He dives into the reeds, nose first.
Pushes through the rushes and coots
startle and flee. Panic flies
and swarms ahead of him like fire.
Moorhens kipp kipp kipp and are gone.
The others still follow him,
his family, his brood.
Whiskers twitch. They all smell it.
He pauses and checks the coast is clear,
his ears swivel and listen, and
his tail flicks in anticipation…
He smells eggs ahead!
They swarm over him now, too eager
to wait or listen for danger
or his indignant squeaks. His family,
his brood. They smell eggs ahead!
None of them listen as they dive
through the reeds, spreading forwards
like fire through the rushes.
They swarm. He squeaks and warns.
Wait, just wait, don’t rush ahead.
Danger flies above ready to dive
for her family, her brood.
She smells rats swarm below her.