In Memory Of Coco, A Red Dachshund

In a rural neighborhood near Benton,
a smallish town in northwestern Louisiana,
lived Coco, a dachshund who quite often
visited the neighbors…a slice of Americana.

Coco was a friendly, four-year-old family pet,
much beloved by many. But then came the day
when pure evil crossed Coco’s path, dead set
on doing harm…inhuman cruelty came her way.

A group of teens – girls of 18, 14, and 13,
a boy of 17 – took Coco to a secluded place,
so they could perform an act incredibly mean –
their hearts hard, though Coco licked their face.

They poured lighter fluid upon Coco’s back,
then tried to ignite it with a cigarette lighter.
It wouldn’t spark! But, compassion they did lack,
as they waited for one to retrieve another lighter.

The black-hearted teens then set Coco aflame.
Coco ran away, her running putting the fire out.
Bewildered, in pain, not knowing who to blame,
she returned. The teens now removed all doubt

of their viciousness, when they for a second time
set poor Coco afire. Coco fled; again the blaze
went out. But, back to the scene of their crime
came the trusting dog yet again, now in a daze.

Oh, the lack of decency! Oh, unspeakable cruelty!
The teens poured lighter fluid on Coco for time three.
However, unlit, Coco ran away, to escape temporarily.
The dog fled into woods nearby…where prey she’d be.

This dirt road was a dumping ground for local hunters –
littered with deer carcasses, the site of coyote patrols.
Coco’s torture burned into her owners’ hearts like lasers.
They knew finding her alive was the unlikeliest of goals.

Someone overheard the teens bragging about their deed.
All involved were arrested, tossed in the Bossier Parish jail.
Shock at their heinous crime filled the community. Indeed,
all over America, people were saddened by this horrific tale.

What sense was there in compassionless cruelty by these teens?
How could they have taken pleasure from a small dog’s pain?
Future child abusers, serial killers…is that what all this means?
Coco suffered terribly at the hands of the deranged human brain.

Harry Edward Gilleland      12.06.04