A poem from Richard Osmond's Costa Prize Shortlisted debut collection, Useful Verses. 


The mouse fears the cat.
The cat fears the dog.
The dog fears the man.
The man fears the wolf.
The wolf fears lightning.
Lightning fears nothing.
Nothing fears a child.
The child fears the clown.
The clown fears the ringmaster
and ever since the incident
the ringmaster fears the elephant.
The elephant fears the mouse.