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Bestiary, the old gang

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Mouse (who never had an evil thought)
Asked penguin (who never raped or pillaged),
Have you seen caterpillar
(that one who never held anyone at gunpoint)?
Oh, you mean butterfly, said penguin,
Now he is butterfly (but, just like caterpillar,
He never held anyone at gunpoint either).
Crow (who never stabbed anyone in the back),
Who happened to overhear this conversation,
Said he just saw butterfly
Flying over the garden.
Should I tell him you want him? asked crow.

Just then up crept lion (who never bought or sold sex).
What's going on around here? he asked
He was looking at mouse, who seemed to be in charge.
And mouse (who never had an evil thought)
Was looking back at lion wide-eyed.
I thought you were poisoned! said mouse.
I was poisoned, said lion, but I rallied.
I'm still not feeling tiptop.

Those humans. . .
Said worm (who never cheated at cards).
Sticking his head out of a hole in the ground,
They'll put you on a hook and throw you in the river.
Yeah, why do they do that sh*t, said crow.
Sometimes they just want to look around
And sometimes they just want to kill you.
Why, they'll stab you in the back!

A lot of them think evil thoughts, said mouse.
Some rape and pillage, chimed in penguin.
They buy and sell sex too, said lion.
I don't know how I know that, but it's true.
Here comes butterfly, cawed crow.
Butterfly landed on lion's mane sedately.
What are we talking about?
Humans, squeaked mouse dismally.

I had one hold me at gunpoint, said butterfly
(Who used to be caterpillar).
Everyone looked genuinely surprised.
But only for a second because
That's when mouse
Invited everyone to a party.
Where did worm go?
Oh, I think he went to get his cards.

(Article changed on December 17, 2015 at 15:53)

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Gary Lindorff is a poet, writer, blogger and author of five nonfiction books, three collections of poetry, "Children to the Mountain", "The Last recurrent Dream" (Two Plum Press), "Conversations with Poetry (coauthored with Tom Cowan), and (more...)

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