The Alphabet of Animals: V–Z

Mike Unwin shares some of his lockdown wildlife poems

Inspired by his wildlife photos, author and nature writer Mike Unwin has been making the most of his lockdown time by creating some wonderful little alphabet poems.

V is for… Vervet Monkey

Photographed in Entebbe Botanical Gardens, Uganda, 2017, with Rainbow Tours

V is an African monkey: the Vervet
I ought to write more but it doesn’t deserve it

W is for… Wolf

Photographed at the Polar Park, Bardu, Norway, 2016, with Off The Map Travel

W ’s wolf, of the wild, wild wood
Eats Three Little Piggies and Red Riding Hoods
Hunts in a pack and howls at the moon
And, if you’re in Scotland, it blows your hoose doon

X is for… Xenarthra (Three-Toed Sloth)

Photographed at the Canopy Tower, Panama, 2016, with Naturetrek

 X is Xenarthra: I swear, by my troth,
That this animal grouping includes three-toed sloth
And as for you doubters: if anyone checks,
Then let them produce an alternative X

Y is for… Yellow-billed Oxpecker

Photographed in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, 2018, with Asilia Safaris

Y is for Yellow-billed Oxpecker – yes,
It rides on giraffes (when giraffes acquiesce)
Though other birds think this too clever by half.
They’ve none of them ridden upon a giraffe.

Z is for… Zebra

Photographed in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia, 2006, with Wildlife Camp

Z is for zebra: we’ve reached the rear end.
No more silly rhymes – I won’t do this again
Unless I receive, by the end of today
Unequivocal orders to go back to A

Discover more of Mike’s daily poems on his Instagram.

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