A previously unpublished poem about North America’s largest Salamander.
She curls among the tumbled rocks,
and waits for a crayfish dinner.
If she doesn’t find a crawdad soon,
tomorrow she will be thinner.
She will happily eat a frog or fish,
for she’s an agile swimmer.
But the crawdad is a favorite dish,
it causes her eye to glimmer.
Beneath the rocks she laid her eggs.
There must have been a hundred or more.
At parenting she is the dregs.
She ate a few just to even the score.
Her mate saw this act and chased her away
If eating eggs, she just couldn’t stay.
He guarded those eggs till they hatched one day.
Then he swam away much slimmer.
The Florida Museum of Natural History has a number of articles hellbenders on their web site . Each is written for a general audience and richly illustrated with photographs. This is a link to one of them.