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More Beasts for Worse Children by  Hilaire Belloc

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INTRODUCTION


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The parents of the learned child

(His father and his mother)

Were utterly aghast to note

The facts he would at random quote

On creatures curious, rare and wild;

And wondering, asked each other:


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"An idle little child like this,

How is it that he knows

What years of close analysis

Are powerless to disclose?


Our brains are trained, our books are big,

And yet we always fail


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To answer why the Guinea-pig

Is born without a tail.


Or why the Wanderoo* should rant

In wild, unmeaning rhymes,

* Sometimes called the "Lion-tailed or tufted Baboon of Ceylon."


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Whereas the Indian Elephant

Will only read The Times


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Perhaps he found a way to slip

Unnoticed to the Zoo,

And gave the Pachyderm a tip

Or pumped the Wanderoo


Or even by an artful plan

Deceived our watchful eyes,

And interviewed the Pelican,

Who is extremely wise."


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"Oh! no," said he, in humble tone,

With shy but conscious look,

"Such facts I never could have known

But for this little book."


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