(See Amy-Le's art...)
Below the roots of an oak, be there a family of six.
A mother and her babies who she smothers with love and licks.
To keep them warm and hunger free and safe from imposing danger,
she vows this with her very heart that death will be her wager.
And so there came a morning, on which the breeze carried a scent
Of something that made her quiver, for she knew just what it meant.
It was time to show her devotion, and she looked as if to say
"Don't worry my darlings, at least you'll be safe. I'll be seeing you again some day."
She reared her head from the burrow, her ears tracked the source,
and she listened intently to footsteps, of evil upon its course.
The moment is now or never and so she buries all despair,
and for the sake and love of her young she leaps out into the air.
Time seems all but still as she glowers across the divide,
and behold there is man with his weapons, lurking on the other side.
Her stance is proud and ready, for she knows what must be done.
The wind whips round her tail as they spot her one by one.
She takes a moment to look back at her home, and inwardly she cries,
sadness and joy for the life she has bore and for which she would surely die.
The hounds they charge as a unit - for there masters have taught them so,
there's more than she can count and her hope it simmers low.
Away from the burrow she races, with all her speed and might,
never stopping for breath until the oak is far from sight.
She ran until she could no more, her body becoming weak
and she turns to see death trailing her wake, so close to what it seeks.
Her eyes now closed she slumps to the ground, exhaustion engulfs her
and then she yelps as if to say "a mother from her children you have stole."
I wish that I could tell you, that this story ended rightly,
that man had a change of heart and his compassion reigned so brightly.
But man was cruel and heartless, not caring for this mother's life,
and until he does this world will be forever in sickness and strife.