Cathryn Wilcock, ‘Moppet, Teddy, and Parsnip’
It was cold. It was dark. We were grateful for hay,
we being Parsnip and Teddy and me.
We were singing and snoozing and feeling quite gay;
we‘d had cabbage and carrots for tea.
Teddy said she was thirsty and moved from the bed
to the diner, to have a quick drink;
but she rushed back, her tufts raised. ‘What is it?‘ I said.
‘I don‘t know, Mop! Come, let‘s sit and think!‘
So we all ambled out and sat still for a time,
ears and noses a-twitching a lot.
We heard whistles and rumbles and some sort of chime
and the air felt remarkably hot.
‘Something‘s falling!‘ breathed Parsnip, her eyes very wide,
and we heard a sharp thud not far off,
then a human, perhaps. Teddy said, ‘Time to hide!‘
No one came, though; we just heard a cough.
We continued to sing and to snooze through the night
and through dawn, ‘til we heard a big noise!
Human voices, so many, they gave us a fright.
Even Parsnip could not keep her poise.
Breakfast came; it was carrots and cabbage again.
We were puzzled; it‘s normally weeds.
But we ate all our veggies and made a nice den
in our hay, which was sweet, with no seeds.
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Published on The HyperTexts, Spotlight, October 2021
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On Sunday 28th February 2021, at 21:54, a meteorite entered Earth’s atmosphere. Caught on camera by six networks of the UK Fireball Alliance, it took the form of a fireball and crash-landed on a private driveway in Winchcombe, Gloucestershire. Due to the location of its landing, it was given the name ‘The Winchcombe Meteorite’.
By astonishing coincidence, the driveway on which the meteorite landed belongs to friends of my family, the Wilcocks. Both my parents and the Wilcocks own three guinea pigs. The Teague guineas are looked after by the Wilcocks while my parents are on holiday, and vice versa. It was fitting, I decided, to compose a poem from the perspective of one of the Wilcock guineas. I chose Moppet because I like the alliteration in the title (MM).
Moppet lives with her friends Parsnip and Teddy. As you can see from the photo, she has a lot of ginger hair. I think she’s a merino type of guinea. Parsnip is an Abyssinian (tufty!) and Teddy is a Rex (wiry!). As Moppet’s hair is so thick, it needs a lot of attention, but she has a lovely laidback personality and doesn’t mind being combed.