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Title: A Child's Dream of the Zoo
Author: Manning, William R. (William Ray)
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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Transcribed from the 1886 edition by David Price, email ccx074@pglaf.org

                      [Picture: Public domain cover]



                             A CHILD’S DREAM
                                  OF THE
                                   ZOO,


                                    BY

                             WILLIAM MANNING

                                * * * * *

                         AS RECITED BY HIM AT THE

                 Entertainment at the Brompton Hospital,

                   TUESDAY EVENING, FEBRUARY 16, 1886.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.



A DREAM.


               IF Artists at their easels
               Should ever paint the measles,
   I hope they’ll try and put the curious dreams in too;
               For when I went to bed
               With an aching in my head,
               And feeling rather red,
   I saw the Long-tailed Monkey, and the Keeper from the Zoo.

               We had a little talk
               And they said “we’ll take a walk;
   We’ve got a Hastings Donkey that perhaps will do for you;”
               And though the sky was dark
               We made for Regent’s Park,
   My friends the Long-tailed Monkey and the Keeper from the Zoo.

               They said “we see no reason,
               Though it’s late-ish in the season,
   Why a little picnic we shouldn’t try and do!
               And if you’ve no objection,
               We’ll make our own selection
   Of the many Midnight Sports in the Gardens of the Zoo!”

               My word it made me stare
               As soon as we were there,
   To see so many pleasant faces that I knew,
               It was like a Noah’s Ark,
               In the middle of the Park,
   With nothing savage left in the creatures of the Zoo!

               The dens were all unlocked,
               And yet I was not shocked
   To mingle in the throng, though my Donkey gave a bray!
               But the Zebra calmed his fears,
               And the Wild Ass stroked his ears,
   And promised him a Thistle as soon as it was day.

               The kind Angora Goat,
               Now brought a little note,
   Which he said was sent for me from Madame Kangaroo,
               Who “hoped that I was well,
               With love from Miss Gazelle”—
               But _this_ I did _not_ tell
   My friend the Long-tailed Monkey or the Keeper from the Zoo!

               Lynxes, Tigers, Leopards,
               Were all as tame as Shepherds,
   The baby Hippopotamus was playing with the Storks!
               The Elephants all hurried,
               Though not the least bit flurried,
   With Trunks of birthday presents for little Master Fawkes!

               Badgers, Wolves, and Foxes,
               All had left their boxes,
   And coming up to me said “Johnnie, how d’ye do?”
               And then that old Hyena!
               I wish you could have seen her,
   And the smile of recognition she gave me at the Zoo!

               The tall Giraffes and Camels,
               Without their daily trammels,
   Were cracking merry jokes with Prickly Porcupine
               And the funny little Monkeys,
               Did the work of flunkeys,
   Served the Bears with buns, and gave the Keeper wine!

               The Serpents hugged the Rabbits!
               What strangely altered habits!
   The Eagle and the Vulture did nothing else but coo!
               The Cockatoos and Jays
               Both talked each other’s praise,
   Till the Snake did spring his Rattle in the Gardens of the Zoo!

               The Squirrel and Baboon
               Went up in a Balloon;
   And going up the steps to get a better view,
               I waited just to see
               Professor Chim Pan Zee,
   Who lectured on “Man’s Origin” from the Bear-pit of the Zoo!

               The Lioness and Cubs
               Were romping in the shrubs,
   While the Lion took a ramble to see a sight or two;
               And how the Gardens ring
               With cheering for the King!
   They’re very loyal subjects in the Kingdom of the Zoo!

               The Bears they call the Polar,
               And Rhinoceri (the Solar!)
   Performed gymnastic feats with my droll old friend the Gnu!
               What balancing and vaulting!
               What double somersaulting!
   I never saw such acrobats—excepting at the Zoo!

               The laughter came in peals
               From the smooth and glossy Seals,
   As they swallowed Flying Fish of every varied hue;
               And the phosphorescent light
               So beautifully bright,
               That marked their rapid flight,
   Made a Grand Illumination in the Gardens of the Zoo!

               I could not count the faces
               Of all who joined the Races,
   But the Tortoise came in first to keep Tradition true,
               And the Cobra-di-Capella
               Seemed quite a pleasant fellah
   As the Keeper of the Ring at the Races of the Zoo!

               Now Jumbo the “Sagacious,”
               So Princely and so gracious,
               Had lent his back capacious,
   To all the tribes of Monkeys who cared to see the view!
               With Alice as his Bride
               Now strutting by his side,
               He walked with stately stride!
   Oh! happiest of families within the dear old Zoo!

               Now Birds of every feather
               Flock in haste together,
               In spiral column twining,
               Their little bright eyes shining,
               Their lovely plumage glittering,
               Their tiny tongues all twittering,
   To pay their nightly homage to the Owls—and Owlets too!
               In circles whirling high,
               From the Clock Tower to the sky;—
   A pretty sight to look at from the Terrace of the Zoo!

               Birds and Beasts and Fishes,
               Gave me kindest wishes;
   I felt as much at home as I’ve often felt with you!
               But my gentle little Neddy
               Was dreadfully unsteady,
   And much the Wildest Animal that evening in the Zoo!

               And then they had a Dance!
               The latest things from France!
   With Highland reels and jigs, quadrilles, and polkas too!
               And Mrs. Hippopot
               It made her very hot,
   Waltzing with the Ape in the Tunnel of the Zoo!

               And when the Moon grew pale,
               The Peacock’s brilliant tail
   Shed forth its lustrous rays to light the dancers through!
               And how we clapped our hands
               At the Armadillo’s bands!
   They played such splendid tunes that evening in the Zoo!

               Now when the Sports were ended,
               And all the figures blended,
   I heard a curious scream from a Parrot in a tree!
               And this is what she said:
               (It startled little Ned,
               And went right through my head!)
   “Polly put the kettle on, we’ll all take tea!”

               This seemed so good a joke,
               I laughed . . . and then . . . awoke!
   Papa was standing near, my med’cine being due,
               And so I saw no more,
               But soon began to snore,
   And forgot the Long-tailed Monkey and the Keeper from the Zoo!

              [Picture: Comic graphic of lady walking dogs]





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