You’re likely to have seen their boxing skills
and zigzagging, daring sprints.
If not in person, then captured
in documentaries and photographs;
zoomed in on amber eyes
and tattoo-tipped lengthy ears.
You may have read about their likenesses,
woven into literature and myth.
But, if you were to ask yourself honestly,
how much do you truly know
about brown hare affairs?
A naturalised species,
harking back to Roman times
their litters are often frequent,
up to four wide-eyed leverets each,
never to be found in burrows
but shallow, earthy depressions
Arable fields, grasses, hedgerows –
a mosaic of hares’ favourite spaces –
let’s not forget woodlands, either,
good grazing on young bark!
And those punch-ups they’re known for?
Not the macho tests you might think;
more a lady making her disinterest quite clear
to any amorous suitors.
So, for these serious-faced fluffy runners speeding up to forty-five miles per hour escaping predators,
keep in mind:
attending everlasting tea parties
isn’t the only thing they do.
This poem is part of a project I’m doing to raise money for the RSPB, a UK wildlife conservation and protection charity. If you’d like to help, please share this poem to encourage others to take joy in nature, and if you have the time and means to donate, you can do so here. Let’s help keep our wildlife wild!