Strip by: Robot Fencer
A cat abusèd by owner with work
Will not long abide the slavedriving jerk!
Sent to fetch the paper too many times,
Garfield refusèd to bear this crime.
Stepping past the paper but stopping not,
Acting on a sudden, exciting thought,
He kept right on walking, into the road,
Scared but happy to be rid of his load.
Worried, Jon told Odie to fetch the cat,
And soon he came to regret doing that.
The dog also fled, though not to rebel,
But rather for lack of e'en one brain cell.
Jon lay on his couch, afraid for his pets,
More afraid of his own quiet regrets.
He called out to them, betraying sadness.
His neighbors thought he revealed his madness.
Free at last, the cat was out on his own,
And he felt like he was out on his own.
Hungry, Odie sought ancient feral lore,
Seeking food in wilds beyond the front door.
The trashcan smelled good, so he thought he might
Dump out the garbage and take a big bite.
For their return, Jon offered cold hard cash,
But in placing the ad, he was too rash.
It had no description, nor species too;
He was offered apes, seals, a kangaroo,
Turtles, elephants, boa constrictor...
Next time his wording would be much stricter.
The scheme didn't work, the pets were still gone.
"They are my children!" realized Jon.
He looked to the sky and he cried out "Wah!"
A TV commercial was the last straw.
The cat, alone, knowing not what to do,
At least felt his tummy was in it too.
He got under a newspaper to sleep,
But an ad in his face said "Ground beef! Cheap!"
Unable to sleep thus, he sought for home;
His hunger stronger than the wish to roam.
But alas, his instincts hit not the mark
When he could not from the paper embark.
Jon was sure he had at last Odie found,
And grabbed the brown ears, despite the strange sound,
But the growling large dog was not amused,
And Jon found himself quite badly abused.
He would keep on searching, after a while,
But now mused on Odie's common ear style.
Garfield at last thought well on his feet,
Finding a way to get some food to eat.
First the milkman he decided to bilk,
Stealing from a porch some precious cold milk.
Then it was only to keep to the plan
And patiently wait for the doughnut man.
Odie, wandering, ran into a girl
When he went to the park to chase a squirrel.
She asked him to come home with her and found
Odie was likely the world's dumbest hound.
Home, she assured Mom the dog was just fine,
Though quite stupid, he was to them benign.
To Odie she offered her doll to lick,
But did not know that the doll's face would stick.
Saying good night, she hugged in an iron grasp,
Prompting the dog to speed away and "GASP!"
Soon she saw that Odie missed his old home,
But she loved him too much to let him roam.
She let him know, with just a hint of dread,
That he would only leave if she were dead.
She made him play, as she set out the tea,
Just to kick the table down, as, you see,
She preferred to attack, not to partake,
For freedom-fighting guerrillas' sake.
That evening, when bidding Odie goodnight,
She found out that the dog had taken flight!
She woke her mom and sounded the alarm!
She'd kill the dog before he came to harm!
Garfield, meanwhile, met a few tough mutts
Who showed some interest in kicking his butt.
The cat was smart, and devised a plan
To pretend he was a dog, but a van
Approached them and then down came a big net.
The dogcatcher got the cat, as the hounds
Feigned to be cats and avoided the pound.
Later, the cat knew he must find some work,
Though he was not meant to be a store clerk.
Seeing a poster, he knew what he must do,
Binky told him that "The circus wants you!"
He knew that soon he would get a great career,
Swinging high or taming lions with spears.
But, alas, neither was to be his gig.
He found he was a clown with a pink wig.
Binky took charge, showing the cat the ropes,
Though the cat thought him a pretty big dope.
Binky showed him a slapstick, which can't hurt,
But of the cat's skills he should have been alert.
Garfield hit him with it, sending the clown
Right through the tent wall and into downtown.
At last the show started, and in flew a pie,
Hitting Garfield right square in the eye.
Dummy the Clown the cat thought that he knew,
But couldn't quite place him right out of the blue.
After the show they decided to flee.
Dummy doffed his hat, and was revealed to be
Odie, which of course made Garfield grin.
They'd run away just to run away again.
They both were hungry and needed a meal,
So the cat told Odie of a great deal.
Squat by an anthill and pile up insects,
And eventually you'd finally collect
Enough for a meal, and it would be good.
Odie sat down and did what he should.
Garfield, hungry for more, did not stop,
But squatted in front of a butcher's shop.
Finally, someone promised them to feed
If they'd come inside. They quickly agreed.
Yes, food was there, but, alas, what was more:
They had been captured by a pet store.
A cat said that all they do is sleep and eat.
Garfield then thought this couldn't be beat.
There were bad things. Though safe from blizzards,
Garfield found he bunked with the lizard.
The cats complained they had no room in their pen,
Until a delivery of mice came in.
Jon walked in and saw his pets sitting there!
He was filled with joy; gone was despair!
But twenty-five dollars seemed like a lot.
Jon bargained before the pets were bought.
Jon exclaimed his shock at finding them then:
He'd never have thought to look there for them.
"Then what were you...?" Garfield nearly said...
But some things he'd rather not know instead.
Finally in his own house! He had such luck!
Until he realized... the place kinda sucks.
The author writes:
Garfield's longest continuous storyline ever lasted over a month, when Garfield and Odie ran away from home. I remembered it well from my childhood, and always thought it had kind of an epic feel to it, in a goofy way. And what could be more epic than a poem in the style of Pope's translation of Homer? Nothing, that's what. I didn't keep as strictly to iambic pentameter as I could have, but I think I did fairly well for an amateur poet.
[[Original strips: 1986-08-25, 1986-08-26, 1986-08-27, 1986-08-28, 1986-08-29, 1986-08-30, 1986-08-31, 1986-09-01, 1986-09-02, 1986-09-03, 1986-09-04, 1986-09-05, 1986-09-06, 1986-09-07, 1986-09-08, 1986-09-09, 1986-09-10, 1986-09-11, 1986-09-12, 1986-09-13, 1986-09-14, 1986-09-15, 1986-09-16, 1986-09-17, 1986-09-18, 1986-09-19, 1986-09-20, 1986-09-21, 1986-09-22, 1986-09-23, 1986-09-24, 1986-09-25, 1986-09-26, 1986-09-27, 1986-09-28.]]
Original strips: 1986-08-25, 1986-08-26, 1986-08-27, 1986-08-28, 1986-08-29, 1986-08-30, 1986-08-31, 1986-09-01, 1986-09-02, 1986-09-03, 1986-09-04, 1986-09-05, 1986-09-06, 1986-09-07, 1986-09-08, 1986-09-09, 1986-09-10, 1986-09-11, 1986-09-12, 1986-09-13, 1986-09-14, 1986-09-15, 1986-09-16, 1986-09-17, 1986-09-18, 1986-09-19, 1986-09-20, 1986-09-21, 1986-09-22, 1986-09-23, 1986-09-24, 1986-09-25, 1986-09-26, 1986-09-27, 1986-09-28.