Watch Dog

by Torry Martin

Dear B. Log,

It’s pretty easy for me to lose track of time. Like last Tuesday, when I made a red licorice rope ladder for my tree house. (Which I don’t recommend by the way. Don’t get me wrong, red licorice is plenty strong enough, but halfway up I started eating the rungs and had no way to get back down.)

Anyhoodle, some of the kids at Barn Again Arts get so excited about their projects that they forget to watch the clock. When the Barn A. Bus comes to pick them up, they either leave a mess in the studio—which isn’t fair to Bradford—or else everybody has to wait while they clean up.

I decided to make something to help them (and, well, me) be more responsible. The solution? An 11-foot sculpture shaped like my dog, Sam, built entirely out of broken timepieces: alarm clocks, cuckoo clocks, pocket watches and even egg timers! I call it “The Watch Dog.” Pretty clever, huh? It has identical clocks for eyes and one giant cuckoo clock on its neck. The tail is a second hand, so it’s always wagging.

People on my mail route donated their broken clocks, and Wally Haggler helped me search the junkyard. Without their help, I wouldn’t have had enough time to finish. (Boy, I love clock humor. Remind me to tell you the one about the stopwatch and the traffic light.)

Miss Willow—I mean, Mrs. Manners—thought it looked “a little cuckoo.” Actually, it’s a whole LOT of cuckoo. The clock barks every hour, and at noon it howls “How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?” so the kids know it’s lunchtime. Everybody howls along as they clean up their stations, which might explain why my cat, River, disappears at about 11:45.

Mr. Whittaker was there when I unveiled my Watch Dog. He pointed out that each of the broken clocks had stopped at a different time.

“It reminds me of Matthew 25:13,” he said, “where Jesus encourages His followers to keep watch for His return. We may not know the day or the hour, but we should keep watching faithfully.”

That’s when I realized for the millionth time that Whit is pretty much brilliant. I plan to write Matthew 25:13 on Watch Dog’s collar, as soon as I find my blowtorch.

However we spend our time, when it comes to God, we need to go back for seconds. Now, if you’ll excuse me, B. Log, I have to buy some extra-soft yarn for River and then test my brand-new black licorice tree house ladder.

This article first appeared in the October 2012 issue of Clubhouse magazine. Copyright © 2012 by Torry Martin. Used by permission. Illustration © Gary Locke.