I know where the bobcat sleeps, alas!
When the sun shines bright and cars grumble and stir;
When the people jog through fields of grass,
And fallen leaves prance on streams of glass;
When cyclists pedal and bike tires whir,
And nighttime hopes its secret keeps—
I know where the bobcat sleeps!
I know where the bobcat rests its head;
Where it tends its fur and bides its time
Till dusk does come and day be dead;
When people huddle beneath sheets in bed;
For it wanders the night on paths of mine,
Through woods I walk and fields I stroll;
I know where the bobcat goes!
I know where the bobcat hunts, oh yes,
When the air hangs dark and the city sleeps,
When it moves about with stealth of breath;
Its form a shadow to make you guess
If you see a cat or just nighttime creeps;
But a hunter could be there nearby
For I know where the bobcat lies!
— — — — — — — — — —
 The idea, cadence and form for this bit of fun are shamelessly borrowed from “Sympathy” by Paul Laurence Dunbar, one my favorite poems. I have no doubt I’ve done it a great injustice…
 Despite its jovial playfulness, this “poem” (to abuse the term) is based on fact: there is a healthy, good-sized bobcat living at White Rock Lake and easily seen if you know where it lives. (For the welfare of the cat, I will not publicly disclose anything about its location.) I watched it a week ago as it stalked and eventually caught a rabbit. A few days after that another park visitor photographed it just after sunset in the same area. In the past two weeks I’ve seen the bobcat regularly, almost always coming from and going into the same area of woods. Since it returns before daybreak and comes out only at dusk or later, seeing it is one thing and photographing it is quite another. But I’m trying!
 The bobcat is quite large for this species, though not so large as to be abnormal. Its size indicates it likely is a male. That assumption, as it is, could be wrong, yet it’s a safe bet based on the feline’s physical presence.
 Bobcats at the lake are nothing new. Then again, neither are foxes (both kinds), coyotes, skunks, beavers, minks, more birds than you can imagine, or an unbelievably vast amount of other wildlife. As urban parks go, White Rock Lake covers more than 2,000 acres but is surrounded on all sides by dense suburban and urban development (commercial and residential). Nevertheless, the lake provides a surprisingly diverse ecosystem for critters of all sorts. From riparian habitats to prairie to woodlands to an 1,100-acre lake, this place offers home to a vast array of life. As I’ve always said, if one is to live in Dallas, this is the only option.