You could end up on a river boat
keeping an eye on dandies
who cheat at cards, with a soldier
who guzzles whiskey, or a governor
with peacocks in his garden.
You might be bought by a shepherd,
keep his recalcitrant sheep
from straying, warn of wolf or bear.
As for me, I was purchased
by Meriwether Lewis, taken
to explore a continent full
of birds and rodents, fields
full of prickly pear and rattlesnakes.
It was a great adventure
till I watched his hungry men
eat dogs as they crossed
the Bitterroot Mountains.