Animals of the World Unite! (Part One)

by Patrick Campbell
(Alicante, Spain)


by Patrick Campbell

Upon the sands of Sarandee
beside the Sindhu Sagar Sea,
were gathered every living beast,
well, one of every kind at least.
The animals in their thousands sat
in friendship; even Mouse and Cat
had called a temporary truce.
So had Cobra and Mongoose
in order to facilitate
a calm and meaningful debate.

But what on earth would they discuss?
Well, very simply, children - us!

For if you looked around the throng,
it wouldn’t take you very long
to see they’d not reserved a place
for someone from the human race.
The reason for this awful snub
by members of the animal club
was that they’d have a greater say
if homo sapiens stayed away.

From far across the world they’d planned
their trips by sea and air and land,
travelling like ghosts by night,
staying out of humans’ sight.
Imagine all the rustling hedges,
the pit-a-pat along the edges
of the country fields and roads
by rabbit, reindeer, tiger, toad
to reach their secret rendezvous
to talk about – well, me and you!

Not just on the beach were they,
for stretched out far across the bay
were all the creatures of the sea
from eel to whale to anchovy,
with salmon, sardine, crayfish, skate
all ready for the great debate.
Their serried ranks were quite a sight,
scintillating diamond-bright
under the radiance of the moon
that sultry Indian night in June.

The place they held the meeting in
was underneath the tamarind,
a huge and lovely tree that stands
inside a sugar farmer’s land,
but whose ancient branches reach
right out across the golden beach.

At last the hour of midnight chimed,
which was the conference starting time;
and straightaway onto the beach
Lion appeared and made this speech:
“It´s plain as the nose upon my face”
(which mystified those only blessed
with beaks, probosces, gills at best)
“that no-one here is better placed
to be your chairman for tonight.
May I assume that that’s all right?”
The steely eye he cast around
ensured no challenger was found.
To clinch his case, the big cat also
flexed the muscles of his torso
to show that he could knock ‘em flat
with one paw tied behind his back.

Then something like a trumpet’s blare
froze their blood and curled their hair,
made flesh to creep and knees to knock,
teeth to chatter, jaws to lock!
It came of course from Elephant,
having a fine old rave and rant.
When he stood up on two legs and
bellowed loudly; there was bedlam.
Almost in a single voice
they shouted, “Elephant, he’s our choice”.

Even Lion accepted that
and went and sat beside the rat.

Apologies for absence were
read out aloud by Mr. Chair.
“The League of Pet Dogs can’t attend,
because, they say, they’re man’s best friend;
a shame, for how can we decide
until we’ve listened to both sides.

The Union of Kangaroos
has sent a pretty lame excuse,
which is their unexpected failure
to find a land route from Australia.
As for the Two-toed Sloth, renowned
for always hanging upside down,
and moving only when he has to,
he simply didn’t have enough pizzazz to
leave his branch, so sends regrets.

Well, now it’s time to start, so let’s
consider man and whether he’s
a saint or villain of the piece,
and whether in the lives of us
he is a minus or a plus.
Let’s hear first the case against
and then from those who’ve no complaints.”

The Amazonian Parakeet
held up a violet wing to speak
and suddenly all eyes were glued
upon her rainbow pulchritude.
A wise old tawny owl with ease
interpreted from parakese,
and this is what she had to say
about The Man she saw one day.
"I saw him on the forest floor,
the strangest sight I ever saw,
for he was ghastly pink without
as though he'd been turned inside out.
Heaven knows, you’ll think me snooty,
myself possessing so much beauty,
but how do creatures so unsightly
rule the world when others, like me,
find their loveliness a jinx.
We’re likely soon to be extinct
for I’m under daily threat
of capture for a human pet,
and seeing all our forest home
chopped down to make homes for their own.
Believe me, friends, it’s a disaster
that such a creature is our master.”

Chair said, “Thank you, how much sweeter
you make our world, fair senhorita.”

Comments for Animals of the World Unite! (Part One)

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 17, 2022

by: Denise

What a wonderful poem! More installments to follow. Thank you!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Publish Poems Here.