Ruth Pitter (1897-1992) – The Tigress

A flowing flame from tree to tree
The tigress paces silently
Baboons are huddling two and two
They whisper with their heads tucked low
‘Each footfall’s like the rising Sun
Quite silent yet a mighty thing’
The parrots sparkle with the leaves
‘Her fiery skin makes us look drab
But none may see her when she’ll hide
Could we not fly we’d be afraid’
Hyenas when they see her pass
Keep still behind a mossy stone
‘We’ll have a gorge on what she leaves
There’s nothing she can’t swiftly kill’.

She goes her way, she knows her feet
Are mighty like the Summer heat
Her coat’s too fine for any queen
She knows the dogs are hiding there
She doesn’t care, she doesn’t care
Behind her eyes a kitten cries
‘That’s all there is to me’.


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