Cicely Fox Smith
Mike And The Cat - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith
'It's a thing I never done,' said Mike,'it's a thing I call queer'
(Scratching the dingy galley Tom under his starboard ear),
'To give your 'eart to a cockatoo or a bloomin' pink-eared rat,
Which I've knowed chaps do in my time,' said he, 'but I likes a cat.'
'Small dogs gets stole on you, big 'uns is too big;
It's only huntin' trouble to pal with a pig;
Mice and rats is vermin, an' there ain't no denyin'
Them little small birds is the divvle for dyin'.'
'I've known chaps keep lizards an' snakes an' the like;
Well, them as wants crawlin' things can 'ave 'em,' said Mike;
'A tortoise ain't sociable; rabbits ain't clean;
Monkeys is mischievious and parrots is mean.'
'But a cat's a good shipmate as a man 'ud wish to find;
'E minds 'is own bizness an' he knows 'is own mind;
'E knows who 'is friends are as well as me or you,
And 'e sticks by 'is ship like a seaman ought to do.'
'And if 'e takes a run ashore, why, 'tain't for me to blame,
For where's the sailorman alive as never done the same?
Where was ye now in Singapore, ye blagyard, tell me that?
It ain't no use to wink at me,
Ye darned old whited sepul-chree!
Ye know well enough ye was out on the spree,' said Mike to the cat.
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