This is another thirty-year old effort that resurfaced when tidying my office.
(I’m sure I also caught a glimpse of Lord Lucan, but he legged it before I could ask him for ID.)
The poem was intended to draw a parallel between the blood-sports here in UK and the apartheid rule of South Africa at that time. Both issues have been addressed since, thankfully, and so the work is perhaps a bit dated. (I prefer to think of it as a ‘historical’ piece, now.) 😉
That said, I guess it’s still relevant in principal to any repressed people across the world.
(Image by Jackie Morris.)
FOXES & HARES
As the setting sun sank slowly at dusk,
Casting long, warm shadows that engulfed the dust,
The Hunters would return from the vast grassy plain,
Tired but happy their sacks filled with game.
Soon food-flavoured smoke would linger till light,
And the African Herdsman would sleep well that night.
Life then was so simple, free from worries and cares
For they were born to be free, like the foxes and hares.
The years flickered by and Time brought with it, Change.
And Time brought the White-Man, alien, strange.
And the White-Man was ‘civilised’ and so started a reign
Of torture and killings and anguish and pain.
And families were driven from homes lovingly made,
And The Herdsman was herded to start the slave trade.
They were used to being free in that Land that was theirs,
But now they were hounded, like the foxes and hares.
Where The Herdsman once lived off the fat of the land,
The White-Man now lives – The Herdsman’s been banned.
Banished to townships, ramshackle and crude,
Condemned to exist like no White Man ever could.
Found guilty of living, he’s been sentenced to die;
But though his body is broken, his spirits are high.
The Herdsman’s been captured in White-Man’s evil snares,
But he’s screaming and fighting, like those foxes and hares.
Chased and tormented by White-Man’s power lust,
Those Foxes and Hares are running, lungs fit to burst.
And the red-coated Huntsman sits high on his mount,
As his blood-thirsty hounds rip their victim’s heart out,
And while its terror-filled screams are heard here in UK,
“We’ll sort it, tomorrow,” is all the politicians say.
And the public is outraged, but does anyone really care
About what exactly is happening to those Foxes and Hares?
I once rescued and hand-reared a baby hare that was minutes away from being torn to shreds by hounds. She was all claws and quite the wild thing. Used to like hiding behind the radiator in my bedroom. I was careful not to make her too tame and managed to release her into the adjoining fields of my parents’ property. She often came to visit in the garden and survived the foxes for many years, if not until she died of old age. …So yes, I know that survival in the wild is tough for all animals, but they need a fighting chance and not have a load of idiot hooray henrys hunting them for sport. Which prompts another story from my childhood, when I gave a blast on a hunting horn from my bedroom window to confuse the hounds just as they were closing in on a fox. I love seeing the blighter get away!
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Good on you, Sarah. I can’t imagine handling a hare. Rabbits are tough enough if they are a bit feisty.
(It’s really a shame that rabbits and hares don’t get on – I like them both! MAYBE – like how in SA things have become a lot more acceptable, though obviously still far from perfect I believe, they WILL come to some reconciliation and become pals. I’m not holding my breath, mind.) 😀