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Ayyappa Paniker

(12 September 1930 - 23 August 2006 / Kavalam, Kerala, India)

The Cockroach


When the cockroach ate the cat,
The rat sat gloomy and sad:
Who will eat me now, alas!
Is Fate too like the cockroach?

Leaping on its sixth leg,
Came the cockroach, and said:
Rat, you need not cry;
I shall eat you too, my dear.
But if, before that, you can
Take a little bit of cat's meat
You will taste better;
And I will like it very much.

When the rat ate the cat's tail,
The rat's tail was in the cockroach mouth.
Is the rationalist, watching in gloom
The cockroach tail, a man?
Is that man a rationalist?

Submitted: Friday, September 07, 2012
Edited: Friday, September 07, 2012

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