The Mystery of the Vanishing Red Tennis Ball Lids!!!!
My small dog is a fetcher, but oh, at what a cost.
I swear for every twenty balls I throw, one shows up lost.
I’ve been buying tubes of tennis balls for many years,
yet within a few months, our supply is in arrears.
I go to buy another lot that vanishes the same.
Where are these balls? What eats them? What ambitious tree’s to blame
for hoarding them like fruit up high in assorted branches
where they are invisible, thwarting all our chances
to retrieve the orbs that are so vital for my throwing,
and in his pursuit of them, for Morrie’s come and going?
There is another mystery surrounding this adventure—
one that is more serious, occasioning my censure.
These tubes of tennis balls that come packaged in neat threes
so I can loft them from the pool to reside in trees,
happen to have covers that I find indispensible
and when you know the reason why, I’ll think you’ll find it sensible
that I hoard them like diamonds, a utilitarian treasure—
for it just so happens that they fit, measure for measure
my cans of open cat food, and dog food, too, precisely.
No tops bought for this purpose can seal the cans so nicely.
Since I feed seven animals two times every day,
there are always half-full cans I have to put away.
They have four different diets, and for every one I feed
I need a different can of food, so you can see my need
for those red tops that seal them up, free from any smell
that makes a fridge with human food smell like cat food Hell!
For my odor-free fridges, I’m fast in Wilson’s debt,
for I’ve had Morrie for four years and in that time, I bet
I’ve purchased 15 tubes of balls for him to chase and chew.
So I should have 15 red tops. Still, I have only two!
Where can these tops be going? Is my dog-walker purloining them
to sell on the black market? And have tennis balls been joining them?
Are they being used as Frisbees by some child of a friend
who snatches them when I am not there to apprehend
this purloiner of cat food lids, this wily thief of tops,
knowing that no sane person would dare to call the cops
over a piece of plastic, no matter how securely
it hugs the tops of dog food cans–so snuggly and so purely?
Are dogs stealing and chewing them and burying them after?
Have the cats purloined them and stowed them in some rafter?
I’ve questioned sweet Yolanda who must think that I am crazy.
She only shakes her head at me, looking somewhat hazy.
“Donde estan mis tapas rojas?” Pasiano, on a breather,
does not seem to have a single clue of what I’m saying, either.
They point out other pet food lids. I’ve purchased quite a few,
but not one fits securely. Only tennis ball lids will do.
Each life contains its mysteries—mundane or scintillating—
concerning who put dents in cars or whom our kids are dating.
Things break, get lost or vanish by means less than pernicious,
and yet the regularity of my thefts is suspicious!
These valueless little objects to me are indispensible
and so I find the loss of them especially reprehensible!
Roll on the floor and laugh at me. Deride me if you must,
but I still view these petty thefts to be vile and unjust.
I’d like to solve the mystery. Stop the crime spree. Put the skids on it,
so I can solve the crime and literally put the lids on it!