Little Creatures

Photo of a slug by Timothy Meinberg from Unsplash.

Little Creatures

A slug is a lowly creature

traversing diverse terrains.

A body of solid muscle,

he makes smooth and steady gains.

Monarch butterfly caterpillar. Photo by Lasclay from Unsplash.
Monarch butterfly. Photo by Gary Bendig from Unsplash.

Butterfly, a patient creature,

is chewing leaves as time crawls by.

Cocooned in sleep, she dreams and waits

for glory days when she will fly!

Honeybees on honeycomb. Red dot marks queen. Photo by Cool Calm Design from Unsplash.

Honeybees are social creatures.

Exchanging messages, they dance,

sharing locations of flowers…

Honey bees leave nothing to chance!

Photo of an ant by Peter F. Wolf from Unsplash.

Ants are industrious creatures…

Mighty for their minuscule size.

Co-operation builds communities…

Working together is so civilized!

Turtle and fireflies. Photo by Brittney from Unsplash.

Fireflies are delightful creatures,

illuminating the dark.

Unassuming in the daylight,

as nightlights, fireflies make their mark!


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia

Swallow-Tailed Kites

Swallow-tailed Kite Wing Spread Gliding High in Sky

Swallow-Tailed Kites

Swallow-tailed kites,

silhouetted on blue sky,

shrill cries overhead.

Kites nest in the tall pine trees

along slow-flowing canals .


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia


A flock of five loudly shrieking swallow-tailed kites flew by as I was sitting on the front porch one morning last week. Kites live in wetlands and along rivers and canals in the Southeastern US and Central and South America. They feed on lizards and other small reptiles. We live between two canals and there are vacant wooded lots with many pine trees across the street. I have seen individual kites there many times, but a flock of them flying by was a very exciting experience!

Ospreys, Two Poems

Osprey Hunting. Photo by Matthew Schwartz from Unsplash

Osprey, Death Angel

Osprey,

shrill death angel,

a sinister shadow

flying over fish in canals.

Is there premonition of death?

Does fear precede struggle,

death-flight to the

osprey’s nest?


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia


Ospreys, Loving Parents

Ospreys,

shrill birds of prey,

build nests in high places.

Ospreys fish to feed hungry chicks.

Powerful wings carry them home,

fish grasped in strong talons.

Caring for chicks,

ospreys fish.


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia

Osprey Bringing Fish to Nest. Photo by Richard Lee from Unsplash

Raccoon Party

Baby Raccoons, Photo by Public Domain Pictures from Pixabay

Raccoon Party

Footprints,

festive dark stains

in exquisite detail…

a raccoons-only patio

party!

Photo by Pete Nuji from Unsplash

Raccoons,

I need to know…

why were we excluded?

Not even invited to watch

the fun!

Photo by Joshua J. Cotten from Unsplash

Humans,

are you clueless?

Garbage cans tightly locked…

You don’t invite us to dinner…

Ever!

Baby Raccoon, Photo by ebo23 from Pixabay

Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia

Two Armadillo Poems: Armadillo Neighbors/ Armadillo Territory

Photo by Victor Miyata from Pexels

Armadillo Neighbors

We lived near the beach

with armadillo neighbors

…not too neighborly!

At night, they dug grubs,

leaving holes and piles of poop…

We never saw them!

We filled holes, scooped scat.

They gnawed watermelon rinds

we left out to dry.

One evening at dusk,

I saw two dark shapes walking

along the hedgerow.

As I got closer,

I saw they were not raccoons…

Yes, armadillos!

They scooped out a den,

lived under our shed, eating

watermelon rinds.

One day they were gone.

We never met their children…

There were no goodbyes!


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


Armadillo Territory

Photo by Skeeze from Pixabay

Armadillo Territory

Our new neighborhood

is wooded…armadillo

home territory!

Out walking one day,

I met three armadillos

digging up breakfast.

They were cute, half-grown.

I stood there chatting with them…

They never looked up.

Recently, I saw

an armadillo stroll by,

armor slick with rain.

Undisturbed, he walked

along the edge of our yard

and into the woods.

One day I followed

a busy armadillo

all around our yard.

She went on eating,

politely ignoring me,

as she fed on ants.

She did not fear me…

No one shoots armadillos

around here, I guess!

That night and the next,

the armadillo dug dens

and abandoned them.

Armadillo’s gone!

House hunting in the woods?

We said no goodbyes…

An armadillo digs its way

into your heart.

Maybe she’ll be back!


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Gandhi, Hitler, a Book, & Dog/God by da-AL plus Cheryl Batavia’s poem

Happiness Between Tails by da-AL

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” — supposedly Mahatma Gandhi said that. (Isn’t this picture of him great? He’s drafting a document at Birla House, Mumbai, August 1942. My novel-writer side can’t help but wonder if he knew that writing longhand enhances creativity — and I bet intelligence!) First off, he didn’t….

Gandhi drafting a document at Birla House, Mumbai, August 1942. By Kanu Gandhi – gandhiserve.org, Public Domain.

Second off, if anyone said it, is it true? I love animals and have followed a vegetarian diet for years. All the same, I’m definitely nowhere near a saint, particularly given my now-and-again deviations into the hypocracy of eating fish. My father was wicked to his family, yet tears rolled down his cheeks when he heard that local geese were slaughtered. Hitler and was a vegetarian for the last part of his life. And he adored his dog…

View original post 974 more words

BABY, Service Dog

BABY on the Job with Joseph Batavia

BABY, Service Dog

BABY’s not a pet…

she’s my service dog.

BABY’s well-trained;

she has a very important job.

BABY knows it’s time to work

when she is wearing her vest.

BABY reads my every mood.

She knows when I am stressed.

BABY loves to work;

I take her everywhere.

I am calm and safe

because my service dog is there.

BABY on the Job in the Forest, Photo by Joseph Batavia

Then we go home to chill;

I take off BABY’s vest.

BABY eats her supper

and flops down for a rest.

I find a movie on Netflix

and lock the door.

BABY cuddles up beside me,

and I listen to her snore.

BABY is my friend.

a member of my family.

I take care of BABY,

and she looks out for me.


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl


Service dogs are trained and certified to help disabled people to live independently. The first and most well-known service dogs assist those who are blind, but service dogs and other service animals now help people with a variety of disabilities. For example, there are dogs who assist those in wheel chairs and people with epilepsy. Remember not to distract a dog who is wearing a service vest. Never pet or feed a service dog without the owner’s permission.

Honeybunch & Sunshine

Photo by The Lucky Neko from Unsplash

Honeybunch & Sunshine

Babysitter’s cat

had kittens. Wow! Honeybunch

was so excited!

Calico kitten,

Sunshine, was a birthday gift…

Honeybunch was three.

Photo by hp koch from Unsplash

Small girl and kitten…

Honeybunch and her Sunshine

became lifelong friends.

Sunshine was sunny…

swatting and chasing cat toys,

purring and snuggling.

Photo by Kate Stone Matheson from Unsplash

Cuddled in slumber,

Honeybunch and Sunshine roamed

in the land of dreams.

Hiking through the woods,

Sunshine walked with Honeybunch

down to the river.

Photo by omid armin from Unsplash

Honeybunch grew up,

Sunshine lived for fourteen years…

They were lifelong friends.


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Gopher Tortoise

Gopher Tortoise, Photo by Aron Visuals from Unsplash

Gopher Tortoise

“Young man!…Hello!”

The boy was carrying

a gopher tortoise

toward the Gulf of Mexico.

“Don’t put that tortoise

in the water, please!

It’s not the kind of turtle

that travels the seas!”

“That’s an endangered

gopher tortoise, protected by law.”

“I didn’t know,” replied the boy.

“It’s the first one I ever saw!”

The boy put the tortoise

gently down on the sand,

and it crawled very slowly

up the beach to dry land.

I wish I had told the boy,

“Find ‘gopher tortoise’ in Wikipedia,

and tell your friends back home

how you found one in Florida!”


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Everglades Gossip

Roseate Spoonbills, Photo by Julia Craice from Unsplash

Everglades Gossip

A roseate spoonbill was overheard to say,

“You’ll never guess who I saw today!

Gone from the Everglades for a hundred years,

flamingos have settled not far from here.”

Roseate Spoonbill by Joshua J Cotten from Unsplash

The second spoonbill said, “It will be nice, I think,

having neighbors who also like to wear pink.

Maybe they won’t brag that their legs are longer,

or argue that their beaks are stronger.”

Roseate Spoonbill by Joshua J Cotten from Unsplash

“We will have to be tactful and kind,”

said the first spoonbill, “and pay no mind

to flamingos’ skinny necks and feathery heads.

Some things are better left unsaid.”

“We have a lot in common. Let’s focus on that,”

said the second spoonbill. “We’ll have a chat

with our new neighbors. I think it will be good

to welcome flamingos back to the neighborhood.”

Flamingos, Photo by Dennis Eusebio from Unsplash

Reprinted from Hanging Out with Wild Animals II

Environmentally-themed book series for readers aged eight to twelve


Copyright© 2018 by Cheryl Batavia