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September 18, 2006

Fare thee well Shadow, thou good and faithful friend...

Shadow - the Last of the Old Guard

If you're reading this, it's because Shadow has taken his last car ride, and has joined the Pack Invisible.

He's really not ready to go, but it's time. A great heart, being squeezed to death by lung cancer. Dammit dammit dammit.

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance sing a soul to the Great Hunting Ground and Tennis Ball Chasing Facility.

Fare thee well, thou good and faithful friend.

Great farkin' gobs of spittle, I *hate* entropy.

But Lord knows, you'll have company. Ninja, Gabby, Sebastian, Little Guy, Mickey, and Whiskey. You guys come pick me up at Piddler's Green, 'kay? The last of the original Exterior Guard (Kansas Contingent) has passed and my world is smaller, greyer, and bleaker today.

Entropy has been rough on the Exterior Guard. From a high of 5, we allowed nature to reduce the force by attrition, hard as that was. Now we're having trouble manning the force. Our new recruit, Kiki, the brown yellow lab/bloodhound mix in the middle, has been with us about two months, and now we're back to two. Whodathunk that Permanent Private Houdini (he who goes AWOL a lot, and can move more dirt than an ACE), would end up the Guard-mount Commander?

...and then there were two.

I know that to many of you, the Castle is overrun - and with 5 dogs and 8 cats, we were. But now the place just seems... empty.

I'm done here for the day, I think. Anything else goes up, you guys do it.

[The comments are disabled on purpose. I just am not in the mood for an email assault - not that I don't appreciate it - I've just got only so much stoicism per day available... and didn't want to get pummeled by a lot of comment emails. And Shadow doesn't mind - he never read the blog anyway. He was a SWWBO fan. Whiskey was the Castle reader...)

Dinah in Heaven, by Rudyard Kipling "The Woman in His Life" From "Limits and Renewals" (1932)

She did not know that she was dead,
But, when the pang was o'er,
Sat down to wait her Master's tread
Upon the Golden Floor,

With ears full-cock and anxious eye
Impatiently resigned;
But ignorant that Paradise
Did not admit her kind.

Persons with Haloes, Harps, and Wings
Assembled and reproved;
Or talked to her of Heavenly things,
But Dinah never moved.

There was one step along the Stair
That led to Heaven's Gate;
And, till she heard it, her affair
Was--she explained--to wait.

And she explained with flattened ear,
Bared lip and milky tooth--
Storming against Ithuriel's Spear
That only proved her truth!

Sudden--far down the Bridge of Ghosts
That anxious spirits clomb--
She caught that step in all the hosts,
And knew that he had come.

She left them wondering what to do,
But not a doubt had she.
Swifter than her own squeal she flew
Across the Glassy Sea;

Flushing the Cherubs every where,
And skidding as she ran,
She refuged under Peter's Chair
And waited for her man.

. . . . . . .

There spoke a Spirit out of the press,
'Said:--"Have you any here
That saved a fool from drunkenness,
And a coward from his fear?

"That turned a soul from dark to day
When other help was vain;
That snatched it from Wanhope and made
A cur a man again?"

"Enter and look," said Peter then,
And set The Gate ajar.
"If know aught of women and men
I trow she is not far."

"Neither by virtue, speech nor art
Nor hope of grace to win;
But godless innocence of heart
That never heard of sin:

"Neither by beauty nor belief
Nor white example shown.
Something a wanton--more a thief--
But--most of all--mine own."

"Enter and look," said Peter then,
"And send you well to speed;
But, for all that I know of women and men
Your riddle is hard to read."

Then flew Dinah from under the Chair,
Into his arms she flew--
And licked his face from chin to hair
And Peter passed them through!

That only helps a little. But it helps.