“Watch out for those red squirrels”
Was all he heard them say
As they walked to Kielder Forest
On a bouncing bright June day

He marched and kept his eyes skimmed
Although so used to grey
He looked for red instead and he kept
Watch all through the day

He saw them dusky orange
Tinged russet in a tree
And auburn in the evening
With a bronzed audacity

He saw them looking rusty
Or tinged with henna glow
So when asked if he’d seen red ones
He replied a sullen “No”

Grace Gant