get

my spirit must be free.

I’ll keep my moon, my stars, my dark,

my space to live and be.’

With this, the Wolf began to cry

a tortured, whining growl -

so horrified by brother Dog:

that’s how it learnt to howl.


(from The World’s Greatest Space Cadet – Bloomsbury - Jan 2017)


James Carter - Between the Dog and the Wolf (after Aesop) Freedom Poem for NPD 2017