Empathy at work

Nuzzer

‘Mong dockens high and grasses tall

Your crouching form lay.

A dog had found your hiding place

And frightened you at play.

Your quiv’ring form, still soaking wet,

We homeward bore with care,

Hoping to heal your shattered trust

And overcome your fear.

For two whole days you ailed and pined,

Of nature’s milk deprived,

Until a small pipette we tried,

And saw your strength revived.

As each day passed, you stronger grew,

AND WE REJOICED TO SEE

YOUR APPETITE RETURN AT LAST

TO WHAT IT OUGHT TO BE.

YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL WAS TURNIP LEAVES

NASTURTIUMS PLEASED YOU TOO,

CABBAGE AND GRASS, OATMEAL AND BREAD,

E’EN DOCKEN LEAVES WOULD DO!

YOU ROMPED AND SKIPPED UPON THE LAWN,

THRO’ SHRUB AND ROSES RAN,

YOU FRISKED ABOUT LIKE ANY FAUN,

AND FEARED NOT DOG OR MAN.

YOU LOVED TO BASK IN SUNLIGHT’S GLOW,

AND STRETCHED OUT WITH DELIGHT.

(YOU COULD NOT KNOW, MY LITTLE ONE,

HOW SOON WOULD COME THE NIGHT.)

AT EVENTIDE, UPON MY LAP,

YOU’D LICK MY HAND AND DOZE

DREAMING PERCHANCE, OF PASTURES GREEN,

DEVOID OF MORTAL FOES.

COULD WE HAVE STAYED THAT FATAL LEAP

WHICH YOU OF LIFE BEREFT,

GREAT HAPPINESS HAD BEEN OUR LOT –

NOW NAUGHT BUT GRIEF IS LEFT.

WE’VE LAID YOU DOWN IN SYLVAN SHADE,

TWIXT BIRCH AND APPLE TREE,

AND AT YOUR HEAD A CARV’D STONE

HAVE PLACED FOR ALL TO SEE.

AND SO FAREWELL, SWEET GENTLE NUZZ,

WE NEVER CAN FORGET

THE SPELL YOU WOVE AROUND OUR HEARTS

BELOVED LEVERET!

© HUGH STEWART ROBERTSON

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One thought on “Empathy at work

  1. This little poem of a hare that Dad found and nurtured until it was ready to leave to go to a wildlife park. A few days before its departure, it lay dozing in the sun on the window sill. When the door knob was turned, it awakened with a fright , shot into the air and broke its neck.
    The poem above was written to commemorate the very many happy hours that this little animal gave my father.

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