It is dark, it is damp, it is night in the forest
the cold in the air is the sharpest of knives.
Hibernation, the saviour of all forest dwellers
was nearly upon them as Winter arrives.

All the nuts and the berries that they had been storing
would last through the hard times expected ahead,
when the snow lays its blanket of white on the forest
and icicles cling to the trees overhead.

And the moonlight is splintered to long streaks of silver
and shadows are deep where the fox goes unfed,
but when hunger awakens, insistent and driving,
the sleepy eyed creatures arise from their bed.

It would pay to be careful when out in the darkness
as predators hunt by the sound of the call,
the impetuous youngsters are first on the menu
by failing to realize this danger at all.

It’s the old and the wise that are safe in the forest,
when foxes and weasels are prowling at night
and the owl is out hunting in cold desperation,
stay curled in the burrow, and wait for dawn’s light.