I write these little rhymes in batches simply because when I start one, the opening couplet to another unfailingly pops into my head – annoyingly distracting me from the original which can then take some time to finish. (Limited space in my brain, only room for one rhyme at a time in there.) Originally I thought that I might do a dozen, but it has stretched now to 26* – half a year’s worth – so I thought that I might go for the full year. Who knows, by the time I get there, fifty-two may well be the number of animals in the world that have not yet made it onto the WWF Red List. I have to remind myself from time to time that these rhymes are not meant to be ‘clever’ they are meant to be silly. I’m not really made for ‘clever’. My attempts at ‘clever’ usually emerge as ‘pompous’, so by and large I leave that to other people. Childish is much more my cup of tea. On a scale of Stephen Fry to Charlie Cairoli, I come in somewhere adjacent to the Chuckle Brothers. Pomposity appears to me to be the domain of the politician. I would never make a politician. I do not have the necessary conviction that I know best and I have a face that even my grandchildren cannot take seriously, but if I do sound like a bit of a dick from time to time, I rely on you to tell me. If I sound like a dick all of the time, then I apologise, but would suggest that you and I are probably not suited as companions going forward.
I know just what a panda is,
I know the panther too.
The parrot is well known to me,
I’ve seen one in the zoo.
We all know how a penguin looks
And pigs are nothing new,
But what a pangolin is like
I haven’t got a clue.
It could be that it’s tangerine,
It could be that it’s blue…
I thought I’d try and draw one
And this is what I drew.
It isn’t great – I know that’s true,
I’m sure it could be neater,
But have you ever tried to draw
A shy, scaly anteater?