His whistles call instructions -
to outrun, to cast, to gather, to drive,
to go, to come, to stop, to turn
the flock along the wall,
through the gate,
into the pen.
This bond betwixt man and dog,
built on activity and respect
as aged as these Wensleydale hills
speaks to a life fast disappearing,
overtaken by time’s rampage,
retained in trials and competitions.
Old-timers clinging to heritage
awaiting death of man or dog.
© Sheila Ash