roy may

The Pheasant - Poem by roy may

The weather was just how I liked it
Looking like it would stay dry
The breeze had the sharp tinge of winter
Beneath a low overcast sky
The thick blackthorn hedgerow behind me
Bordered the tangled beech wood
In front was a sowing of Rape seed
The shooting from here should be good

The ditch in which I was standing
Was shallow and recently dried
I put up my camouflage netting
As kind of a temporary hide
I looked across my field of fire
It spread further than buckshot would reach
So I opened my trusty old twelve bore
And slipped two Eley five’s in the breach

I saw something off in the distance
Out on the old bridal trail
I knew straight away it was Reynard
I could see the white tip on his tail
This dog fox was working the hedgerow
Looking for something to eat
In a week or two he won’t be hunting
For vixens will soon be on heat

If he should decide to go eastward
He’ll be near me but he won’t be shot
It isn’t a fox that I’m after
But something to put in the pot
Then came a sound to my left side
I heard the dry rustle of leaves
I eased off the safety catch gently
And stood still not daring to breathe

Nearby from a patch of dead Teasel
A Pheasant was poking its head
It’s wattles were white as a snowflake
Round it’s eye was a dash of bright red
It’s head and neck seemed to change colour
With a green and blue oil like sheen
It sported a thin clear white collar
The clearest one I’d ever seen

Cautiously into the open
It was only three meters away
I was stunned by it’ breathtaking beauty
This vision is with me today
It looked like a fowl made of copper
Each breast feather tinged with a Pink
And edged with the finest black outline
As if they’d been sketched in with ink

It’s wings were a blend of dark ochre
Mingled with olive brown hue
It’s tail was two thirds of a meter
What was this hunter to do
Quite unaware of it’s danger
It slowly strolled on to the crop
Carefully I raised my shotgun
But something inside me said STOP

No way could I fire at this vision
This beauty by me won’t be shot
I came to an instant decision
Find something else for the pot
I have enjoyed many a pheasant
Washed down with a bottle of red
The countryside here would be poorer
If this lovely creature was dead

The bird by now had become bolder
and had wandered some distance away
With an unloaded gun on my shoulder
I went home having had a good day
I will have bread and cheese for my supper

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Poem Edited: Tuesday, May 17, 2011

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