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    Co leis a tha thu – Who do you belong to? Where do you belong?

    Some say I am a thief, a rascal, a gypsy – a dog with no clan. I was whelped on the Isle of Skye, (Eilean a cheo, the Isle of Mist) in Scotland.

    Siridean, Beitris – Searcher, Voyager through Life, they named me, then left me under Fairy Bridge. The MacLeods of Dunvegan Castle had no use for a wee dog such as me. They shut me in a roofless shepherd’s bothy, next to a cairn, a pile of stones to mark my grave. Three days I lay panting under the sun, under the moon, till the “Merrows” found me, the swimming faeries with the red feather caps, and the long green hair.

    They whispered that they came from a time before the written word while they fed me milk and seaweed with their soft white webbed fingers, & combed my fur with a comb of sea shells and pearls. They told me how to use Cowslips to find faeries gold, how to make a Druid’s wand from an Ash tree and warned me to beware of the Leanan Sidhe, the blood sucking vampires from the Isle of Man, so beautiful they could bewitch two and four legged creatures alike.

    Cassandra, the faerie with the abalone eyes, held my paws tenderly while she told me the story of my great great great great grandfather, Old Hemp, who came from Geshorn Island, off the coast of Wales, where my ancestors lived in green meadows of enchantment. And of Meg, my tricolor great great great great Grandmother whom they say had the strong “eye”. Meg could hold sheep from 20 feet away with her stare. The faeries, Saturnfly & Iridessa, spoke of Sweep and Maude, my great great great great Uncle and Aunt, both merles with amber and blue eyes and how these mighty dogs had helped the faeries find their lost book of spells, buried deep in the forest, and protected them while the wars raged between the MacLeods and the MacDonalds at the Cliffs of Oronsay.

    And then all the Merrows formed a circle around me and told me of my true family, the ones that live on the “Plain of Happiness” in Hy Breasail, an island somewhere in the west that emerges once every seven years. They said there is no map to the Island, only legends long forgotten, like bones hidden in haste. But Cassandra knew of a nightingale in the forest of Broceliande, Merlin’s forest, that sings a song of Hy Breasil & where to find the heart’s desire. Then they sprinkled something on my head that went into my eyes and ears and made me sneeze. When I opened my eyes they had vanished and all that was left of eight faeries were these words formed with the stones from the Cairn:

    “The Door is Inwards”
    “You Have the Gift of Prophecy – Use it Wisely, Voyager”
    I'm a lean dog, a keen dog, a wild dog, and lone;
    I'm a rough dog, a tough dog, hunting on my own;
    I'm a bad dog, a mad dog, teasing silly sheep;
    I love to sit and bay the moon, to keep fat souls from sleep.
    I'll never be a lap dog, licking dirty feet,
    A sleek dog, a meek dog, cringing for my meat,
    Not for me the fireside, the well-filled plate,
    But shut the door, and sharp stone, and cuff, and kick, and hate.
    Not for me the other dogs, running by my side,
    Some have run a short while, but none of them would bide.
    O mine is still the lone trail, the hard trail, the best,
    Wide wind, and wild stars, and the hunger of the quest!
    -- “Lone Dog” Irene Rutherford McLeod
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    November 29, 2011, 9:59 am
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    October 7, 2009, 1:26 pm
    can't wait to read more! Imagine controling a herd of sheep with one, magical blue eye! pure poetry.
    June 27, 2009, 3:50 am
    How lovely to speak of a mystical journey back through time and ancestry in relation to a dog who uses such deep instinctual knowledge to herd sheep. Great use of language, do you speak any other?
    June 16, 2009, 2:33 am
    fairies, druids, vampires, sheep oh my! i want more
    June 14, 2009, 2:19 am
    I love voyager. your writing is so wonderful. i look forward to more
    June 14, 2009, 2:18 am
    how magical -- i'm totally transported and want to journey with voyager. he's so lovely and your writing is endlessly and wonderfully compelling. xop
    June 4, 2009, 10:47 am
    The table is set....

    More, more, more!
    Casey [the lab]
    June 1, 2009, 10:30 pm
    I love Voyager and his adventures. It makes me want to run away from home and take to the highway
    May 31, 2009, 1:48 pm
    I love the way you wrtie
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    About the author

    R.A. Martin is a lover of four-legged creatures and a psycho-geographer in the age of sensible shoes, exploring the hidden passageways, nooks & crannies & abandoned corners of the natural and urban landscape. Read More »

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