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Title: More Beasts (For Worse Children)
Author: Belloc, Hilaire, 1870-1953
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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courtesy of The Internet Archive and the Online Distributed


MORE BEASTS FOR WORSE CHILDREN

[Illustration]



          MORE BEASTS
          (For WORSE CHILDREN)

          VERSES
          BY
          H.B.

          PICTURES
          BY
          B.T.B.

          LONDON:
          DUCKWORTH AND CO.
          3 HENRIETTA STREET, COVENT GARDEN.



DEDICATION.


          To
          Miss ALICE WOLCOTT BRINLEY,
          Of Philadelphia.

[Illustration]



MORE BEASTS

FOR WORSE CHILDREN



INTRODUCTION


          The parents of the learned child
              (His father and his mother)
          Were utterly aghast to note
          The facts he would at random quote
          On creatures curious, rare and wild;
              And wondering, asked each other:

[Illustration]

              "An idle little child like this,
                How is it that he knows
              What years of close analysis
                Are powerless to disclose?

          Our brains are trained, our books are big,
                And yet we always fail
            To answer why the Guinea-pig
              Is born without a tail.

[Illustration]

            In wild, unmeaning rhymes,
          Whereas the Indian Elephant
            Will only read _The Times_.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

          Perhaps he found a way to slip
              Unnoticed to the Zoo,
          And gave the Pachyderm a tip,

          Or even by an artful plan
              Deceived our watchful eyes,
          And interviewed the Pelican,
              Who is extremely wise."

[Illustration]

          "Oh! no," said he, in humble tone,
            With shy but conscious look,
          "Such facts I never could have known
            But for this little book."



The Python


[Illustration]

          A Python I should not advise,--
          It needs a doctor for its eyes,
          And has the measles yearly.

[Illustration]

          However, if you feel inclined
          To get one (to improve your mind,
          And not from fashion merely),
          Allow no music near its cage;
          And when it flies into a rage
          Chastise it, most severely.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

          I had an aunt in Yucatan
          Who bought a Python from a man
              And kept it for a pet.
          She died, because she never knew
          These simple little rules and few;--

[Illustration]

          The Snake is living yet.



The Welsh Mutton


[Illustration]

          The Cambrian Welsh or Mountain Sheep
            Is of the Ovine race,
          His conversation is not deep,
            But then--observe his face!



The Porcupine


[Illustration]

          What! would you slap the Porcupine?
            Unhappy child--desist!
          Alas! that any friend of mine
            Should turn Tupto-philist.[B]


[Illustration]

          To strike the meanest and the least
              Of creatures is a sin,
          How much more bad to beat a beast
            With prickles on its skin.

[Illustration]

FOOTNOTES:

[A] Sometimes called the "Lion-tailed or tufted Baboon of Ceylon."

[B] From [Greek: tuptô]=I strike; [Greek: phileô]=I love; one that loves
to strike. The word is not found in classical Greek, nor does it occur
among the writers of the Renaissance--nor anywhere else.



The Scorpion


[Illustration]

          The Scorpion is as black as soot,
              He dearly loves to bite;
          He is a most unpleasant brute
              To find in bed, at night.



The Crocodile


[Illustration]

          Whatever our faults, we can always engage
          That no fancy or fable shall sully our page,
            So take note of what follows, I beg.
          This creature so grand and august in its age,
            In its youth is hatched out of an egg.

[Illustration]

          And oft in some far Coptic town
          The Missionary sits him down
              To breakfast by the Nile:
          The heart beneath his priestly gown
              Is innocent of guile;

[Illustration]

          When suddenly the rigid frown
          Of Panic is observed to drown
            His customary smile.

[Illustration]

          Why does he start and leap amain,

[Illustration]

          And scour the sandy Libyan plain

[Illustration]

          Like one that wants to catch a train,

[Illustration]

          Or wrestles with internal pain?

[Illustration]

          Because he finds his egg contain--
          Green, hungry, horrible and plain--
            An Infant Crocodile.



The Vulture


[Illustration]

          The Vulture eats between his meals,
            And that's the reason why
          He very, very rarely feels
              As well as you and I.

[Illustration]

          His eye is dull, his head is bald,
              His neck is growing thinner.
          Oh! what a lesson for us all
              To only eat at dinner!



The Bison


[Illustration]

          The Bison is vain, and (I write it with pain)
            The Door-mat you see on his head

[Illustration]

          Is not, as some learned professors maintain,
          The opulent growth of a genius' brain;

[Illustration]

          But is sewn on with needle and thread.



The Viper


[Illustration]

          Yet another great truth I record in my verse,
          That some Vipers are venomous, some the reverse;
            A fact you may prove if you try,

[Illustration]

          By procuring two Vipers, and letting them bite;

[Illustration]

          With the _first_ you are only the worse for a fright,

[Illustration]

          But after the _second_ you die.



The Llama


[Illustration]

          The Llama is a woolly sort of fleecy hairy goat,
          With an indolent expression and an undulating throat
            Like an unsuccessful literary man.

[Illustration]

          And I know the place he lives in (or at least--I think I do)
          It is Ecuador, Brazil or Chili--possibly Peru;
                You must find it in the Atlas if you can.

[Illustration]

          The Llama of the Pampasses you never should confound
          (In spite of a deceptive similarity of sound)
                With the Lhama who is Lord of Turkestan.

[Illustration]

          For the former is a beautiful and valuable beast,
          But the latter is not lovable nor useful in the least;
          And the Ruminant is preferable surely to the Priest
          Who battens on the woful superstitions of the East,
            The Mongol of the Monastery of Shan.



The Chamois


[Illustration]

          The Chamois inhabits
          Lucerne, where his habits
              (Though why I have not an idea-r)
          Give him sudden short spasms
          On the brink of deep chasms,
              And he lives in perpetual fear.



The Frozen Mammoth


[Illustration]

          This Creature, though rare, is still found to the East
          Of the Northern Siberian Zone.

[Illustration]

          It is known to the whole of that primitive group
          That the carcass will furnish an excellent soup,
              Though the cooking it offers one drawback at least
                (Of a serious nature I own):

[Illustration]

          If the skin be _but punctured_ before it is boiled,
          Your confection is wholly and utterly spoiled.

[Illustration]

          And hence (on account of the size of the beast)
            The dainty is nearly unknown.



The Microbe


[Illustration]

          The Microbe is so very small
          You cannot make him out at all,
          But many sanguine people hope
          To see him through a microscope.
          His jointed tongue that lies beneath
          A hundred curious rows of teeth;
          His seven tufted tails with lots
          Of lovely pink and purple spots,

[Illustration]

          On each of which a pattern stands,
          Composed of forty separate bands;
          His eyebrows of a tender green;
          All these have never yet been seen--
          But Scientists, who ought to know,
          Assure us that they must be so. . . .
          Oh! let us never, never doubt
          What nobody is sure about!





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