Norther Bard: Catherine Jamnicky “The Ballad of Benjiji”

Ha Ha Ha I’m Benjiji

I live my life with nobility

You’ll smile when you see me

Vim and vigor, full of glee

Chest hair pointed like a goatee

Swishing white skirt down to the knee

“He’s so soft” you will decree

I wear a coat colored caramel delight

It glistens, it glows, it steals all the light

I look quite gentle at first sight

Don’t be fooled. I can put up a good fight

I’ll wear you down, circling around long before I bite

Some say I look chubby, slow to stir

It’s my two layers of fur

Bushy is what I prefer

To stave off winter’s brrr

I’m much too comely to be called a cur

My hair grows 3 inches beyond my toes

Leaves me nothing to expose

Feet like snowshoes when it snows

It serves me well in the 30 belows 

I know of others who have froze


Ha Ha Ha I’m Benjiji

I’ve overcome adversity

I was born in the woods out back

In a tumble-down shack

Hunting for food, I soon lost my pack

Coyotes and wolves would have me for a snack

Surviving on my own, I acquired the knack

Sniffing about like a scent hound

Caching my food for miles around

Using my nails I’d dig the ground         

Burying it, my nose gets browned                       

If times were tough it could be found

Winter came, outside restaurants I dined

Summer campers fed me bacon rind

People were friendly and kind                                

But I was always left behind    

Till a young boy was so inclined

A family, a home, fancy that

Although it had a cat who spat

One that I couldn’t get at

She holds a grudge and gets me back

The game was on. Tit for tat

Hugs and kisses, I found my niche                   

Except for dog food, dried brown kitsch            

Still, when I catch a whiff, my nose starts to twitch

Head buried like an ostrich

Butt in the air at a high pitch      


Ha Ha Ha I’m Benjiji

My life is full of frivolity

The cat and I took a vow

Conspire together for more chow

I even talk like her now

Deep purr, an annoyed wreow

Nibble her neck she will allow

Scavenging is my pursuit

Every day with my snoot

Yard littered with the loot

Big bison bone what a beaut

I am a hunter of repute

I discovered something called a treat 

People carry them on the street

Quickly I would run to greet

I’d place both paws on their feet

Unwavering stare till our eyes meet

Friends come to my window, show their face

Come out, c’mon, time to race

Rabbits and squirrels we will chase

I’m so nosy I can’t keep pace

Time to go home, I find a hiding place

My game plan is to prowl

Lying low with a scowl

3 warning calls a bouff, a woof, a growl

Never had the urge to howl                        

I like rolling in anything foul

In the wild I go all out

Exploring, I am the scout

Hiking, I’ll find the route

Berry picking, I am the lookout

But kayaking I can do without

Ha Ha Ha I’m Benjiji

I live in a land of infinity

If you saw this land

You would understand

The views that command

Climate hard to withstand

Survival skills it will demand

Winter is of long duration

Spring is the season for celebration

We all come out of hibernation

Breakup receives a standing ovation

Listen to the bird migration

Here the sky puts on a show

Aurora nights dance aglow

Sun dog like a crystal halo

Full moon walks in sparkling snow

Midnight sun hangs on the horizon low

I’m proud to be Yukon bred

Many adventures still ahead

I’ll roam in the north till I’m dead

And when I’m old, I’ll ride in the sled

Remembering all the trails I have led

Poem identity: Ballad

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