Grey on red

The great squirrel, I call it. Lovable,
energetic little bounder that brightens up
any walk in the woods or park.
Not only agile and sweet, but industrious,
planting acorns that grow into mighty oaks.

They didn’t want to come here.
They didn’t swim the Atlantic.
They were brought in, probably reluctantly,
by British gentlemen who thought they’d look cute
in their estate grounds, gardens and deer parks.

Is it their fault the smaller reds took one look,
turned tail, and fled somewhere safer?
Grey squirrels do not physically attack
red squirrels. They don’t even chase them.
They might frighten them a bit, who knows.

The words of ‘Bill Oddie, Wildlife Enthusiast’ accompanying the BBC News article Black squirrels’ slow scamper to dominate, already laid out almost as a poem. 5 October 2010, submitted by Gabriel Smy.