In the beak midwinter, foxes they do moan,
Earthworms hard as iron, garden’s overgrown,
Snow has fallen snow – oh no! Snow is so no-go,
In the beak midwinter not so long ago.
Vege patch is wilted, every leaf decayed,
Gone – the flower borders, where we snoozed in shade,
Now the soil has frozen, ground is like a rink,
Got to peck the ice off just to get a drink.
Chilly winds send shivers, huddle we must try,
If this weather bites us, we may surely die,
Dreaming of a heat lamp, in our roost installed,
There we’d snuggle under, safe from winter cold.
Garden pond is icy, frogs no long croak,
Henhouse roof now wears a glinting silver cloak,
Feathers we must ruffle, just to stall the chill,
Cold can burn our wattles; cold can kill.
So we dream of porridge, steaming in a dish,
Now we yearn for mealworms – every hen’s first wish,
Perhaps a throw of sweetcorn, might just come our way-
What a perfect snack to end a winter’s day.
What can I give my humans, bringer of these joys,
If I were a dog I’d give my bone and toys,
If I were a black cat, I would give my luck
Yet what I can I give them: give my cluck.
(With apologies to Christina Rossetti.)