Rufus, The Flying Millipede, And The Mangy Tom Cat

a writing by Kenneth Malvyn Clark


Perched on a garden gate
as sunrise lights the sky
sits a hungry blackbird
casting his beady eye.

Alleyway bred dustbin fed
scavenger of the night,
lay the mangy tom cat
the blackbird in his sight.

Ears torn ginger white
whiskers long and thin,
crouched in the shadows
claws beneath his chin.

Leg cocked business done
Rufus on his rounds,
hates cats the colour blue
dustmen and postmen too.

Down amidst the marigolds
where creepy crawlies hide,
sleeps a little millipede
as break of day unfolds.

Curled like a liquorish wheel
a myriad legs toe to heel,
sleeping till the night-time
when creepy crawlies feed.

Slithering like a serpent
a worm juicy and fat,
swoops the hungry blackbird
pounces the mangy cat.

Snubbed tail black as coal
a Bassett allsorts hound,
teeth bared ears pricked
alerted by the sound.

Arch foes battle scarred
trashing the marigold bed,
scratches bites teeth claws
the tom cat in his jaws.

Feathers fur marigold blooms
the blackbird quiet and still,
fights the mangy tom cat
with all his alleyway skill.

Nine lives most nearly gone
the mangy tom cat flees,
triumphant in his victory
once more old Rufus wees.

Head bowed marigolds dead
man pet berates his name,
Rufus dragged by his collar
once more the brunt of blame.

Alighting on the hedgerow
breast of crimson red,
a Robin spies the millipede
amidst ruined marigold bed.

Little bird a handsome prize
wriggling from his beak,
so falls the little millipede
tumbling through the skies.

Day wanes darkness reigns
hoots a wise old owl,
down in a wooded dell
a badger on the prowl.

Underneath the bracken
where night crawlers lie,
uncurls the little millipede
that dropped from the sky.

Legs in pairs two by two
rippling like an ocean swell,
feeds the flying millipede
with a story now to tell.

'Hello pede, you alright, not really earywig
it’s been a hell of a day, oh dear pede what
happened then, well, there I was eary, had
a good nights nosh and was curled up fast
asleep under the marigolds when all of sudden
this cat and dog decided to have a ding dong,
going at it hammer and tongs they were,
trashing the flowerbed like you wouldn’t
believe, after a time the cat ran off and a man
thing came and dragged the dog away, but
there I was eary lying exposed in the hot sun,
I tried to crawl back under what was left of
the marigolds but this robin bird saw me flew
down scooped me up in its beak and took off
up into the sky, so there I was eary, caught
between the rock and the hard place about to
become a birds breakfast, so I thought to myself,
he who dares wins, and began wriggling for all
I was worth, fortunately for me he wasn’t a big
bird and I managed to break free from his beak,
well done pede, not really eary, seems I’d gone
from the frying pan into the fire so to speak,
found myself hurtling down to the ground at a
great rate of knots, anyways fortune still seemed
to favour me and I began crashing through the
branches of those big trees, don’t remember much
else, must of blacked out with vertigo or something,
when I came to I was laying on the leaves of those
ferns above us, I checked all my legs and things and
everything seemed okay so I dropped down to the
floor and hid under that log over there, curled up and
went back to sleep, boy you have had a bad day pede,
a blooming nightmare eary, well I’m glad your safe
and well pede, but you must be careful now, the owl
just told us there’s a badger on the prowl, ahh ???,
sorry about the language eary, but that’s all I needed
right now, some snotty hairy badger sniffing around.


Whilst o’er green valley brow
where rooftops root and grow,
scavenges the alleyway cat
from bins that overflow.

Winged bats scurrying rats
the tom cat hunts them all,
while tied in his kennel
Rufus watches creepies crawl.

Night fades morning wakes
dark shadows hug the ground,
where lay a mangy tom cat,
in wait, for a coal black hound.

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