John Ciardi


Why Nobody Pets The Lion At The Zoo


The morning that the world began
The Lion growled a growl at Man.

And I suspect the Lion might
(If he'd been closer) have tried a bite.

I think that's as it ought to be
And not as it was taught to me.

I think the Lion has a right
To growl a growl and bite a bite.

And if the Lion bothered Adam,
He should have growled right back at 'im.

The way to treat a Lion right
Is growl for growl and bite for bite.

True, the Lion is better fit
For biting than for being bit.

But if you look him in the eye
You'll find the Lion's rather shy.

He really wants someone to pet him.
The trouble is: his teeth won't let him.

He has a heart of gold beneath
But the Lion just can't trust his teeth.

Submitted: Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Edited: Tuesday, June 24, 2014

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Comments about this poem (Why Nobody Pets The Lion At The Zoo by John Ciardi )

  • Gold Star - 10,508 Points * Sunprincess * (6/26/2014 7:12:00 AM)

    ................so true and I am pretty sure the lion has a voracious appetite....I would pet him if he was still a young kitten... (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 27,319 Points Gajanan Mishra (6/24/2014 6:45:00 AM)

    good writing, thanks, I like it.
    please read my poems and comment. (Report) Reply

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