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Jul 2013
In the window of the pet shop
four small faces, lost.
Their owners, sick with worry,
want them found at any cost.

A quad of treasured family pets
roaming wild and free,
unmindful of the panic
they’re causing back in Leigh.

A sausage dog called Mini,
sleek and burnished dark.
She’s likely got a little voice
that is more squeak than bark.

Tinks: a sturdy Staffie,
with a plea on Facebook
praying for his safe return
his people beg you “have a look”

“in your sheds and garages,
or in the kids' playhouse.
You never know who could be there
‘cos he’s quiet as a mouse”.

A grumpy Border Terrier,
Underbitten, rough of coat
“Bill: a much loved dog, we miss him”
in shaky letters wrote.

And, last of all, would you believe
Someone’s lost their tortoise!
He’s been in the family since ‘77
(let’s hope he isn’t corpus).

For pets are no mere mortals,
nor fallible as we.
They’re up there on a pedestal,
in anthropomorphic fantasy.

Then one day they disappear,
our soppy hearts turn wretched.
No stick to throw, and if we did
none to go and fetch it.

On centre stage of family life
entangled in our tribe.
No separateness of species,
always by our side.

So if you’re there, or round about
And you should chance to see
Mini, Tinks or Billy
or a tortoise in his mid-thirties.

Tell the little pet shop -
it’s better late than never -
to mend an aching, wretched heart
who thought their best friend gone forever.
Miss Tabitha Devereaux
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