Great Race of Mercy

 

http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20161014-in-1925-a-remote-town-was-saved-from-lethal-disease-by-dogs

Today I wrote a found verse, all credit to the article linked above – because we are in a pandemic and can all take a lesson from these dogs

Great Race of Mercy 

1925

Gregorian Calendar

MCMXXV

25th year of the 20th century

January 27-February 1

The Great Race of Mercy

serum run to Nome, Alaska

         from Nenana 

cut off in most brutal winter 

       in decades

deadly diphtheria epidemic 

town doc predicted 

100% mortality rate

without the antitoxin

rail could get it minus 674 miles

leave it to the dogs for the rest

20 teams of sled dogs

674 miles of ice and snow

mission: avoid freezing

        to death 

oh, and the serum

expires in 6 days –

get it there in less than

a quarter of the 25 day

postal time

enter the dogs and drivers

Siberian Huskies 

first introduced

to Chukchi culture 

by fur trader 

William Goodall

Baltic and Togo two lead dogs who stood ready at their points 

ready, set, go! 

four days in 

with two days to go

serum time ticking 

Leonard Seppala

veered off on a victory path

in his stretch

a risky one 

over the Norton Sound ice sheet 

hitting a whiteout 

knowing Togo could 

navigate around 

the potential pitfalls-

deadly open stretches of water 

because Siberian Huskies 

have vibrissae and tylotrich 

to sense air flow changes

Togo got them 91 miles out 

when Gunnar Kaasen

stepped in with Balto

and crossed the finish line

in Nome 

with a half day to spare

saving 10,000 lives 

Dogs aren’t just friends 

  they’re saviors

but the key to effective sled dogs?

playful dogs with no

inter-group aggression

lesson: we can do the impossible

when we work together 

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