University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The Literature Collection

Page View

Meyer, Wallace (ed.) / The Wisconsin magazine
Volume XIII, Number 5 (February 1916)

Anundensen, George
Just my brown dog,   pp. Twenty-five-Twenty-six


Page Twenty-six


THE WISCONSIN MAGAZINE
where the loons sweep great circles on
the dark waters, their sad voices pierc-
ing the night like quivering darts of
sound; where the humming things of
the forest sing a symphony in the trees
until it sounds like a great harp; where
my Brown Dog and I will go hunting
fire-wood side by side in the gathering
dusk. -
  Afterward, when darkness has fallen
in among the trees, bending low over
the crumbling embers we will cook our
supper and eat it together while we
watch the smoke curl its way up into
the dim whispering rafters of the for-
est.
  And then coming home!
  I used to think I had found him
sometimes. Once it was in a crowded
city street. He stopped to greet me
in passing; we looked into one anoth-
er's eyes, and for a moment I thought
-but some gay boyish whistle down
the block called him with the unforget-
able call of master to man, and he
turned, a little reluctantly I think, and
went off, giving me one backward look
as if to tell em that he would have
liked to stay.
   Another time it was in the woods in
Autumn. The leaves were crisping and
the grass was brittle under our feet.
The fields were camps of shocked corn
and the dusk of coming winter clung
to the far off shaven hills. He came
romping down a long corn aisle and
lie caught the edge of my skirt in his
teeth. It was a gay invitation, a chal-
lenge to come and play-so we did. We
played all afternoon, resting sometimes
upon a fallen log, and then setting out
to explore with the zest of youngsters,
climLing over rocky outcrops and into
stream carved valleys, deep with the
talus of the forest slopes.
  It was a gay day, and such a good
one! but just at sun-down when we
both began to think of home, my play-
mate saw a chalky quarryman plodding
along across the field, thumping his
dinner pail against his baggy knee, and
without a word he darted off to follow
him and I knew that he could not be
my dog.
  Sometimes I wonder if I should go
seeking him, but after all, the friends,
we love the best are those we find by
mutual consent, and those we value
most are those to whom we give our
greatest gifts.
  There is no mutuality about friend-
ships, no balanced giving and receiv-
ing, for the deepest, truest love is that
unspoken love which leaps from heart
to heart unwatched, and from hand to
hand in little intimate services, and
from mind to mind in small unnoticed
g-ifts of intellect and ideals that bear
no stamp and need no word of thanks.
And Yet they never counterpoise, these
friendships of ours, for one of us is
always giving most, giving with gener-
ous hands and with all his heart, just
for the love of it; and I know that such
a friendship ours must be, between my
Brown Dog and I, for I will only have
to offer my gentle hand for him to lick.
mv fire for him to lie beside, my roof
for him to seek in time of storm and
my comradeship when I have time to
r)lav, while he-he will give his whole
life, his unflinching fidelity, his unfal-
tering trust, his day, his night, his uni-
verse.
Twenty-six


Go up to Top of Page