At first I thought it was affection
Made them stand behind me so,
Or tenderly patrol the rocks
And beams on which I stood,
Their shins and whiskers beaded
By unexpected spray.

Twenty yards further down the shore
A man in waders caught a fish
Too small to keep but big enough to kill;
The nearest took it at first bounce
And headed for the trees.
My following left with quite disgraceful speed.

Cats, are strangers everywhere,
Never get to love the land,
Prefer to lurk like refugees:
Alien beggars in Japan.