While riding my bike
it sometimes amuses
to scan the hedge bases,
looking for smeuses

and the tell-tail signs,
the pushed aside grasses
marking a trail where
an animal passes.

Those gaps in the hedge
that small mammals use
the country-folk named -
they called it a smeuse.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

I have always loved words, the sound of them, their use in rhyme and the fun of playing with them, especially an old word that is not often used – they need bringing back to life; if we don’t use them then they will be lost and language will be the poorer for such losses. Smuese is one such word, which I have come across from time to time and I just love the sound of it. Isn’t it fun to have a special name for the highways through hedges that little animals use?

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jules
    Jun 12, 2021 @ 18:16:33

    I have a Smuese across my back yard where the squirrels, chipmunks and voles use to get from one feeder to the other. Kind of like a well worn people trail in a meadow. 😀 Fun word.


    • Libby
      Jun 13, 2021 @ 14:43:39

      Hahaha! So glad you have found one – though it is really more a way through a hedge rather than a trail across a meadow, often almost like a tunnel through the grasses. No reason why you can’t adapt the word though – better to change its meaning slightly than to lose it from the language!


      • Jules
        Jun 13, 2021 @ 15:57:07

        I have some smueses through debris berms. I meet my little chipmonk friend this morning while filling up a feeder.

        I can imagine smueses through the tall grasses and young weed trees across the creek where the fox, coyote and deer meander 😀

  2. elaine patricia
    Jun 12, 2021 @ 21:21:03



  3. Renee Espriu
    Jun 13, 2021 @ 18:02:36

    Really enjoyed this poem and have never heard of any animal being called a smeuse. Hope you are well.


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