The Mighty Hunter

The path through the beech trees is frozen and white
And the forest lies covered in snow,
And I’m a great hunter with shotgun held tight
Which I carry wherever I go.

I’m not very frightened though the woods are so dark
And bears hide behind every tree,
The things I don’t like are the tracks in the snow
Which insist upon following me.

They are too big for squirrels and too small for lions
Or tigers, or wolf cubs or bear;
Though their shape is familiar and I’d know them again,
When I turn there is no creature there.

It’s a little alarming, even scaring I’d say,
For a clever young hunter like me
To know while I’m hunting alone in the woods
That some other beast’s hunting me.

I’ve spoken to Mummy, she says “It’s all right,
Don’t be frightened, don’t worry, there, there!”
But she doesn’t go hunting, doesn’t know what it’s like
To be followed by something out there.

And the strange thing I’ve noticed when hunting is done
And I trudge home again through the snow,
The tracks follow me homewards right up to my door,
Where they go after that I don’t know.

10 April 1975