Having spent a few days writing poems for my grandchildren, the zoo poems have taken on a rather more fanciful air. I hope you will forgive this temporary lack of cynicism…
When all the world was cold as snow.
And ice-cream grew from carrot trees
And camels fluttered on the breeze
There came along a fearsome beast
A creature who, to say the least,
Would not be happy should you laugh;
His eyesight was so very poor;
He had a horn upon his jaw.
He lived in water, eating weed
To satisfy his massive greed.
You may have guessed, I must suppose,
He had a trunk where you’ve a nose.
His fur was filled with blotchy spots.
He looked like he’d got chickenpox.
A neck so long he touched the sky
(He never ever wore a tie)
Completed this ungainly creature.
(In fact it was his nicest feature.)
He had, as you may well conclude,
The disposition to be rude.
His temper frayed so very fast
No wonder that his days have passed
No longer does he walk upon
The greenish land where he belonged.
But then, it couldn’t last for long,
He always was the only one.
If a zoo is going to hold any attraction to a child, it surely has to include a creature or two that only otherwise exists in their imagination…