They all made fun of my old hound,
He wasn’t the smartest dog around.
He couldn’t fetch and he couldn’t sit,
But I was as proud of him as spit.

He never would chase a truck or a car;
He just didn’t care to run all that far.
Exertion, to him, was never a habit;
He fell asleep once, while chasing a rabbit.

His name just might’ve had an effect?
The man where I got him had called him Reject.
Then something he did, you might never see;
My hound dog, Reject, climbed right up a tree.

It made me so happy, I let out a shout;
He’d finally done something I could brag about.
I casually mentioned, when I went to school,
My dog had done something that was pretty cool.

I could see disbelief in all of their eyes;
Anything about Reject would be a surprise.
“You don’t mean Old Reject, just what could he do?”
Cause he was a dog that everyone knew.

I told them how someone had dumped out a cat.
I knew he was trouble, right off of the bat.
He was tattered and scarred, one ear hanging down;
You could tell from his manner that he’d been around.

It was just about then Old Reject caught sight.
I figured there’d be a terrible fight.
A whirlwind of fur was all I could see,
Until I saw Reject up in that old tree.

Limbs, leaves, and bark were all in a swirl,
‘Cause Reject had climbed that tree like a squirrel.
“Wow!”, said my friend, “Reject chased a cat
Right up that old tree; well how about that?”

People are like that, it just never fails.
They’re often distracted by minor details.
And which one chased which, didn’t matter to me;
The important thing was, MY DOG CLIMBED A TREE!

Reject is actually a political statement, although you may not see the implication of that without some help.

The year I wrote this, the news magazine that I subscribe to had been full of articles about Outcome Based Education (OBE). The idea is that grammar, spelling and penmanship are unimportant, as long as the student learns to read. After all, a computer can check one’s spelling and context, so why bother?

In math, the multiplication tables that I memorized as a boy are no longer necessary as long as the student learns to use a calculator. A student is never to be kept back a grade, as that could damage his self-esteem.

In the poem we see that Reject’s owner is unconcerned about how Reject got where he was; what is important is only that he climbed a tree. For a well-rounded education, the trip up the tree is just as important as the arrival at the top. To be a success, the student must display the ability to do it again.


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