Thursday, 11 December 2008

Song Meme (sort of)

Long ago, before my PC went kaput, and before the dawn of time, etc. I was passed the 'song' meme to do something with: specifically, to give an example of a lyric that says something to me about writing. Lots of people had trouble finding something suitable, as I remember. And so did I, 'cos I'm going to cheat! This isn't really the lyric of a song, it's a lyrical picture book for children, called 'Some Dogs Do' by Jez Alborough. I read it to my son on many a night before he goes to bed, and it's lovely and always brings a tear to my eye, because it speaks about something optimistic and beautiful.

It's the story of Sid, a young dog, who when he was on a walk to school one day, "a happy feeling came his way", which fills him up so much that he finds his paws leaving the ground: "without a how, without a why, Sid fell up towards the sky" and flies "in the land of sun and moon, like a doggy-shaped balloon."

Sid comes back down to Earth, and arrives at school, asking his best friend Ben "Did you see me fly just then?" "Don't be daft," came Ben's reply. "You're a dog, and dogs don't fly." "But I did," said Sid. His classmates are just as sceptical, and even his teacher, who says "All dogs walk and jump and run, but dog's don't fly - it can't be done." Still Sid protests "But I did".

Finally, the school bully Gus says "Right, if you can fly, come outside ... let's see you try!" But Sid's happy feeling is gone, and all he can do is flop onto the ground. "You see, you're just a dog," said Gus, "with paws for walking just like us. That will teach you not to lie. Now you know that dog's don't fly."

Sid goes home from school, morose and defeated. And though he did "the things he always did" still "something wasn't right with Sid". His Dad comes out to the garden, as Sid is sat staring at the sky, and asks him what is wrong. But all Sid says is "Dog's don't fly."

Sid's Dad offers to tell him a secret, and when Sid turns to ask what the secret is, he sees his Dad soaring into the air. Sid's happy eyes are open wide. "I knew it... DOGS DO FLY" he cried.

The book ends with Sid's Dad, his Mum, and Sid himself, flying in the sky above their house, accompanied by this couplet:

"Do dogs fly? Is it true?
Some dogs don't, and some dogs do."

No matter who tells you you haven't got what it takes - even, and this is especially important, if it's yourself - always be a dog that does. Till next time...


Adaddinsane said...

I seem to have something in my eyes.

Jennifer said...

That's rather lovely

Stuart Perry said...

I'm glad you both liked it: my wife thinks I'm soft for getting emotional about a kid's book!

Michelle Goode said...

I think we all forget the emotions we feel as a kid. They are so innocent and so pure and thus so intense. I think the book you quoted sounds wonderful. The message it relayed to me was that no matter what anyone else says, and no matter how much others try to bring you down, don't worry, don't fret. Feel the happiness inside of you and set it free. I guess the same could be said for writing. Don't feel constricted by rules and regulations and other people's opinions. Write what you feel and enjoy the ride :)

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