A mystery both fine and rare,
The snow leopard is known to be
Elusive to the last degree.
Accustomed to thin alpine air,
Her fur blends in with snowpacks bright,
Concealing her from normal sight.
Her massive tail is plush and round;
It curves down gently toward the ground
And rises up again extended
In perfect balance, hung suspended.
This cat is sometimes called an "ounce"—
The derivation's lost in time,
Bereft of reason and of rhyme.
When hunting, she will quickly pounce
Upon her prey of any size
Who perish under her green eyes.
With tummy fur, she lines a den
To raise her newborn cubs within.
Like her, they purr but cannot roar,
And soon will be young carnivores.
©2016 Michael Fraley
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