Saturday, August 11, 2007

Pocket beagles and mitten beagles

Miniature breeds of beagle-type dogs were known from the times of Edward II and Henry VII, who both had packs of Glove Beagles, so named since they were small enough to fit on a glove, and Queen Elizabeth I kept a breed known as a Pocket Beagle... the early 17th century poet and writer Gervase Markham is quoted referring to the Beagle as small enough to sit on a man's hand and to the:
little small mitten-beagle, which may be companion for a ladies kirtle, and in the field will run as cunningly as any hound whatere, only their musick is very small like reeds.
Pocket beagles

Pocket beagles go on hunts
For pocket hares and foxes;
They dine on bacon bits and live
In velveteen matchboxes.

A warning to young ladies concerning mitten-beagles

Take care that your mitten beagles
Do not become smitten beagles,

For the fruits of their love
Will outrun your glove.

Once they become fertile
Place them on your kirtle
And bar them with hurtles:

For L'amour has glamour,
But they can't hurtle spurtles.


TimT said...

A small poem for a small dog.

alexis said...

Do they still eat the compost heap? That's what I like most about a beagle; she's thrifty.

TimT said...

Well yes, but they have to be nimble enough not to get caught underneath an avalanche of orange peel or similar.

The Simpsons' dog, Santa's Little Helper, once drank out of the toilet. Our foxy was fond of rummaging in the garbage bin, but - a saving grace - she was too dumb to work out how to open it.

alexis said...

I'm not convinced that a kirtle's quite the thing to distract an amorous beagle. Maybe a dog biscuit?

TimT said...

You caught me out: I wanted to rhyme 'kirtle' with 'spurtles'.

Word verification: hcmwmch. Isn't that Welsh?

Email: timhtrain - at -

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