7.5.17 ‒ 7.18.17 ‒ vol. 13

Ode to the Snowcat

By  Dominic Stobart


Some years ago I read a verse

in rhyming couplets clipped and terse.

Of idle gardeners who neglect

to keep their properties well kept.


That comic ode doth now inspire

my jaded muse, my failing fire.

Yet horticulture’s not my theme

but rather an obscure machine

whose sole objective it would seem

is to keep the sidewalks clean

of slush and snow and ice and sleet

and make them neat for people’s feet.


Last Thursday morning, when it snowed,

I plucked my quill and penned this Ode.


With precipitation comes anticipation of snowmen and skating and fun,

and skiing and icefalls, and sledding and snowballs,

and hot chocolate toddies with rum.


But the one thing I fear as the storm clouds draw near

is the prospect of clearing the snow.

Though it’s back breaking work that others may shirk

its my neighborly duty I know.


So with shovel and adz and with two local lads

it’s into the blizzard we trudge

chipping and lifting, and scraping and shifting

the mountains of snow for to budge.


Then a terrible clamor echoes through the Manor

and up goes the cry all about,

the yellow clad feline is making a beeline

and pushing the snow with its snout.


Mark you this beast as it crawls its way east

along Esplanade, Highbrook, and Ely,

with a clickety clack its rotating track carves

a furrow down Francis quite freely.


But when it has past we all stand aghast

at the terrible mess in its wake,

while the snow is displaced - the lawns are defaced

and at Pierpont our fists we do shake.


The older and idle are wholly unbridled

in praise for your snow plowing toil,

but the time that you take and mess that you make

serve only to make my blood boil.


Snowcat, oh snowcat, I say to you no

cat desist with your wandering ways.

Get back to your shed and retire to your bed

no more to trouble my gaze.



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