Cream bib, dark coffee face and fur;
initially, you might murmur, ‘Stoat.’
After all, martens are scarce now, rare.
Mainly lying low in Scotland,
where their natural habitat remains;
once they boomed
well past its borders.
Look again, hone your focus, take note:
cat-like features and size,
how comfortably it climbs trees!
(And leaves sweet-smelling, coiled scats,
blue in summer from bilberries.)
Curious, independent, nimble.
A social being?
Not so much, unless it’s time
to partner up.
But the season isn’t yet right
for yowling on the evening air.
Its stomach calls for food,
and to that it must attend.
There it goes, popping
from its resting spot
(snug tree cavities are wonderfully comfortable,
don’t you know?),
and wanders through the hectares
of rich forest
it’s claimed its own.
On the menu? Small mammals.
So beware those semi-retractable claws,
A cuddly face masks our hunter’s prowess.
often leads to dinner.
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!