Progress report


Trixie found a baby mouse,

Scared it half to death and watched it quiver,

Hunched over its fear.

Bored, she stretched and let me take it,

Put it on the sill in the quiet sun.

No sport in babies, she said,

Let it grow.

Then we’ll see.


Finbar found a toad,

He’s good at that.

He never sees the pheasants or the hares,

Or any largish prey.

He hunts toads.

At night, they lumber from the ditch

Climb the banks and hunker down

Among the brambles.

Finbar spots them,

Overcomes his fear and pounces,

Perhaps because he is on a lead

And knows we’ll hold him back

So he’ll not take any harm.

Still, he finds toads for us,

Even if we choose to leave them be.


Ninnie hunts cobwebs

And dog biscuit.

She finds lots of both.

Life is good, she says,

When there’s a barn and an attic,

And the dog biscuit tub

doesn’t close properly.




Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

33 thoughts on “Progress report”

  1. Love the thought of the dog biscuit tub not closing properly. It didn’t take Maggie long to work out which cupboard was the doggy cupboard. ‘Point’ doesn’t quite carry it……….!!

      1. The photo is of Trixie who can look cute, when she isn’t being ferocious. The little cat generally looks blank, round, unblinking eyes. Soft in the head, but she doesn’t care 🙂

  2. This reminds me of some books I learned to read on, in about 1964, and they were from even earlier, and I loved them. You made me laugh and I love the rhythm of these poem stories.

  3. My cat’s a huntress too. But then one day she came to me for help – a lizard attached to the hairs on her throat – it obviously decided to fight back and managed. I’ve seem a field mouse try and fight back too once. It stood up on its hind legs and tried boxing the cat! I locked the cat out and rescued the mouse. Thankfully I have only one cat else I’d be busy with them and their prey all day long!

    1. I admit, I take away anything that Trixie catches. She usually brings birds to us for inspection before she does them irreparable damage. She caught a wryneck once, I don’t know if you’ve heard of them, a sort of rare woodpecker, and she managed to catch one in the middle of the city! Where and how I have no idea. She was so astonished at the way it was twisting its head about she let it go indoors quite spontaneously.

      1. Ha-ha-ha! Haven’t heard of a wryneck, probably peculiar to America but I’ll look it up. If I’m in time to save the mouse/bird/lzard’s life I take it away from her. A mother mouse looked a thank you at me once! I don’t speak some dialects of lizard so unsure whether they’re thankful or not. Birds don’t hang around long enough for a thank you!

      2. Wrynecks are probably European (I’m in France) and Trixie’s specimen is the only one I have ever seen. I wonder how many endangered species get even more endangered by predation from our lovable friends?

      3. What made me think you were in the USA? We have the blue swallow here, very few of them left. The pair here nest far away from where I live so they are safe from the cat – at least! What made me think France was an enlightened country?

      4. France still has a rural population with a disproportionately powerful voice. You find the same rearguard actions all over Europe, the hanging onto ‘traditions’ because that’s what defines us as a nation. When you defend a custom on the grounds that ‘we’ve always done it’ you’re in dangerous waters. There was a time, not long ago, when ‘we always’ had public executions for a fun way of spending a saturday afternoon, and ‘we always’ had bull baiting and bear baiting, and we hanged children for stealing a loaf of bread…

      5. Save what you have left before it’s too late. If only there could be global concertation on agriculture, we might be able to save enough land for the animal species that are left to have enough room for their needs without ‘encroaching’ on the land we have grabbed for farming or building.

  4. I loved hearing about your four legged family, especially the mouse that was saved. I’ve had a mouse in my van and nothing would shift it. It was v. v. v clever and I wrote all about it in my blog, but I think you might have given me some inspiration for a future entry to Colleen’s Tuesday challenge. Thank you. Ben, the dog poet.

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