A Child's Primer Of Natural History

A Child's Primer Of Natural History

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SEE, chil-dren, the Fur-bear-ing Seal;Ob-serve his mis-di-rect-ed zeal:He dines with most ab-ste-mi-ous careOn Fish, Ice Water and Fresh AirA-void-ing cond-i-ments or spice,For fear his fur should not be niceAnd fine and smooth and soft and meetFor Broad-way or for Re-gent StreetAnd yet some-how I of-ten feel(Though for the kind Fur-bear-ing SealI har-bor a Re-spect Pro-found)

 

The Giraffe.

 

SEE the Gi-raffe; he is so tallThere is not room to get him allU-pon the page. His head is high-er—The pic-ture proves it—than the Spire.That's why the na-tives, when they raceTo catch him, call it stee-ple-chase.His chief de-light it is to setA good example: shine or wetHe rises ere the break of day,And starts his break-fast right away.His food has such a way to go,—His throat's so very long,—and soAn early break-fast he must munchTo get it down ere time for lunch.

 

The Yak.

 

THIS is the Yak, so neg-li-gée:His coif-fure's like a stack of hay;He lives so far from Any-where,I fear the Yak neg-lects his hair,And thinks, since there is none to see,What mat-ter how un-kempt he be.How would he feel if he but knewThat in this Pic-ture-book I drewHis Phys-i-og-no-my un-shorn,For chil-dren to de-ride and scorn?

 

A Whale.

 

THE con-sci-en-tious art-ist triesOn-ly to draw what meets his eyes.This is the Whale; he seems to beA spout of wa-ter in the sea.Now, Hux-ley from one bone could makeAn un-known beast; so if I takeThis spout of wa-ter, and from thenceCon-struct a Whale by in-fer-ence,A Whale, I ven-ture to as-sert,Must be an an-i-mat-ed squirt!Thus, chil-dren, we the truth may siftBy use of Log-ic's Price-less Gift.

 

The Leopard.

 

THIS is the Le-o-pard, my child;His tem-per's any-thing but mild.The Le-o-pard can't change his spots,And that—so say the Hot-ten-tots—Is why he is so wild.Year in, year out, he may not change,No mat-ter how the wea-ther range,From cold to hot. No won-der, child,We hear the Le-o-pard is wild.

 

The Sloth.

 

THE Sloth en-joys a life of Ease;He hangs in-vert-ed from the trees,And views life up-side down.If you, my child, are noth-ing loathTo live in In-dol-ence and Sloth,Un-heed-ing the World's frown,You, too, un-vexed by Toil and Strife,May take a hu-mor-ous view of life.

 

The Elephant.

 

THIS is the El-e-phant, who livesWith but one aim—to please.His i-vo-ry tusk he free-ly givesTo make pi-a-no keys.One grief he has—how-e'er he tries,He nev-er can for-getThat one of his e-nor-mous sizeCan't be a house-hold pet.Then does he to his grief give way,Or sink 'neath sor-row's ban?Oh, no; in-stead he spends each dayCon-tri-ving some un-sel-fish wayTo be of use to Man.

 

The Pig-Pen.

 

OH, turn not from the hum-ble Pig,My child, or think him in-fra dig.We oft hear lit-er-a-ry menBoast of the in-flu-ence of the Pen;Yet when we read in His-to-ry's PageOf Hu-man Pigs in ev-er-y age,From Cr[oe]sus to the pres-ent day,Is it, my child, so hard to say(De-spite the Scribes' vain-glo-ri-ous boast)What Pen has in-flu-enced Man the most?

 

Some Geese.

 

EV-ER-Y child who has the useOf his sen-ses knows a goose.See them un-der-neath the treeGath-er round the goose-girl's knee,While she reads them by the hourFrom the works of Scho-pen-hau-er.How pa-tient-ly the geese at-tend!But do they re-al-ly com-pre-hendWhat Scho-pen-hau-er's driv-ing at...?