When in the forest

Written by Niamh Kelly
Art by NADExRioTic

A misty sunrise shrouds the forest inhabitants as they wake gradually or drift asleep,
The night shift creatures lulled by an unseen dawn chorus,
Songbirds hidden amongst the dew-drenched leaves.
The rusted orange foxes and stark black and white badgers
Huddle underground after their nightly forage—
All present but unobserved, overlooked, camouflaged.

We could be intruders here amongst the undisturbed wildlife,
Blundering, stumbling, chattering,
Every animal fleeing from the ruckus.
Yet, we learn from them instead, adopting their habits.

A carpet of leaf litter remains un-rustled by our feet as every footstep is gently placed,
The placid breeze carrying our foreign scent upwind, away from grazing deer.
These movements are slowed and stillness is preferred.
The distance between different species shortens as
We become part of the forest,
Wrapped in the morning mist and dappled sunlight.