A Bedtime Story

“Tell us a bedtime story,” my brother said.
“Gather round pups,” said father, patting our bed.

“Have I told you the tale of Man?”
“No,” said sister, “but may you can?”

“Man walks,” he said, “on two feet.”
“Why does he do that crazy feat?

It’s so much easier on four.”
“That may be true according to our lore,

But Man carries things in his hands,
Weapons for hunting in prairies and woodlands.”

“What is it,” sister asked, “that he hunts?”
“Anything,” father said, “that he confronts.”

“What is it,” I asked, “that he fears?
What is it that brings him pain and tears?

Is Man afraid of cats and claws?”
“No, those things do not give him pause.”

“Is man afraid of the teeth of a terrier?”
“No, dogs are not a hindrance or barrier.”

“Is there anything to which Man is prey?
Some animal to cause him death and decay?”

“No,” said father, “there is no animal he fears,
Except himself, his neighbors, and his peers.

He makes up stories of heroes and villains,
While Man himself numbers in the billions.

Man is his own enemy, that is his fate,
Finding in others what to fear and to hate.”

/ / /

This poem was written to the day three animal poem prompt at Poetic Asides.

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