(1811-1863 / India)

At The Zoo

First I saw the white bear, then I saw the black;
Then I saw the camel with a hump upon his back;
Then I saw the grey wolf, with mutton in his maw;
Then I saw the wombat waddle in the straw;
Then I saw the elephant a-waving of his trunk;
Then I saw the monkeys—mercy, how unpleasantly they smelt!

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Comments (5)

At the zoo is a very gorgeous poem
This is a children's poem pure and simple. If you really wanna dig, suppose he's alluding to humanity with the smell of the monkey. The vanity of humanity is how we label the world. Eh!
Is this really the way Thackeray wrote the poem? All the lines rhyme perfectly until the last two. We have TRUNK and SMELT. Shouldn't it be TRUNK and STUNK?
The picture of a Zoo is wonderfully depicted in this simple and straight forward poem!
The poem presents an interesting scene from a zoo where the wild animals have been portrayed in their true colours. This is a wonderful treat to a genuine nature lover.