Selections from The Bad Child’s Book of Beasts

byy HILAIRE BELLOC (1870-1953)

The Lion

The Lion, the Lion, he dwells in the Waste,
He has a big head and a very small waist;
But his shoulders are stark,
and his jaws they are grim,
And a good little child will not play with him.

The Marmozet

The species Man and Marmozet
Are intimately linked;
The Marmozet survives as yet,
But Men are all extinct.

The Dromedary

The Dromedary is a cheerful bird:
I cannot say the same about the Kurd.

The Elephant

When people call this beast to mind,
They marvel more and more
At such a little tail behind,
So large a trunk before.

The Big Baboon

The Big Baboon is found upon
The plains of Cariboo:
He goes about with nothing on
(A shocking thing to do).

But if he dressed up respectably
And let his whiskers grow,
How like this Big Baboon would be
To Mister So-and-so!

Hilaire Belloc Contemporaries
Guy Wetmore Carryl
Joseph Bert Smiley
Edwin A. Robinson
Amy Lowell

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