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HALF-BREED


  “One of the ranchers... in the hills of Raymond, had a she-dog and the coyotes used to come down in the night to visit that she-dog.  And now just listen, that she-dog gave birth to half-breeds-- of dog and coyote.  And when Tony was over there herding sheep, they had one of those dogs...”  -- Ascension Solorsano


You can bend half a coyote to herding sheep.

Not a whole one. After they trained the half-breed,

he was good at his job.

The dog half wouldn’t harm the sheep,

the coyote had an eye out for trickery.

He was wild with suspicion, crazy with it,

but he kept the sheep in line,

dog obedient, coyote watchful,

both parts ready to run.

There was one who didn’t trust fences!

The coyote knew nothing of regret

and the dog sang only out of pain

until each half  taught the other how to sing.

If you ever heard that half-breed at night,

you dldn’t want to leave him

alone with the moon.