Weeks before DC’s tiniest panda made the news with his/her surprise arrival, a Forest Hills neighbor had an unexpected encounter with another, now infamous, resident of the National Zoo. As one does after experiences like these, she set the story to verse. Enjoy.
My Morning Run
by Lindsay Damon
The alarm goes off, I’m filled with dread
How could I possibly get out of bed?
As the fog clears, I open my eyes
Look out the window and see the sun rise
Slip on my sneakers, pull up my hair
Step out on my street, the Soapstone trail is right there
Stretch out my legs and start nice and slow
The beauty of Broad Branch stretches out below
I weave my way through across creek, through the trees
Soon my heart jumps- could it really be?
A little fox near some rocks up aways
Just looking for somewhere to graze
I panic and freeze at the sight of his bushy white face
Back to my 6th floor apartment I race
Wake up my husband, my heart still a thrill
He groans and turns over and tells me to chill
“A fox won’t hurt you, he was probably scared.”
I know that he’s right, I just wasn’t prepared
I head into work on the Metro
But before long, my phone starts to glow
My husband asks me to explain what I saw
Didn’t I hear the news at all?
Rusty the Panda had escaped from the zoo!
His white face, his tail- I instantly knew.
The creature I saw wasn’t a fox
Wow- a red panda! Just next to the rocks.
So next time my sister teases me for living in DC
I know that I’ve seen something she’ll never see
Who sees a panda on their morning jog?
Just sitting on the trail on top of a log.
Even though my rent seems unreal
Forest Hills provides such a neighborhood feel
I love the trails of Rock Creek, the sidewalks and bike paths
And Rusty the Panda, who gave me a good laugh.
You can read more of Rusty’s story on the National Zoo’s web site.