Animal Poems for Children

By Josie Whitehead

Image by Sandy Millar

R A B B I T S

By Josie Whitehead

Rabbits

Who lives quietly in our world

    With hardly any sound?

Its home's beneath our human feet

    In a burrow, underground.

 

Who loves to eat a lettuce leaf -

    Perhaps a carrot too?

Who has four incisor teeth

    That help it when it chews?

 

Whose home is in the woodland glades,

    In fields or on the moors?

And who do children love as pets?

    I think you’ve guessed for sure.

 

But did you know that in the wild

    They only live one year

And can hear from all directions

     With their longish rabbit ears?

 

And did you know that when they're born

     They don’t have any fur?

When confronted with a choice of food

      Which kinds do they prefer?

 

Well gardeners don’t like rabbits;

    They’re the sneakiest of thieves.

They love to steal the things you grow,

    Especially lettuce leaves.

 

But in the wild they’ll dine on grass,

    And other things they'll find,

But if you have a rabbit pet,

    Just bear one thing in mind:

 

Without some foods on which to grind,

    A rabbit’s teeth grow long,

And when the vet looks in his mouth,

    He'll say: 'His diet’s wrong!'

 

His teeth will cause him lots of pain,

    And, with trouble on the way,

The vet will give you this advice:

    'You feed him lots of hay.'

 

But when the toothache has been fixed,

    And Bunny’s in your arms,

He’ll make a cuddly, friendly pet,

    Who you’ll keep safe from harm.

 

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* Normal rabbit teeth are aligned and allow for a natural grinding down of those teeth during eating. A rabbit’s teeth continue to grow throughout its life, and when the teeth become misaligned, overgrowth can occur, causing pain, and in some cases can cause a rabbit to stop eating.