Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

(7 September 1876 - 22 June 1938 / Auburn, South Australia)

The Elusive New Zoo Gnu - Poem by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

They had a new gnu at the Zoo
And nobody knew.
Tho' the keeper, they say, had a clue;
And that's probably true,
Since he knew a new gnu was due,
And well he knew, too,
That the mother would hide it from view,
As a natural gnu
Will do.

For the instinct, innate in the gnu,
Known only to few
Is to hide a new gnu lest it rue
What ill-doers do.
Why should nature, we wonder, imbue
A beast like a gnu
With such caution? This fact, hitherto,
Few knew to be true.
Did you?

But they've found it at last at rhe Zoo -
Such a shy little gnu,
White of tail and the coat that it grew
Of indefinite hue.
And now, I suppose, a long queue
Will be waiting to view
This nice little new Zoo gnu.
Such sights ever drew
Quite a crew.

But who knew the new gnu at the Zoo
For the first day or two?
Who guessed where 'twas hidden, and who,
As new rumors flew,
Ever thought, ever dreamed ever drew
Some vague hint, or grew
Suspicious? Where was he? Who knew?
Not the crane, not the white cockatoo
Who ejaculates, 'How do you do?'
Not the apes all emblazoned in blue,
Not the owl with his dreary 'Too-woo!'
Nor tapir, nor tiger who slew
His prey 'mid the ginat bamboo
Once, back of Bengal, in Kooloo;
Not elephant, not kangaroo,
None knew; none knew;
Not aman, not a beast in the Zoo
From its hub to its furthrest purlieu . . .
But the new gnu knew.
Too true!

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 28, 2012

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