Chrissie Petrie - 2017



When asked what animal I thought
I was most like, I wanted to reply
with those that I’d prefer to be
rather than ones that resembled me.
The lioness with her effortless prowess,
the shark with its sleek chic physique,
and the black bear for her ferocity.

I then decided I could be a hybrid breed.
A Frankenstein’s monster made up of many similes:
I could say I’m a skunk, as when I drink
I drink like a fish and then I get drunk
and I’m always as bad as a dog the next day.
I eat like a pig when I’m as hungry as a horse
but when I’m not in the mood I pick at my food,
gnaw on it like a little mouse would do.
I can sometimes be as wise as an owl
but I can also be as dumb as an ox
or even as mad as a box of frogs if I fancy.
And when the time is right, especially at night,
I can be a right foxy lady!
Most days I’ll be dashing around as busy as a bee.
That’s when I long to be a sloth instead,
lazing in my warm, soft, cosy bed.
I’m a hard worker, just like an ant in an army,
team work is key, but then I have times
when I prefer it just to be me.
I laugh like a hyena, I get the giggles when I’m nervous
and I wriggle about and squirm like a worm.
I’m as gentle as a lamb, cute as a kitten
but if I am bitten, I will bite back.
I will smile then snap my jaws tightly like a crocodile.
Yet my tears are always real.  I get panda eyes when I cry.
I’m as stubborn as a mule and like an elephant, I never forget.
When I’m angry I’ll hop up and down on the spot like a kangaroo
but I wouldn’t do that in front of you.
I’d remain as cool as a cat until out of view.
I could even be part Puff the Magic Dragon
as I too live by the sea
and my breath is often hot and fiery,
but nothing a Rennie or two wouldn’t soothe.

Now all this said and done I still had the desire to decide on
just one creature that shared my features
and it so happens that one day
the answer fluttered down in front of me,
and I realised how much it was like me.
At first it wasn’t something I’d freely admit
but somehow this insect seemed to fit the bill.
You see, it shows my traits I hate to display,
my softer side that I often hide away.
My gentle nature.  I nurture, I’m kind.
I have a vulnerable body and a fragile mind.
But it also reflects my ability to change,
to be plain or pretty
to blend in to surroundings.
To adapt to life by coast and county,
in town and city.
Free to roam wherever I choose
And settle in the place I wish to call home.
And that is why now when I am asked
what animal I think I’m most like, I reply,
I am Lepidopteran
commonly known as the butterfly.

©Chris Robinson 2011