Twas the Night Before Christmas

Posted on Tuesday, December 24th, 2013 by »

“A Tracker’s Christmas “

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Photo by Bob Hosea courtesy of the Bob Factor.

by Brian Patrick Baxter

It was the night before Christmas, and outside the house
an ermine bounded after a field mouse
No sign of his catch was I aware
but the two by two bound was evident there

The grouse were all roosting
in trees of snow sheds
While ptarmigan nestled
in fluff to their heads

A bobcat tip toed to fill her platter
hoping to help her kittens grow fatter
The flying squirrel flew from a tree like a flash
trying to increase his winter food stash

Deer bedded under cover of snow
but the elk were still feeding and more on the go
Barred owls called with out fear
Wishing the cooks were busy and near

A pine marten darted up a tree so quick
the squirrel barely escaped, voicing a click
The snowshoe hare played a darting game
leaving the lynx hungry just the same

The red fox danced like a vixen
a late supper she hoped to be fixen
Cougars mating call started to ball
lonely, tired, and sick of it all

Geese were startled and started to fly
so the ducks joined them, not knowing why
Lead goose to the sky flew
navigating by stars, constellations too

Hearing commotion moose took to the hoof
and wolves were watching, sniffing and aloof
Up a tree a fisher did bound
hearing the action, and pinpointing the sound

He was dressed in fleece and wool to his foot
and snowshoes protruded from the toe of his boot
A bundle of gear he had on his back
bright nylon colors, highlighted his pack

He moved through the brush, ninebark and snowberry
and turned, knocking snow off a bitter cherry
The path of the wolverine he did not know
but the set of trail cameras he started to sow

In the freezing cold weather
he clenched his teeth
As he cut a few boughs
for a homemade wreath

He was lean and moved with some stealth
as he contemplated his wilderness wealth
Wind narrowed his eyes
and furrowed his brow

And he was astonished at what he saw now
hiking up a ways to where the ridge rose
He wiped the frostbite
from his running nose

His eyes twinkled
and he had to stare
At the miracle
that was in the sky there

For above the trees and in the big sky
was a streaking white comet, that shed light as it let fly
His happiest Christmas, he suddenly knew
for him and his family, and hopefully for you!

About The Author:

Phil Hough is the Executive Director of the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness.

An avid long distance hiker, Phil's experience on the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail and Continental Divide Trails brought a passion for wild places and motivated him to work towards protecting the one of the last and largest wild places in northern Idaho and Western Montana, the Scotchman Peaks.

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One Response

  1. Colby Hawkinson says:

    “Tracker’s Christmas was awesome, took me right back to the Idaho backcountry. Thanks for sharing!!

Leave a Reply to Colby Hawkinson