The following poems are taken from my book For The Love of Animals
They are meant for children but good for all ages. Most sales have been to grand parents who love to read to their grand kids. I hope you enjoy the educational value, as well as the entertainment value.
Aardvarks love to hunt and feast
on tiny little ant-like beasts.
Aardvarks tear into termite mounds
and eat all the ones that are found.
Aardvarks find gourmet delight
slurping termites every night.
Aardvarks have pig-like noses
and long sharp claws for toeses.
Aardvarks are lovable beasts
to other aardvarks… at least.
African Hunting Dogs
No howls or barks were heard, the hunt was done in silence.
They stalked their prey as one, the hunting dog alliance.
They ran their prey to the ground and finally made the kill,
then gorged themselves on it until they had their fill.
At a signal from the matriarch they headed off for home
but did not bring their waiting pups a scrap of meat or bone.
The pups in the den hole, hungry from the wait,
scrambled out to meet the pack in a frenzied state.
The pack had brought home dinner as part of what they ate,
all they had to do was stoop and regurgitate.
Feeding pups insured the survival of the hunting clan;
they lived their lives according to nature’s tested plan.
But now the African plain has changed and prey has disappeared.
Man has left his mark there, just as we had feared.
The hunting dogs of Africa are wonders to behold,
but the few that still survive are castings from one mold.
Their DNA is so similar that diversity is lost
and without this necessity the dogs will pay the cost.
Extinction in wild Africa will soon be their fate
unless we act now before it’s too late.
Create and protect more wildlife parks for dogs and for their prey.
Do it now don’t hesitate, there can be no delay.
The wild dogs of Africa are a special canine clan
that were never domesticated by the hand of man.
Protect these dogs and their wild kin wherever they are found.
The earth will be a sadder place without them around.
Many million years ago in the darkness of the night
a crescent moon shone above, along with stars most bright.
A heavy rolling surf, sired by storms at sea,
pounded the sandy shoreline all night relentlessly.
Tiny movements in the shadows of frozen waves of sand
were scuttling ghost crabs scavenging their lands.
The bubbling surf dissolved into the dark ocean breeze
and then retreated from the mark it temporarily had seized.
That night was no different from every summer night
when ancient rituals occur in the starry light;
when dark shapes appear in the rolling surf
and make their way from black water to their ancient place of birth.
Relentlessly they struggle upward with each bubbling wave
until they reach the place that instinct makes them crave.
High on the shore, in the shadows of sand dunes,
desperate labor begins again, witnessed by the moon.
Heavy breathing and mystic groans are not heard by human ear,
and while they dig their nests they shed reptilian tears.
Finally, when their nests are deep enough, they complete the small miracle
by laying ninety eggs or more, soft and white and spherical.
That was many million years ago, but it is the same today.
Each night upon my beach the turtles come to lay
a clutch of little eggs that have little chance for life.
Compared to their chances I cannot complain of strife.
To witness this ancient miracle brings tears to human eyes,
salty like the ocean from which these reptiles rise.
What if no more marine life survived polluted seas?
What if no more cranes migrated as they pleased?
What if no more tigers hunted prey with stealth?
What if no more turtles crawled from the ocean’s wealth?
Would you stop and shed a tear and feel sincere regret?
Would you wish that you acted so you would not regret
the extinction of the creatures, that so enrich our lives,
and the mysterious great turtles that… did not survive?
Ants in Pants
I see ants crawling over me
and feel them where I cannot see.
I hope they’ll not decide to stay,
and’ll leave my pants without delay.
Ever watch newly hatched baby turtles
crawling over dark sandy hurdles?
Ever watch baby turtles dodging crabs
with killer claws that pinch and grab?
Ever watch waiting gulls with deadly beaks
wreaking havoc on the slow and weak?
Ever feel frigid ocean water?
Numbing cold will increase the slaughter.
Ever watch predatory fish,
turtlets make a tasty dish.
Imagine all the sand they’re under
in their nest, it makes you wonder.
Turtlets survived these natural dangers
but can’t survive the human strangers.
We must protect them, we must strive
to insure their precious little reptile lives.
The bat is a curious thing
that has sharp teeth and big black wings.
Some drink blood, and some eat fruit.
Some are ugly and some are cute.
Most eat insects caught in mid flight.
Moths are considered a special delight.
It hunts at night instead of day, and
sends out squeaks that bounce off prey.
Returning echoes it clearly hears
as sonar bleeps with its big ears.
It hardly ever walks on the ground
and always sleeps while upside down.
From the wilderness of Alaska,
from the sweep of glacial plain,
in the virgin woods and brambles
dwells a creature of legend’s fame.
Hulking, shuffling, ambling, sleeping,
foraging, fishing, fighting, eating.
Growing larger, growing stronger,
getting fatter for sleeping longer.
A giant creature is standing there,
a massive hulk of golden hair.
She’s waiting for the annual tide
of spawning fish at riverside.
In the churning streams of glacial water
surging down toward the sea
she stands and awaits the coming slaughter
of aging fish in splashing frenzy.
Then she strikes, then she plunges,
then she chases, then she lunges.
For a moment her head goes under
and her jaws fill with fatty plunder.
Two cubs watch the churning water,
watch their mother in the slaughter.
Curious, furious, predacious, voracious,
herbivorous, carnivorous, and even omnivorous.
Life goes on without a care,
without concern if it’s been fair
to hungry bears and spawning fish,
to human needs and human wish.
Bears and fish and other creatures,
carefully observed, are excellent teachers
telling us about the facts of life;
about the beauty and the strife.
They tell us what we must know,
when to reap and when to sow.
They tell us how we should live,
when to take and when to give.
Bees are buzzing all over me
just because I drink sugared tea.
If I switched to a sugarless drink
they’d be gone in a wink.
Pepsi, root beer, 7 Up and Coke
without sugar are nasty jokes.
How would you feel if you had to spread
sugar free honey upon you bread?
Better than the Rest
Wolves are howling; tigers are prowling.
Lions are roaring; squirrels are storing.
Giraffes are reaching; whales are breaching.
Hounds are baying; hens are laying.
Snakes are hissing; lovebirds are kissing.
Cows are mooing; doves are cooing.
Horses are neighing; donkeys are braying.
Bees are stinging; birds are singing.
Crickets are chirping; babies are burping.
All creatures can do one thing the best,
much better than… all of the rest
The emu thought it had the crown
until the cassowary came around.
The cassowary was so proud
until the rhea joined the crowd.
The rhea was the biggest guy
until the ostrich happened by.
The ostrich stood eight feet tall
and was the biggest of them all
because the moa, at ten feet tall,
is now extinct, I do recall.