‘Twas the day before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, except for a mouse.
The med charts were hung on the cages with care,
In hopes the patients would soon be out of there.
The squirrel babes were nestled all snug in their nests,
With piles of acorns clutched to their chests.
And Cara in her headband, and I in my Crocs,
Had just treated a bird with a bad case of pox,
When on the boardwalk there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Twisted the mini blinds and opened the slats.
The sun on the breast of the gleaming white sand,
Gave a luster like diamonds to everyone on hand,
When what with my grateful eyes did I see,
But the newest recruit from CCAC.
With the little young driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be Dominick.
Not only some eagles he brought in his truck,
And he whistled, and shouted, and wished us good luck:
Now bobcat! Now Kestral! Now tortoise and blue jay!
On red tail! On rabbit! On fish crow and osprey!
To the hospital cages! To the far back woodflights!
Be happy! Get healthy! Return to full flight!
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
Just like after Hurricane Charley blew through,
Return to the skies and your home burrows too.
And then in a minute, I heard at the door
The chirping and tweeting of even more.
The patients don’t stop and neither do we,
Caring for animals in Charlotte County.
Whether feather or fur, from its head to its foot,
Injured and orphaned wildlife can put
Their trust in Peace River rehabbers to be
Attentive and helpful and caring lovingly.
Some can be released when they feel better,
Others stay with us to teach people whether
‘Tis better to live blindly paying no heed,
To the species that resided here before we;
Or learn how to share the idyllic place,
With the flora and fauna that make it so great.
Our wonderful tour guides can show you just how,
All of our resident animals live now:
A chubby little squirrel, who can’t stay upright,
A tripod opossum who’s active at night,
A tiny white owl whom we have named Luna,
And his “little” sister, a great horned owl, Bella.
There are birds with one wing, some with one eye
That can’t feed themselves and some that can’t fly.
Mammals so injured they can no longer thrive
Are given a home here to live out their lives.
Our volunteers and supporters help make it real
With their time and devotion and unending zeal.
Peace River Wildlife Center wishes you
Happy Christmas to all, and a boundless thank you!
by-Robin Jenkins, DVM