Holy moly!

photoart and poem - wildwood
photoart and poem – ©2018 Laura Granby

They say that cats are inveterate snoops
but when the river tossed all thoughts of boating aside
and the rat sat reiterating rhymes
or dozed through long, miry evenings
a longing grew in the grey waist-coated breast of Mole

fine fingered frost tweaked his whiskery interest anew
the curio he’d shelved all summer came tumbling down
he heard a summons in the Wild Wood’s silent wooing
an explorer awed by its white striped heart of darkness
hardly seen,  yet known to all as Badger

entranced, the mole marched into his short-sighted venture
a frolicking, fumbled foray of forest floor
trees assembled closer still, overspreading all directions
he peered hard as little phantom faces leered
making lickety-split exits down small gummy tunnels

when the whistling began, he ran like the rabbits
pursuers on pattering feet tore up Terror incarnate
thuddings that only the hunted hear in breathy heartbeats
’til an ancient beech toppled Mole from his helter-skelter hurtle
its dry, gnarled grasp gave sanctuary

the lost linger long and hard on what is forsaken
Rat’s riverside residence, twinkling eyes in a brown face
the kindly way he uttered his name: “Moly,” “Moly”
– such that the advent of his friend in full-fleshed fur
was like the Second Coming

Paul’s prompt Rhubarb invites us to tune into a character from childhood memory and write about or use the subconscious storyteller as subject – mine was the Mole and his adventures in the “Wind in the Willows
And on Sunday am uniting with others in the Poetry Pantry


  1. I haven’t read “Wind and Williw” but you certainly gave Mole a good show in the wee but lovely snippet you wrote. Sort of na j es me want to read more of him and Rat.


  2. Loved that you put that in a soundfile on here! Never would have thought of that.
    It was really interesting after reading the poem – not aloud, just in my head – with my own in intonation to then hear yours.


  3. Oh Laura, even reading that chapter about Mole in the Wildwood as an adult, I find it terrifying! Especially the short sentences:’Then the faces began’; then the whistling began’; and ‘then the pattering began’, the terror of which you’ve captured in your poem..


  4. Beautifully written Laura. Isn’t it strange how children accept adventures of rabbits, rats, moles and foxes with such ease only to return to them later after a dose of reality to find as adults they love them still.


  5. I love this wonderful tale Laura – thank you.
    I did read the book as a child, but have little memory of it – I should read it again.
    Anna :o]


  6. I love Ratty and Mole – as so many do. You have captured the spirit of the book beautifully. I particularly thrilled to such phrases as, “long, miry evenings”, “thuddings that only the hunted hear in breathy heartbeats”, all the clever alliterations, and the way you bring the character of Mole to new life.


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