The most intolerable of all pests is that tormenting insect, the mosquito. The audacity of those fiends is beyond words. They often attack in swarms, and while we are batting one off our arm, another is darting for our forehead. They are difficult to swat, are lightning fast, and are tough little critters to demolish.

Those long-legged skinny little rascals surely can make life miserable, especially of an evening when we would like to sit outside and rest in the cool air. I guess after all they teach us to be humble, and that for all our seeming we are nothing more than a meal for mosquitoes.

The Nuthatch

Down the tree head first he came, the little white breasted nuthatch. It looked for all the world like he might fall. creeping upside down on that tree, but he seemed to keep his balance quite well. It made me dizzy just looking at the feats he performed meandering about the trunk never right side up. He made a little whistling sound occasionally as if to say he was not crazy and knew what he was doing.

I suppose his lop-sided position was natural for him. The nuthatch scooted about in that unnatural fashion intent on his business, which apparently was to catch any unwary insect who happened to be in sight. His head he kept continually down, and indeed it seemed he never lifted it to even look around. He moved quickly about the tree upside-down and every which way with as much ease as creatures move about the ground. After entertaining me with his acrobatic circus performance, he flew off to do his act on another tree.

The Tortoise

The land tortoise or turtle is not the fastest creature in the world. He lumbers along very slowly, but he generally gets where he is going anyway. The tortoise carries a waterproof shelter right on his back. He has his own private camping outfit in the form of his shell. His shell not only protects him from the weather, but it is also a fine protection from predators.

The land tortiose is splotched with black and yellow on his shell, and those portions of his body which protrudes outside his shell, namely his head and feet. Usually he is found around streams or water holes, though he is prevalent on dry land almost anywhere as he is often observed in the woods breaking a path through the dry leaves.

Often he is found nestled in the tall grass of a field curled up in his shell asleep to the world. His shell is just perfect for getting away from it all, and of attaining the ideal in privacy. The tortoise leaves something to be desired as far as beauty goes, though I suppose that depends on the eyes of the beholder. The tortoise is well adapted to life as he has his own built-in armor to protect him.

I used to be fascinated by tortoises, especially the little ones, as little boy growing up on our farm. I sometimes would carry them home and watch them walk around our yard. Now in later years whenever I see a tortoise in the woods they bring to mind fond memories of my childhood.

Turtle Walk

Turtle walk, turtle walk,
Let's all do the turtle walk.
It's going to be a fine day,
Let's all go out and play.

Turtle walk, turtle walk,
Let's all do the turtle walk.
Sometmes I want to sing,
I'm so happy about everthing.

Turtle walk, turtle walk,
Let's all do the turtle walk.
There's no use to worry,
Or to get in a great big hurry.


I have a great deal of malice toward wasps. I have been stung by them too many times not to hold some ill will. I think of myself as a reasonably tolerant person, but there is a limit. Those wasps, the red tribe in particular, have gone beyond that limit. Ideclare war on all wasps. For years now they have waged unceasing warfare against me haven't they?

I can testify to countless painful stings which they have inflicted on me for no good reason, without provocation, and without warning. There is no getting along with those bad-tempered, ill natured creatures. Somebody should do something about wasps. They should not be allowed to fly around free. When a member of society shows such a pronounced disregard for the welfare and rights of others they should be incarcerated.

They have the gall to inhabit our houses, barns, and sheds yet. Why don't they go into the woods where they belong? It is almost as if they enjoy tormenting people. For their size they exhibit tremendous courage, and in fact reckless abandon, daring, and bravado one cannot help but marvel at somewhat. They actually appear to look for trouble. Touchy, are they touchy! Just walk in their vicinity, and here they come angry, and all setfor a fight.

However even wasps have their place in the scheme of things, and have a right to exist. Their beneficial aspects far outweigh their annoying tendencies. After all they are just protecting their home, and I am the interloper and trespasser. Though I think they could be just a little less aggressive and belligerent.

The Skunk

In the course of a lifetime we are likely to encounter a skunk or two. The skunk is not by nature an aggressive creature. He is not given to rude behavior unless provoked. We do not often see a skunk, but generally discover where he has been. The skunk occasionally leaves his odoriferous trail plastered in the air, and for hours the telltale odor denotes his having passed by that way.

That odor is difficult to describe. Though let it suffice to say it is perhaps the most obnoxious scent on earth. The skunk has two white stripes down his black back, and a gigantic bushy tail under which is stored his arsenal. That horrible scent is the skunk's only weapon, his only means of protecting himself from predators, and generally it is quite enough.

The skunk ambles along slowly, carefreely, seemingly daring us to try something. Commonly he walks right down the middle of the road forcing everyone else to give him the right of way, which they usually oblige. I recall encountering a skunk as a small boy walking to school down our country road early one morning. He was walking down the middle of the road toward me, and fortunately I had the common sense to step to the side of the road to let him pass by. He walked by and never even seemed to notice me. It is possible to get along with the skunk if we respect him.

The Owl

In the cold darkness of a winter nightI heard an owl hoot twice, only twice, and then all was silent again. Out there in the darkness a kindred creature, a breathing, living being existed, and he made his existence known to me by two distinct hoots. Was that not worth noticing? What more significant event could occur than one being making his presence known to another?

Truly it was a notable occurrence. My stopping to listen was as worthwhile as anything else in life. The odds are I will never lay eyes on him, or he on me, but I heard his voice, and thus I know that he lives. That is better than not knowing him at all. That is better than nothing. That is better than silence.

The night seemingly swallowed up him, sound and all, as the silence reigned supreme. To his refuge in the deep woods he no doubt retired, or perhaps he merely retired within himself perched on his sturdy limb reposed in the warmth of his feathers from the chilled night air as the stars twinkled overhead.

The Hoot Owl

"Hoot, hoot", says the owl,
The moon is shining bright.
"Hoot, hoot," says the owl,
It is a beautiful night.

"Hoot, hoot," says the owl,
Everything is all right,
"Hoot, hoot," says the owl,
I love the starlight.

"Hoot, hoot," says the owl,
Won't you sing along with me?
"Hoot, hoot," says the owl,
It is good to be free.

Go To New Poems-Page 12

Back to New Poems-Page 10

Return To My Homepage