(A draft poem, with thanks to Beatrix Potter )
Do you remember those little brown books?
Hard backs with shiny slip covers, or perhaps the slip covers
came later. I remember the soft suede feel of the boards.
Dainty pastel roundels of our woodland friends.
Nidderdale and swallowtail laundry maid hedgehog
in a bonnet. Running down the green swathe.
Rabbits in waistcoats with tall pointed ears.
Defiant against the landlord.
And bold red Nutkin with the fluffy tail.
Memories of a fifties childhood. Arcane springboard
for a lifetime passion for our small wild neighbours
who share this shrinking Earth