A Classic ACD-L "Funny"


The Cattle Dogs
(With apologies to Dr. Seuss)
By Ingrid Rosenquist



Now, the Correct Standard Cattle Dogs
Had no kinks in their tails, no blue on their muzzles and no light colored eyes
The BAD standard Cattle Dogs
Had those kinks in their tails and some EVEN had blue on the muzzle or tan in their eyes!

Those faults weren't so noticeable. They were really so small.
You might think such a thing wouldn't matter at all.

But because they had straight tails with no hook to be seen, all the Correct Standard Cattle Dogs
Would brag, "We're the best kind of Cattle Dog to be found in the bog."
With their snoots in the air (albeit there was no blue on those snoots) they would sniff and they'd snort,
"We'll have nothing to do with the Bad Standard sort!"
And whenever they met some when they were out walking
They'd hike right on past them without even talking.

When the Correct Standard puppies went out to play ball,
Could a Bad Standard get in the game...? Not at all.
You only could play if your tail was on straight and your fur and eyes did not cause one to agitate.
And those Bad Standard Cattle Dogs were even known to cause hearts to palpitate!

When the Correct Standard Cattle Dogs had frankfurter roasts
Or picnics, or parties, or marshmallow toasts,
They never invited the Bad Standard Cattle Dogs.
They left them out cold, in the wet smelly bogs.
They kept them away. Never let them come near.
And that's how they treated them year after year.

Then ONE day, it seems... while the Bad Standard Cattle Dogs
Were moping and doping alone in the bogs
Just sitting there wishing their tails had no kinks and their noses no blue,
A stranger zipped up in the strangest of cars - this was something entirely new!

"My frien s," he announced in a voice clear and keen,
"My name is Sylvester McMonkey McBean.
And I've heard of your troubles. I've heard you're unhappy.
But I can fix that. I'm the Standard Fix-it-Up Chappie.
I've come here to help you. I have what you need.
And my prices are low. And I work at great speed.
And my work is one hundred percent guaranteed!"

Then quickly Sylvester McMonkey McBean
Put together a very peculiar machine.
And he said, "You want conformation like the Correct Standard Cattle Dogs...?
My friends, you can have it for three dollars apiece!"

"Just pay me your money and hop right aboard!"
So they clambered inside. Then the big machine roared
And it blonked. At it bonked. And it jerked. And it berked
And it bopped them about. But the thing really worked!
When the Bad Standard Cattle Dogs popped out, they had no blue in their coat, no tails at an angle,
Just a body Kaleski would've liked to have finagled!

Then they yelled at the ones who had straight tails from the start,
"We're exactly like you! You can't tell us apart.
We're all just the same now, you snooty old smarties!
And now we can go to your frankfurter parties."

"Good grief!" groaned the ones who had no blue on the muzzle from the first.
"We're still the best Cattle Dogs and they are the worst.
But now how in the world will we know," they all frowned,
"If which kind is what, or the other way round?"

Then up came McBean with a very sly wink
And he said, "Things are not quite as bad as you think.
So you don't know who's who. That is perfectly true.
But come with me, friends. Do you know what I'll do?
I'll make you again the best Cattle Dogs in the bog.
And all it will cost you is ten dollars eaches."

"Haven't you heard? said McBean. Correct colored muzzles are no longer in style,
Since, after all, cows have not been able to see color for quite awhile!"
What you need is a trip through my Bad Standard Mac ine.
This wondrous contraption will paint on the blue and although I can't guarantee that it will give you a brain,
You won't look like the Bad Standard Cattle Dogs who have no blue on their muzzles, not even a grain!

And that handy machine
Working very precisely
Kinked all the tails and blued all the bodies (and I must say, it did it quite nicely).

Then with snoots in the air, they paraded about
And they opened their mouths and they let out a shout,
"We know who is who! Now there isn't a doubt.
The best kind of Cattle Dogs are ones who are red, white, and BLUE on their snout!"

Then, of course, those with correct conformation got frightfully mad.
To be a pretty dog now was frightfully bad.
Then, of course, old Sylvester McMonkey McBean
Invited them into his Bad Standard machine.

Then, of course, from THEN on, as you probably guess,
Things really got into a horrible mess.

All the rest of that day, in those wild screaming bogs,
The Fix-it- p Chappie kept fixing up Cattle Dogs.
Off again! On again!
In again! Out again!
Through the machines they raced round and about again,
Changing their conformation every minute or two.
They kept paying money. They kept running though.
Until neither the Bad nor the Correct Standard knew
Whether this one was that one...or that one was this one
Or which one was what one...or what one was who.

Then when every last cent
Of their money was spent
The Fix-it-Up Chappie packed up
And he went.

And he laughed as he drove
In his car up the bog,
"They never will learn.
No. You can't teach a Cattle Dog!"

But McBean was quite wrong. I'm quite happy to say
That the Cattle Dogs got really quite smart on that day.
The day they decided that Cattle Dogs are Cattle Dogs
And no kind of Cattle Dog is the best in the bogs.
That day, all the Cattle Dogs forgot about conformation and color and tails
And decided to go herding instead of reading email!


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