“My Precious”

Hiding in the shadows of dense Filipino forest
– the Aeta of the animal kingdom –
a petite, palm-sized primate
clings to a branch with padded fingers.
The platypus of the Philippines,
– shy, elusive, unassuming –
with a halo halo of body parts:
Gollum-like googly eyes
fixed miner’s lamps
in bronze;
a neck that swivels, owl-like,
– before, beside, behind –
to check for danger;
outsized, bilby-ears that pivot too,
like small satellite dishes,
listening for food or family;
an ultrasonic bat-voice
that less subtle ears
will never hear;
a long, thin, rat’s tail
for grip and balance
high above the forest floor;
elongated ankle bones
and furry frogs-legs
that spring from tree to tree.
This endangered, pygmy predator
with spiky-Gremlin-teeth
and soft-wallaby-fur
is no pack animal, but a lone traveller
who seeks space and solitude to thrive,
sleeping by day, hunting by night
for pica pica insects…

But be warned!
Do not distress this timid bush-baby,
for if disturbed,
perturbed, unnerved
by heavy feet and thunderous whispers,
He dies.


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