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Learning Barn


P.R. Teague, ‘F. holds a chick’

Outside it’s hailing fast and thick
on grass and gravel, tarmac, brick;
a whiny windy final fling
before the milder days of Spring.

I shelter from this late-March storm
inside the Learning Barn. It’s warm;
my navy raincape’s almost dry.
I hold a chick; I’m feeling high.

The chick is yellow, fluffy, sweet;
its orange feet are very neat.
It seems to settle in my palm;
together we are very calm.

‘‘E likes you,’ says the farmhand, Stan,
an easy-mannered kind of man.
The chick cheeps softly, beak to cheek;
I smile, too full of love to speak.

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Published on The HyperTexts, July 2021
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I wrote this poem following a visit to the Cotswold Farm Park with my parents in March 2014, for my mum’s birthday.

It was a rather magical afternoon. We began in the Learning Barn (now the Discovery Barn) and had a lovely time observing chicks, ducklings, guinea pigs, rabbits, lambs, and kids. Of course, my highlight was holding the dear chick, supervised by Stan, who had a charming Gloucestershire accent. After that we went all around the park, seeing so many animals! Sheep, goats, pigs, cattle, oxen, ponies, horses. I remembered enjoying the park during my very first visit, when I was 8 years old. I liked it so much I returned for my 9th birthday party!

There’s a lot of information about the park on the official website, here.

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