“I have this urge,” a lemming said,
“but don’t know what to do.”
“That’s odd,” another lemming said.
“I have that same urge, too.”
Around them other lemmings came,
All being on the verge
Of doing something—not clear what—
But following the urge.
And then another, louder one,
With quite alarming hair,
Leaped up and shouted,
“Follow me!” his paws raised in mid-air.
“I know the way! It’s big! It’s yuge!
It’ll make the tundra great!
You’ll win and win—I tell you folks—
We haven’t time to wait!”
“But, hang on!” one old lemming cried.
“You haven’t said your choice
Of action.” “Doesn’t matter, gramps—
I am the People’s Voice!
And you’d do well to shut your mouth
Or suddenly you’ll find
That wolves like lemming best for lunch
When you get left behind!”
“But—” “Stop right there!” the other said.
“It’s clear now, from your views,
That you are one more victim of
The media’s fake news!
Forget him, folks!” he shouted out.
“We haven’t time today
To argue with the ignorant!
So, follow me! This way!”
“What’s so—” began the older one,
But that was all he said
Before the others trampled him
To join the one, instead
As he rushed on, the echoes of
His words, like “Lies!” and “Hoax!”
All mixed together on the wind
With lines like “Trust me, folks!
And “People say!” and “So much proof!”
And “Frankly, Honestly”
As lemming followed lemming and
They sped down towards the sea
Till finally, just dead ahead,
A cliff came into view.
“Don’t stop!” he shouted
“Almost there!” and “Folks, I promise you!”
As he stepped to the side and waved,
“Straight on! We’re almost done!”
While each, pushed on by those behind,
Pitched over, till just one
Was left—the eldest, doubting still—
Who clung to land and cried,
“What were you doing?” but the one
Just kicked his paws aside
And smiled to see the elder’s splash
Join other wave impacts.
“It’s instinct–that, and their belief
That there were alternate facts!”