(for John Cleese)
When the hedgehog started calmly walking
Across their grass, the lemurs behaved
As if they’d never seen her before.
In groups of two or three they took
It in turns to approach with caution;
To sniff or touch her, then dart away.
Yet they acted so gently (while for her part
She simply trotted on regardless),
That, leaving aside the area’s
Sealed nature, I’m convinced this happened
Each evening as a ritual.
There are humans, too, who lead their lives
In such a charming, timeless way.
13 May 1996