I used to watch a kitten playing
With a battered tomcat laying
His old bones upon the ground, in the sun by my back fence.
She'd pounce and tug and pull,
And his unresponsive scowl
Never once did seem to dampen her unbound exuberance.
Come, help me catch my tail,
Or, chase butterflies awhile,
Or, there's no butterflies, but we'll bat the air where they did flit.
Thou little wretch, begone!
For there's napping to be done,
And the sun's rays must be caught before they make a run for it.
Once in a while, she'd push too hard,
And he's swat her across the yard,
And she'd land in the far corner, hind legs arched over her pate,
Wide-eyed, stunned, until she shook
From her face the startled look,
And once more returned to bouncing upon her reluctant mate.
One day she wasn't there.
I thought he wouldn't care,
And for a while he stretched and rested; but in time I saw his glance
Stray into the shadows; prowling,
Tail twitching, good eye scowling,
As he ever-so-casually searched beneath the chair