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Why the Dog Howls

From The Seattle Star, January 12, 1914. By Berton Braley.

Why does the dog throw back his head
And howl at night to greet the moon?
In ages long forgot and dead,
When earth was still a block new hewn,
The wolf pack roamed the wilderness,
And with them ran, all gaunt and gray,
The father of our friend today,
A white-fanged wolf—whom time has made
Into the slave of man, his aid,
A comrade ever faithful grown,
Who sleeps beside his own hearth stone.

But now and then when moonlight thrills
Across the valley and the hills,
The old wild magic steals again
Over the canine friend of men;
He seems to slink the forest through,
The ancient forest that he knew;
He seems to hear again the pack
That bays upon the white moon’s track,
And from his throat and shaggy jowl
Issues again the old wolf howl,
The ululating lupine wail
That once re-echoed on the trail!
I know not if this tale be truth,
But so ’twas told me, in my youth!

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