Poems of the Week

Rule of Tail

by Julia Griffin

A tale of five squirrels: vets untangle ‘Gordian Knot’ of… animals’ tails that became entwined with each other and their nest
‘You can imagine how wiggly and unruly … this frightened, distressed ball of squirrelly energy was…’ the [wildlife] centre wrote on its Facebook page.'”— The Guardian 

Imagine how unruly? Ah, for sure:
And I imagine “less” gave place to “more” …

“This nest’s so nice! The weather’s quite divine!
—Excuse me, ma’am: I think this tail is mine.”

“The nest indeed is charming! Just a minute:
I rather fear your tail has my tail in it.”

“I grant the weather’s fine, but really, ugh!
Please free my tail or I’ll be forced to tug.”

“I do not blame the air, or nest, or bough,
But that was not your tail you tugged, and—ow!”

“Excuse me, eek! I’ve scaled my last birdfeeder!
Yikes! where’s the Farmer’s Missus when you need her… ???”

Imagination-wise, I’m thus fulfilled:
So now let’s praise those vets so kind and skilled,

Wisconsin’s steadiest, through whose travails,
Five scrambled squirrels live to tell their tales.