The Menagerie by J. Honeywell


DID you ever! No, I never!

Mercy on us, what a smell!

Don't be frightened, Johnny, dear!

Gracious! how the jackals yell!

Mother, tell me, what's the man

Doing with that pole of his?

Bless your little precious heart,

He's stirring up the beastesses!

Children! don't you go so near!

Hevings! there's the Afric cowses!

What's the matter with the child?

Why, the monkey's tore his trowses!

Here's the monstrous elephant,—

I'm all a tremble at the sight;

See his monstrous tooth-pick, boys!

Wonder if he's fastened tight?

There's the lion!—see his tail!

How he drags it on the floor!

'Sakes alive! I'm awful scared

To hear the horrid creatures roar!

Here's the monkeys in their cage,

Wide awake you are to see 'em;

Funny, ain't it? How would you

Like to have a tail and be 'em?

Johnny, darling, that's the bear

That tore the naughty boys to pieces;

Horned cattle!—only hear

How the dreadful camel wheezes!

That's the tall giraffe, my boy,

Who stoops to hear the morning lark;

'Twas him who waded Noah's flood,

And scorned the refuge of the ark.

Here's the crane,—the awkward bird!

Strong his neck is as a whaler's,

And his bill is full as long

As ever met one from the tailor's.

Look!—just see the zebra there,

Standing safe behind the bars;

Goodness me! how like a flag,

All except the corner stars!

There's the bell! the birds and beasts

Now are going to be fed;

So my little darlings, come,

It 's time for you to be abed.


"Mother, 't is n't nine o'clock!

You said we need n't go before;

Let us stay a little while,—

Want to see the monkeys more!"

Cries the showman, "Turn 'em out!

Dim the lights!—there, that will do;

Come again to-morrow, boys;

Bring your little sisters, too."

Exit mother, half distraught,

Exit father, muttering "bore?"

Exit children, blubbering still,

"Want to see the monkeys more!"