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More Beasts for Worse Children by  Hilaire Belloc


 

 

THE CROCODILE


[Illustration]

Whatever our faults, we can always engage

That no fancy or fable shall sully our page,

So take note of what follows, I beg.

This creature so grand and august in its age,

In its youth is hatched out of an egg.


[Illustration]

And oft in some far Coptic town

The Missionary sits him down

To breakfast by the Nile:

The heart beneath his priestly gown

Is innocent of guile;


[Illustration]

When suddenly the rigid frown

Of Panic is observed to drown

His customary smile.


[Illustration]

Why does he start and leap amain,


[Illustration]

And scour the sandy Libyan plain


[Illustration]

Like one that wants to catch a train


[Illustration]

Or wrestles with internal pain?


[Illustration]

Because he finds his egg contain—

Green, hungry, horrible and plain—

An Infant Crocodile.


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