top of page

Highly Commended in the International Category of the 2015 BBC Wildlife Blogger Awards


Some months back, on a Sunday morning, my dog added his outdoor voice to those of my bickering kids and told me something was wrong. I stomped downstairs, unlocked the back door, and became aware of a chittering between Pip’s excited barks. I have tried to render the story of what followed in a poem, because the encounter seemed to me to merit poetic language, a fitting ode to an experience that made me smile the rest of the day. But, as usual, I feel my efforts are poor and do not do my subject justice. In any case, I hope at least to have conveyed my delight in this feistiest of creatures!

Wild long-tailed weasel. Photo: Jessica Groenendijk


You were trapped

A metal grate on one side

My eager terrier on the other.

Denser than the darkness,

I could not make you out,

But sensed you were something rare.

I called the kids, locked in the dog

Excitement made me shout.

We waited, camera ready.

You emerged, unbowed

A slender, whiskered sprite

A morsel of ferocious energy.

I held my breath

And captured you.

I have the photo still.

Bright chest, white sideburns

Your black eyes fizzed and sparked

With concentrated life.

Head high, you slipped into the grass

A liquid, lissom, dark-tipped length.

The air around you crackled.

We watched you bound away,

Light and lovely as thistle down

A wraith of smoke, a shared memory.

Love Words from the Wild?

Sign up to receive occasional updates, plus my ebook "All Things Breathe Alike: A Wildlife Anthology" FREE! No spam, no email sharing, cancel at any time.

Tag Cloud
bottom of page