The Hound Dog and the Flea
by Marisa Montes
Copyright © 2001 by Marisa Montes. All rights reserved.
Princess Gwenyth was ailing.
Her parents were scared.
So they sent out a notice that boldly declared:
"To all Doctors and Healers throughout this great land:
Come and cure our dear Princess, we hereby command!"
Royal Healers arrived and examined the girl,
but it took the Court Jester to set them awhirl:
"Princess Gwenyth is lonely and dull as a log—
Those are surely the symptoms of needing a dog!"
Well, the King looked quite puzzled. The Queen seemed up-tight . . .
then she suddenly shouted, "By Golly, he's right!
But not simply a pooch—Nothing common will do:
A Royal Dog's regal—his blood is pure blue."
"If he's out there, we'll find him!" the old King replied.
"Search each hamlet, each village, the whole countryside!"
When the Princess got word, she went straight round the bend.
"I don't need some old dog—
WHAT I NEED IS A FRIEND!"
Still, her parents insisted they knew what was best,
and they ordered each dog should be put through a test.
So the Palace Guards started a canine parade:
In marched big dogs and small dogs, some yipped and some bayed.
There were twenty, then fifty, then oodles and oodles
of sheep dogs and collies and beagles and poodles.
The pointer dogs pointed—each specially bred.
The hunting dogs hunted; the shepherd dogs led.
The lap dogs lay down on the Queen's ample lap,
looking bored and indignant and ready to nap.
But the more dogs Gwen saw, the more sullen she got.
"Do you like any, Princess?"
She glared. "I think not!"
When no one was looking, she slipped from her chair
and raced from the palace to get some fresh air.
The day had turned stormy; it started to rain.
The stables brought shelter from weather and strain.
Gwenyth lay on the hay feeling lonely and sad.
"They just don't understand me, not Mom and not Dad."
Then the stable door creaked, and she heard a strange sound.
With a whimper . . . a yip . . . through the door crept a hound.
He was muddy and wet and looked hungry and shy.
Gwenyth held out her hand, barely stifling a cry.
The hound hung his head, his ears dragged on the ground,
and he looked up at Gwenyth with eyes dark and round.
"Have you something to eat? I've not eaten in days,"
said his eyes when his gaze bore straight into her gaze.
Gwen returned to the palace and brought back some meat
and some milk and a soup bone to serve as a treat.
The dog ate and he ate and he ate and he ate.
When his belly was full—not a speck on his plate—
the hound licked Gwenyth's hand, and he wagged his long tail.
Then they romped and played games on The King's Royal Trail.
After having more fun than she'd had in a while,
Gwen went home with her hound and a very big smile.
The Queen screamed when they entered, both covered in mud.
"What's that mutt doing here? He can't be of pure blood!"
"If he's not, I don't care—doesn't matter to me!"
And that is when Gwen was attacked by a flea.
The flea first bit her leg, then her arm, then her neck,
while poor Gwen ran in circles, becoming a wreck.
"Get away!" yipped the poodle.
"Be gone!" growled the Dane.
"I don't want any fleas!" the Dalmatian complained.
But Gwen's hound saved the day when he barked to the flea:
"Quick, now! Jump off the Princess, and live here on me."
The flea bounced off the Princess, preferring dog's blood—
in particular, hounds that were covered in mud.
Princess Gwenyth relaxed, and she hugged her hound tight.
"You're my hero! My savior! My dear, gallant Knight!"
"I declare!" said the Queen. "Such a thing, I've not seen!
He's a mutt, and he's mangy and not even clean!"
"So what," said the King, "if his blood's not quite blue?
He has proved a good friend—faithful, loyal, and true."
So the King dubbed the hound, who was now known as Knight,
and Knight stayed with his Princess, their days long and bright.
Copyright © 2011 by Marisa Montes. All rights reserved.