My Favorite Shaggy Dog Story

Charley had a cousin who’d believe most anything.
He convinced him that his frog could fly and that his dog could sing.
The most fun Charley had was to make his cousin cry,
So Charley stopped at nothing; he’d even tell a lie.

Charley’s dad was the pastor of the biggest church in town.
He was always telling Charley not to put his cousin down.
So when Charley’s aunt and uncle came to visit for a day,
His father laid the law down, just how Charley was to play.

He mustn’t scare his cousin, or tell him any lie;
He mustn’t do one thing that’d make his cousin cry.
Now the neighbors had a dog that was big as any whale.
Each year they cut his hair real short, except for neck and tail.

He was a fearsome sight and he loved to give you chase;
But all he wanted when he caught you was to lick you on your face.
As the kinfolk sat to visit, in the family living room,
Cousin burst into the house and his voice was full of doom.

“There’s a lion out in back, its got Charley up a tree!
If I hadn’t got inside, it would’ve surely eaten me!”
Charley’s father said right off, “That sounds like Charley’s tricks.”
So he went and he got Charley and he gave him several licks.

“I thought it was a lion,” Charley said through grimy tears,
“I was the very scaredest that I’ve ever been in years.”
Charley’s father lost his cool and with face a little red,
He grabbed Charley by the collar and with voice real stern he said,

“Go to your room and you’ll stay there, just as long as it will take,
For you to convince Jesus it was really a mistake.”
Charlie didn’t stay there long, it was just a little while,
When he came out of his room, on his face a boyish smile.

His father asked, “Did you tell Jesus, how you lied to me today?
You weren’t in there too long, what did Jesus have to say?”
“Jesus told me I was right and that what I said was true,
When he first saw that old dog, he thought it was a lion too.”

Doesn’t everyone have a favorite shaggy dog story? This one was always mine.

My Favorite Shaggy Dog Story doesn’t even have a moral, unless it is the fact that we all think, or at least hope, that God agrees with our views; when in fact our views are no more (or less) important to God than anyone else’s.

I don’t remember who first told me this story. I don’t think that it is original. Anyway, little Charley is very happy with his way of life and is going to resist any change. As long as he is successful in making his cousin cry, he is probably not going to stop.


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