Christine Tapper: The Legend Of Big Fred

The cat named Fred had iron claws;
grey fur concealed a set of jaws
that sceptics thought could not be real.
His teeth, they claimed, were made of steel.

A Doberman renowned as tough
avoided Fred, he’d seen enough
of Fred’s fierce eyeballs at the gate,
the fur-ball growl, his swagger rate.

Fred’s aging owners placed ‘FOR SALE’
outside the house, just by the Mail-
box, on the lawn. But Fred thought NO!
This is MY home. I will not go.

He glued himself beneath the bed
and no-one dared remove Big Fred
if he lashed out he’d gouge their eyes.
They couldn’t fight a cat that size.

The beaten owners of Big Fred
surrendered, and when both were dead
no living soul approached the place
and cobwebs filled their living space.

Fred preys on rodent, snake and bird,
and scorpion, too, quite undeterred,
his name scratched on the garden gate
of his own slice of real estate.