My tryst with nature

a poem by Pancholi Nandlal Kanjibhai

Up I grew with nature wild
On a heath pure and undefiled
I saw near my house a mongoose Red Mouth
Running to and fro from north to south
And at a Fallow Retreat not far
I met a shy retiring jaguar
Often I accost at nearby Four Square
A ravenous grizzly bear
And a tortoise hurrying somewhere
Hearing my footsteps he draws his head inside
Leaving me stunned and petrified
And I came across a timid jackal once
Who kept from me a safe distance
Scanning me cunningly from top to toe
And considering me a perennial foe
And in winter, I behold a hedge-hog
Through fog
Who, at slightest rustle, hid behind a stile
Reducing itself to a thorn pile
Grey rabbits run amok seeing me in vicinity
Thinking that I chase them with impunity
Field Squirrels, however, are unperturbed
With my presence they are least concerned