For a Very Young Scholar (1983)

For a VeryYoung Scholar

by Marc Mangel

 

The waves ceased their crashing sound

the tide had gone out

and silence all around.

We stood above and looked below

to rocky beaches with little

pools that slowly flow.

 

And suddenly she spied a cat

that slowly made its way

between the crags and water to a spot

where others sat.

 

“That must be a sand cat”

she shouted with delight and glee

and turning

gave a hug to me.

 

“Indeed, indeed, it must be, yes”

said I

but snickered — thinking of

a child’s guess.

 

Months have passed since the visit to the bay

and seeing the cat on that day

 

And then last night we played with cards

that hold upon them animals and names

some little known

and some of fame.

 

She pulled a card and showed to me

“Look, this is a sand cat”

“And this is a regular cat”

In stunned silence I took the card

for I just had to see.

 

Indeed, indeed, oh yes, oh yes

there are such things as sand cats

it was not just a lucky guess.

 

But wait now

for on the back of the card

there are facts about the cat

so one can read and

learn to wow

 

So I read the facts about the sand cat

and my surprise is only greater

the old sand cat may be slow and fat

and white as we saw

 

But the sand cat is not found by the by

neither night nor day

rather if one ways to find a sand cat

he must such the desert.

 

4 March 1983

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