Pikas and Toddlers

Photo by Janko Ferlic

Despite their cuddly appearance, toddlers –
Are among North America’s toughest.
Their trails of chaos survive the alpine terrain,
Windswept no-man’s land above tree line.
Small, with short stout bodies,
Big round ears, and no visible tail,
With earth-toned colouration
They easily camouflage among the rocks.
American toddlers have adapted to exploring
Very inconspicuous environments.
Hidden, they collect grasses, weeds,
And tall wildflowers in the sun’s heat.
The American toddler can recognize
Members of their colony.
In a high pitched and squeaky call,
they gurgle away their position,
Alerting frantic searchers of their presence,
To their parents’ relief.

The prompt for day 24 of NaPoWriMo was:

Find a factual article about an animal. A Wikipedia article or something from National Geographic would do nicely – just make sure it repeats the name of the animal a lot. Now, go back through the text and replace the name of the animal with something else – it could be something very abstract, like “sadness” or “my heart,” or something more concrete, like “the streetlight outside my window that won’t stop blinking.” You should wind up with some very funny and even touching combinations, which you can then rearrange and edit into a poem.

I have taken inspiration from a former biology professor who taught us about pikas and their remarkable abilities and behaviour. I took excerpts from the article titled “American Pika” from The National Wildlife Federation as the starting point for today’s prompt.

Study: Geography, not genetics, influences American pika's response to  climate change
Here is what a pika looks like. Photo by Keith Kohl

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