This poem comes to you this holiday season on behalf of all the animals in the forest who eat, run, hunt and sleep this time of year. Thank you Clement Clarke Moore for your great original poem, "The Night Before Christmas."
'Twas the Night before Christmas,
when all through the forest
lots of creatures were singing
...they sounded like a chorus.
The bats and cats and night creatures
stalked with care,
in hopes that their tasty meals soon
would be there!
The little bunnies, skunks and squirrels
were snug in their beds,
while visions of butterflies and bunble bees
circled their heads.
Mommy and Daddy Bear with babes off their lap
had just settled their bodies for long winter's nap.
When out in the cove there arose
such a clatter,
Daddy sprang from his den
to see what was the matter.
Away to the moonlight he flew like a flash,
stared out at the trees and heard a big crash!
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
gave the luster of mid-day to a plant life below...
When, what to Daddy's wondering eyes should appear,
But a big buck, a doe and his sweet baby reindeer!
What a specimen! The buck was so lively and quick,
Daddy Bear saw that he was built like a great big brick!
More rapid than eagles his little herd they came,
the trees around seemed to sway to join the game.
"Now, Maple, now Oak, Now Chestnut and Cherry!
On, Dogwood! On, Hemlock!
Holly and Mulberry!
To the top of the trees! So close to the stars!
Now sway away, sway away!
Sway away to Mars!"
As the leaves that from the cold autumn winds do fly,
when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky...
So into the dark and dangerous woods they ran,
with the hunk of Buck, an eight-pointer, leading his clan.
And then in a twinkling, it seemed like a goof.
Daddy heard prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As he drew out his head,
and was looking around,
off the reindeer flew into the woods with a bound.
In their place appeared a fox
dressed in fur from head to foot.
He was a mess, so tarnished with ashes and soot!
A bundle of ducks and geese he had flung on his back,
and he looked to be bringing the bacon home to feed his pack.
His eyes --how they twinkled!
His paws so hairy!
His ears were like pines,
his nose like a berry!
His slobbering mouth was poised so ready to strike.
This was a character Daddy Bear did not like!
Feathers from the geese fell out from his teeth,
A sly guy, he worked to cover his tracks beneath.
Daddy Bear knew that like all,
the fox must fill his belly.
Meat was his favorite,
certainly not sweet rolls and jelly!
The fox was lean, swift and
a sneaky little elf,
Daddy Bear cringed when he
saw him, in spite of himself.
A wide search with his eyes
and a thought in his head,
soon gave him to know they had
nothing to dread;
The fox growled not a bark
but went straight to his work.
He de-feathered his catch for his babes;
and then turned with a jerk.
And scenting a smell of Daddy Bear
with his keen nose,
He poked from side to side,
and away into the woods he goes.
Daddy Bear watched intently,
then gave a whistle,
And went back to bed relaxed
like the down of a thistle.
Daddy Bear snuggled up to Mommy
now within his sight,
Saying "Happy Christmas to all,
and to all, a l-o-n-g good-night!"