Killer in the Night

Night falls in the forest
and creatures adjust.
Some go to sleep
and some wake up,
go out and forage for food,
because they must.

Silently, predators emerge
in search of their prey.
Possums, raccoons, and
their like, search and smell
their quiet and eager way.

Even house cats, with hunter
instincts stealthily kicked in.
Leave the comfort of the house
to stalk rodents and their kin.

Wolves and coyotes continue
to prowl throughout the night.
Their yips and howls broadcasting
huddled creatures great fright.

Humans have a history
of a great fear of the dark,
when they were the hunted
and hid, shaking in fear.

Night sounds still scare them,
especially the hooting of owls.
There is something eerie and
haunting about those
un-birdlike territorial calls.

But small birds still flock
or bed down in their nests,
they know the night danger,
much more than the rest.

For the owl swoops in
on silent, swift wings
and snatches young birds
from their roosts and,
severing their heads,
silences their sings.

The same goes for mice,
rabbits, bats and other things.
The wise owl is a cold killer
the night always brings.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl © Johann Schumacher/VIREO

From a memory I had of a caged young great
horned owl. It's mother would come during
the night and feed it decapitated birds
through a hole in the chicken wire fence.
Many birds were dropped and a pile of them
(about 50) covered the ground beneath the
roost where the mother perched to try to
feed her baby.

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Copyright 2016 © Ronald W. Hull


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