(a ballad occasioned by my consternation on
learning that a ‘ferretería’ is only an ironmongery)

His four feet fastened ferret-style
upon the olive branch,
Raúl resents the tourist’s rude
‘If that’s a mink, it’s ranch.’

Raúl runs out the open cage
and up the tourist’s leg.
As ferret passes trouser cuff
the tourist starts to beg:

‘Oh, spare me from this maddened mink
or pocket kangaroo!
It’s not my fault. I didn’t want
to shop inside this zoo.’

Raúl, well in the dark by now,
is frightened by these cries
and charges on to private parts.
He can’t believe his eyes.

In general a ferret stops.
A major problem, see:
will Raúl, so incited, al-
ter corporeality?

The owner of the hardware store
can captain ferrets out
but doesn’t know where Raúl is,
or understand the shout.

The tourist turns bright green with fear.
The ferret gets stuck in.
You’d think he’s at the colonel now,
not only at the shin.

‘Ironmonger,’ screams the tourist, high
of voice and on fear,
‘Retrieve your beast, be admiral.
Protect my lone-star rear!’

The monger thinks the tourist mad
and telephones the cops.
The ferret’s met their dogs before
and so he simply stops.

Down trouser leg, he lopes to loo.
Tenant plans has he.
He’ll lurk there till the tourist goes,
or stops in for a wee.

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